• Class of 2019 follow in steps of Oosthuizen, Schwartzel

    GolfRSA team
    The proud winners

    Eighteen years after Major winner Louis Oosthuizen won the Junior Golf World Cup with Masters champion Charl Schwartzel, Albert Kruger and Christian Ries, two protégés from his Junior Golf Academy – Martin Vorster and Christo Lamprecht – did the Open champion proud with a record-breaking victory for South Africa alongside GolfRSA National Squad teammates Sam Simpson and Casey Jarvis at Chukyo Golf Club in Japan.

    The GolfRSA Boys Team posted three-under 210 in Friday’s final round to triumph on a staggering 41-under-par 811 total.

    South Africa became the first team in the 27-year history of the team event to break the 40-under barrier and wound up a full 11 shots clear of runner-up Japan and 12 ahead of Spain.

    Vorster from Mossel Bay and Western Province’s Simpson led the challenge on the last day with a pair of 68s. They were backed up by Ekurhuleni’s Jarvis, who carded 74 while Lamprecht returned a non-counting 75.

    South Africa’s boys had already rewritten the record book earlier in the week, becoming the first team in at least a dozen years to break 200 in a single day when they combined for a 14-under-par 199 in the second round. One day later, they went even lower at 19-under 195.

    Friday brought a tougher course set-up and the arrival of a strong afternoon wind kept the field from approaching that standard.

    Nonetheless, South Africa got off to a solid start and never let anyone get closer than six shots.

    Simpson entered the day with a three-shot lead in the Individual Competition after rounds of 70-65-63.

    Three birdies over the first 10 holes kept the challengers at bay and he edged Vorster by four shots to win on 18-under 266.

    ‘Anybody can play well in their home country, but it’s great to come and do it overseas,’ said the 16-year-old Bellville golfer. ‘It was probably not the best day we’ve had this week, but we hung in there, kept our heads down and it was pretty special to come through with the team win.

    ‘I knew the guys would come chasing, but I stuck to my game plan and just hit fairways and greens. I relied on the putter and it came through for me. I had a bad lie at the first in the fairway bunker and hit a great shot pin-high left and made the putt for birdie, which was exciting.’

    The 2019 Boland Stroke Play champion missed a few putts, but birdied six and 10 to stay ahead.

    ‘I dropped on 11 and there was quite a hold-up on 12. I chatted to Martin and found out he was four under for the day. I got a bit scoring orientated, because I thought about the individual win. Big mistake, because I dropped another shot at 13.

    ‘So, I put it out of my mind and just played for the team score. I birdied 14, made a great par save on 15 and two-putted for birdie at 16. And I comfortably parred 17. I was right behind a tree on 18, so I took my medicine and knocked it right-side of the green. I chipped it to 15 feet and it was really nice to drain it in front of the crowd.

    ‘It’s really gratifying to find some form in Japan after a tough few weeks on the GolfRSA National Squad Tour in the UK and to get another win under the belt. Hopefully I can ride this form in the next few tournaments when I get home. It’s really exciting to go back as the world champions.’

    Vorster relayed a message from former Open Championship winner Oosthuizen wishing the team good luck after the third round to his teammates, which boosted the team’s morale.

    ‘That was really cool,’ said Simpson. ‘You get a bit of goosebumps thinking that he’s watching the live scoring and rooting for us. It was exciting to close it out for him.’

    The message definitely spurred on the skipper, who played a captain’s innings that included three birdies and an eagle against a lone drop.

    ‘It was a great day for us,’ said the 17-year-old reigning East of Ireland champion.

    ‘We came with a goal and we achieved our goal by sticking to our processes and getting the small things right. We weren’t results orientated; we just focused on our warm-ups, warm-downs, meals and on-course processes. That was the secret of our success.’

    BOYS TEAM STANDINGS:

    811 (-41) South Africa 208-199-194-210
    822 (-30) Japan 208-205-197-212
    823 (-29) Spain 204-204-204-211

    830 (-22) United States 208-207-210-205
    837 (-15) Thailand 216-203-205-213
    838 (-14) Canada 212-219-202-205
    839 (-13) Sweden 213-207-206-213

    842 (-10) Argentina 210-212-206-214
    848 (-4) Philippines 216-209-210-213
    849 (-3) Australia 215-212-207-215
    855 (+3) Colombia 217-206-209-223
    857 (+5) Denmark 223-213-210-211
    860 (+8) Switzerland 214-216-211-219
    864 (+12) Mexico 221-214-216-213
    944 (+92) Uganda 233-241-237-233

     

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