South Africa’s leading junior golfers will tee it up in the second Nedbank Junior Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from 2-4 May.
The 78-strong limited field – comprising the country’s elite junior amateur golfers and the rising stars of the South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) – will not only have the opportunity to compete for GolfRSA and World Amateur Golf Ranking points in the 54-hole competition, but the champion will enjoy the chance to rub shoulders with golf royalty at the Nedbank Golf Challenge this November.
“The Nedbank Junior Challenge has undoubtedly become one of the most sought-after tickets on the GolfRSA Junior calendar in a very short space of time,” said GolfRSA chief executive officer Grant Hepburn.
“The fact that we received more than 180 entries this year illustrates how excited our juniors are to walk in the footsteps of Major winners, world No 1s and Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup stars at the home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.”
The Nedbank Junior Challenge field incorporates a talented but also diverse field, focused on depth and inclusivity.
“In addition to the top 50 available players from the GolfRSA National U19 Rankings, the top five SAGDB Elite Squad members and 14 leading development players from around the country also receive entry into the event,” Hepburn said.
“Being able to play alongside the cream of junior golf is an exceptional learning experience for the SAGDB golfers and we are incredibly grateful to both Nedbank and Sun International for this wonderful commitment to the amateur game, and their vision to not only focus on the elite juniors, but also the SAGDB rising stars.
“We look forward to another hotly contested competition this year and to celebrating the incredible depth of talent in this country at Sun City.”
In addition to banking important ranking points, the overall winner will be rewarded with a behind-the-scenes experience at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November, aimed at furthering the development of the game through the aspirational effect of attending “Africa’s Major”.
“We are delighted to partner once again with GolfRSA and Sun International in hosting this major tournament on the national amateur calendar and to have the opportunity to showcase the depth in junior golf talent in South Africa,” said Tobie Badenhorst, head: group sponsorships and cause marketing, Nedbank.
“We continually seek opportunities to support the development of golf throughout the country, and we are excited to give the SAGDB juniors the opportunity to showcase their talent and provide a vehicle for these youngsters to level up and gain invaluable experience at one of the top courses in South Africa.”
Last year GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall went wire-to-wire at the Gary Player Country Club to be crowned as the inaugural champion. The victory sparked an incredible run from the Ekurhuleni junior that culminated in him lifting the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the South African Open Championship at Sun City in December.
“Yurav missed out on this experience last year after the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic forced us to cancel the event for a second successive year, but he will get the chance this year to join the 2022 champion at Sun City this November,” said Ken Payet, the operations manager for sport and recreation at Sun City, and the tournament director of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
“The two champions will get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk the course and enjoy an exclusive inside-the-ropes experience during the official Wednesday Pro-Am.
“Every South African champion who lifted the Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy began their career in the structures of GolfRSA and we are excited to welcome the best junior golf talent in South Africa to Sun City, and to host the leading the golfers of the SAGDB at the Gary Player Country Club.
“We are very proud to host this tournament, together with our longstanding partner Nedbank, and to play a role in the development of the junior talent in this country.
“The Nedbank Junior Challenge is also a fitting event to tee off our popular Nedbank Golf Challenge Amateur Series for recreational amateur golfers, which will include a further three tournaments from May to October at Sun City, Humewood Boardwalk and the Wild Coast Sun.”