Take a bow Ernie Els! Thanks to the Big Easy and his magnificent victory at the British Open on Sunday, South African golf is back in the headlines for all the right reasons.
Whisper it softly, but never forget, our golfers have got the rest of the world running scared. And it’s all thanks to numerous development programmes which have seen an army of hugely talented youngsters coming through the ranks and serving notice that they are a force to be reckoned with on the biggest stages of them all, including the British Open!
After all, the number of South African players at this championship at Royal Lytham & St Annes doubled since the tournament was last played there 11 years ago. Indeed, this year, no fewer that 14 (mostly young) golfers from South Africa are strutting their stuff at the unforgiving seaside links. Just two years ago, young Louis Oosthuizen (a graduate of the Ernie Els Foundation) shredded St Andrews (and every opponent in site) to win golf’s greatest prize. Just as the boy from Mossel Bay, has set the sporting world alight with some of the most explosive golf around (remember that albatross at Augusta?), some of the other laaities coming through the ranks like Brandon Grace and Jbe Kruger are future champions in their own rights.
All that’s missing in this land which always punches above its weight, is a non-white superstar, our own Tiger Woods. Nevertheless, there are a handful of young stars who are rising through the ranks like Tumelo Wesi, Prinavin Nelson and James Kamte who appear to have a Major (or two) in them. Now wouldn’t that be something.
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