South African amateur Jovan Rebula will return to Auburn University for a fifth year to continue his path to pro golf through the PGA TOUR University.
Having been in the USA college system since 2016, on recommendation of his uncle, Ernie Els, Rebula was caught in two minds as to turn pro this year or continue playing for the Auburn Tigers men’s golf team for an extra year.
After numerous discussions with his coaches at the university and some advice from Els himself, the 22-year-old Rebula settled on the latter.
‘This has been an incredible breakthrough. Whoever doesn’t want to take advantage of this opportunity, I think that’s the wrong move. My plan was to stay just four years, and that was it. But then PGA TOUR University threw another curveball at me, and that made my decision really easy,’ Rebula said.
The man from George in the Western Cape says he’s always been encouraged by the motivation he’s received from Els, who also motivated him to move to the States and ultimately get on the PGA Tour.
‘He was the one who said, “You’ve got to go to college, get your degree and play golf at the same time.” I think that was the whole idea, to get used to the living environment over here. His main thing for me was to play over here because this is ultimately where I wanted to play.
‘It’s almost a no-brainer to come to college right now, with this opportunity that’s been created. I think it’s going to be a massive attraction for a lot of international students to come over to the States and play over here.’
And, Rebula’s game has been going from strength to strength since making the move to North America in four years ago by becoming only the second South African golfer ever to win the Amateur Championship in 2018, which handed him spots at that year’s Open Championship, the 2019 Masters and US Open.
Last year he also won the SEC individual title and is a three-time PING All-American.