Golf: Hungry junior team aim to defend SA’s championship title at Africa Zone VI

2012-03-07 00:00

JOHANNESBURG — Soweto’s Musi Nethunzwi and Gert Myburgh from Benoni will make their debut in South Africa’s title defence at the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships in Malawi, while four of the country’s top junior golfers will fly the flag for South Africa at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in Botswana this April.

Myburgh and Nethunzwi will be flanked by Brandon Stone, Haydn Porteous, Shaun Smith, Zander Lombard and Drikus Bruyns, as well as CJ du Plessis, the only remaining member from the victorious 2011 side that beat Kenya for the title last year.

The Africa Zone VI Golf Championship attracts countries mainly from East and Southern Africa. In addition to the defending champions and hosts Malawi, the other teams expected at Lilongwe Golf Club Malawi from April 17-19 include Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia and possibly Mauritius and Rwanda.

“We are quietly confident that our team will bring the trophy home again,” said South African Golf Association president, Colin Burger.

SA number one and two, Stone and Porteous, gained top international experience at various tournaments in Europe and New Zealand in 2011, while Porteous also emerged as the mainstay for the SA team at the Spirit International in the U.S. last year.

A member of the victorious Zone VI team last year, third-ranked Du Plessis was also highly instrumental in securing South Africa’s sixth African Amateur Golf Teams Championship in October last year.

“CJ, Haydn and Brandon also teed it up recently with Shaun, Zander and Drikus against a top Scottish Golf Union men’s squad side at Leopard Creek in February,” said Burger. “Zander is just 17, but he has a lot of experience. He represented South Africa at junior level at the International Teams tournament, at an U16 championship in Italy last year and, more recently, in a Junior squad against a Scottish Golf Union side and a top team from the SAGDB.” Fourth-ranked Smith underlined his rising stature with back-to-back top 10 finishes in KwaZulu-Natal in January and by reaching the semi-final at the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship last week. “I am really excited about this team. I think they compliment each other, they are all in good form and very hungry to win,” Burger said.

The SA U19 Junior Team that will launch South Africa’s title defence at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in Botswana include Lombard, Ekurhuleni’s Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Western Province stars Dylan Raubenheimer and Ian Snyman.

The other countries expected at the Gaborone Golf Club from April 1-5 are Ghana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Swaziland, Uganda, Namibia, Zambia and Mauritius, a first-time participant last year.

 

SA TEAM

Brandon Stone (18) Els Club Copper Leaf/Gauteng North

Haydn Porteous (17) Modderfontein GC/Central Gauteng

CJ du Plessis (21) Polokwane GC/Limpopo

Zander Lombard (17) Woodhill CC/Gauteng North

Gert Myburgh (23) Benoni CC/Ekurhuleni – New cap

Shaun Smith (20) Fancourt/Southern Cape)

Drikus Bruyns (19) Hex Valley GC/Boland

Musi Nethunzwi (21) Soweto CC/Central Gauteng – New cap

SA JUNIOR TEAM

Zander Lombard (17) Woodhill CC/Gauteng North

Dylan Raubenheimer (16) Strand GC/Western Province

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (17) Delmas GC/Ekurhuleni

Ian Snyman (17) Bellville GC/Western Province

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