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PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (13 September 2019) – GolfRSA Junior Proteas Sam Simpson and Caitlyn Macnab felt both tapped out and buoyed after the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy wrapped up in Northern Ireland on Thursday.

For a third successive day, the field battled gale force wind and howling rain brought on by the marriage of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Gabrielle at Royal Portrush.

Junior Presidents Cup-bound Simpson tied for 11th with rounds of 75, 84 and 74 and top ranked Macnab signed off with a joint 50th place finish after posting rounds of 84, 88 and 82.

“Sam and Caitlyn both felt that they survived a baptism of fire and I was heartened to hear them say that despite all the trials and tribulations, they learned some very valuable lessons here this week which will serve them well in the future,” said Womens Golf South Africa President Sally Greasley.

“Sam was struggling with his swing and Caitlyn battled an ice-cold putter, which are not ideal when you are facing an extremely tight course with very firm greens and Open Championship pin positions. Throw in the howling wind and sweeping rain over the three days of the competition and you have to be impressed with their fighting spirits and their determination to forge ahead despite the setbacks.

“Caitlyn’s putter once again refused to warm up in the final round, and the 4-club wind caught hold of a number of her tee shots and swept them into the thick, wet rough. She has certainly learned that she needs to work on is hitting lower shots to stay out of trouble in high winds.

“Sam was feeling particularly bleak after slipping from the top four to 17th with the 84 in the second round and he was really pleased his final round performance. Although he was still struggling with his swing, he controlled the ball much better and it showed in his score.”

Simpson turned two-over after bogeys at the second and fourth holes and gave away further shots with successive bogeys on 12 and 13, but the Bellville golfer rallied with back-to-back birdies on 15 and 16 and parred his way home.

“You definitely gain new respect for the professionals when you’ve played a course like Royal Portrush,” said Simpson. “We played a number of courses during the GolfRSA National Squad Tour this year and the Old Course and Eden Course at St Andrews, but nothing prepared me for this challenging layout. It is so tight and it demands absolute perfection.

“I take a lot of confidence from the fact that I wasn’t on my A-game, but I still grinded out a top 20 finish. It was a really tough week, mentally and physically, but an incredible experience nonetheless and one I will reflect on again and again.”

Macnab, who lives on Serengeti Estate and often plays Ebotse links where her coach Grant Veenstra is based, wholeheartedly agreed.

“There isn’t a single links course at home that compares to Royal Portrush and I am really grateful that I got to experience this course,” said the reigning Nomads SA Girls champion. “The extreme weather conditions kind of spoiled it, because we didn’t really have time to enjoy the course and to appreciate the incredible design.

“I had some great holes and some disastrous ones, but I am really glad I had this experience. Sam and I met some amazing golfers from all over the world and made many new friends and the organisation of the event was world class. Lots of lessons learned and things to go work on when we get home.”

Greasley believes that the juniors will benefit in the long run from the experience.

“Our players really found the week really tough. They get very few opportunities to compete on true links courses and certainly not in these extreme weather conditions and it was a really steep learning curve for both of them. They both came away from this experience with a much better understanding of what it takes to compete at courses such as Royal Portrush and this type of weather.

“It has been a joy for me to chaperone Sam and Caitlyn, who despite their obvious disappointment, always smiled and remained upbeat. Once again, we were complimented on our players’ behaviour, both on and off the course, by coaches, volunteers, club members and supporters. They kept the South African flag flying high, albeit a bit tattered after the beating it took in the wind this week.”

PHOTO - Caitlyn Macnab and Sam Simpson are flying the flag for South Africa at the prestigious Duke of York Young Champions at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland; credit GolfRSA

For more information, please contact:

Sally Greasley (President, WGSA): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Grant Hepburn (GolfRSA CEO) – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.

Lali Stander

Media Liaison – GolfRSA
TEL: +27 82 990 7150 / EMAIL: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

CAPE TOWN, 10 September 2019 – Five of South Africa’s top junior golf talents – Jayden Schaper, Martin Vorster, Christo Lamprecht, Sam Simpson and Jordan Duminy – will be heading to Australia for the 2019 Junior Presidents Cup in December.

The GolfRSA National Squad quintet have qualified for the 12-strong International Team that will face off against the United States at Royal Melbourne Golf Club on 8-9 December in the second edition of the highly anticipated curtain-raiser for the Presidents Cup.

Five leading GolfRSA National Squad juniors – Jayden Schaper (Ekurhuleni), Martin Vorster (Southern Cape), Christo Lamprecht (Southern Cape), Sam Simpson (Western Province) and Jordan Duminy (Southern Cape) – will compete for the International Team in the 2nd Junior Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia on 8-9 December; credit GolfRSA.

Australian Stuart Appleby will captain the International Team and American Justin Leonard will captain the U.S. Team in the prestigious team event, hosted by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) and PGA TOUR.

South Africa’s leading amateur Schaper and former SA Amateur champion Lamprecht will be making their second appearances for the International Team, having competed in the inaugural matches in 2017 at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey, where the United States won 14-10.

Vorster, Schaper, Lamprecht, and Simpson were ranked second, third, fifth and sixth respectively and were virtually assured of their spots in the International Team before the September 4 deadline.

Duminy was still in the bubble ahead of the final qualifying event, but the 2019 Nomads SA Boys Under-17 champion rubber-stamped his inclusion with a top-50 finish in the Junior Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass.

“We are over the moon to have five members of our GolfRSA National Squad in the International Team this year,” said GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn.

“We had four juniors in the International Team in 2017 and the fact that South Africa will have five juniors competing this year speaks volumes about the tremendous strides we are making in amateur golf in South Africa.

“Clubs, coaches, golf academies and unions are holding hands with GolfRSA and the South African Golf Association (SAGA) to identify and nurture our junior talent and, with the financial backing from Johann Rupert, the GolfRSA National Squad further enhance their development.

“These five young players have shown tremendous dedication and commitment over the last 12 months and we are incredibly proud of their achievement. Their participation will inspire a whole new wave of young stars waiting in the wings.”

Vorster finished second in the final standings that determined the International Team, reigning SA Stroke Play champion Schaper was third and Lamprecht fifth.

“GolfRSA’s decision to assist the national squad members to compete in the Junior Players Championship was satisfyingly justified,” said SAGA President Naadir Agherdien.

“Jayden won the event and Martin tied for seventh. Jordan and Sam were joint 48th and finished sixth and 11th respectively in the final standings. We applaud the way all our juniors have embraced the opportunities afforded them through GolfRSA and SAGA over the last year. We are very proud of their achievement and we wish them a fantastic and memorable Junior Presidents Cup.”

Australian and Chinese golf fans also had plenty to cheer about with two players apiece in the International Team.

Perth pair Karl Vilips and Joshua Greer bookended the final standings. Vilips – who competed alongside Schaper and Lamprecht in the 2017 matches – topped the rankings after a third place finish at TPC Sawgrass, while Greer secured the 12th spot.

China will make their debut on the International team after Bo Jin’s runner-up finish in the Junior Players Championship boosted the junior to ninth and his compatriot Andi Xu finished in 10th spot with a top-20 result at TPC Sawgrass.

Kartik Sharma from India (4th), Jam Huyn Lee from Korea (7th) and Chuan-Tai Lin from Taipei (8th) complete the International Team line-up.

Canon Claybomb is the only player making his return to the U.S. Team and he will be lining up alongside Maxwell Moldovan, Brett Roberts, Jack Heath, Michael Thorbjornsen, Preston Summerhays, Jackson van Paris, Alexander Yang, Vishnu Sadagopan, Ian Siebers, Stephen Campbell Jnr and Benjamin James.

The Junior Presidents Cup will be held before the U.S. Team, captained by Tiger Woods, takes on the International Team led by Ernie Els in the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club from 12-15 December.

All 24 players will compete in six Four-ball matches on Sunday morning followed by six Foursomes matches that afternoon. The Junior Presidents Cup will conclude with 12 Singles matches on Monday morning.

 

 

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.

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