The South African Golf Association (SAGA) and GolfRSA announced the 16 players that will represent South Africa in the second Fellowship Cup Test against the India Golf Union from 16-18 August.
“Such was the success of the inaugural Fellowship Cup Test between South Africa and India last December, that SAGA, the India Golf Union and GolfRSA collaborated to expand the Test to include four teams from each country,” said SAGA President Geoff Taylor.
“We felt that our top ranked Senior and Mid-Amateur players benefitted greatly from the first Test and we wanted to extend this opportunity to our Open Amateurs and Juniors. Hence the reverse fixture at Leopard Creek will feature a senior, mid-amateur, open amateur and junior (under-19) team from each country.”
South Africa’s top ranked senior Steve Williams and number two Francois le Roux return for duty alongside new caps Greg Gleeson and Andre van Dyk, ranked third and fourth respectively.
The mid-amateur team will also include two new caps in top ranked Ryan Dreyer and number two ranked Almero Theron, the reigning SA Mid-Amateur Stroke Play champion.
Dreyer and Theron will make their debut alongside Gerlou Roux, who represented South Africa in France in 2015 and in the Fellowship Cup Test in India last year, as well as fourth ranked Kevin Sharp, who represented South Africa against Namibia in 2012.
“We are very pleased to have our number one player Kyle McClatchie leading the open amateur team that includes Luca Filippi and new caps Malcolm Mitchell and Matt Saulez,” said Taylor.
“Kyle and Luca have represented South Africa with pride at various international events and will bring a lot of experience to the team to help guide our two new caps from KwaZulu-Natal, who are respectively ranked third and fourth on the SAGA Open Amateur standings.”
South Africa’s top ranked junior Jayden Schaper and 2017 Sanlam SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht will don the green and gold for a fourth time in 2017, having represented South Africa in the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship and the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan. The pair also helped the GolfRSA Junior team to a second place finish in the African Amateur Championship Team Competition at Leopard Creek in February.
New caps Wilco Nienaber, ranked third, and fourth ranked Luke Mayo complete the Junior Team.
“We are confident that we have selected the strongest teams possible to face against India in the second Fellowship Cup Test,” said Taylor.
“All these players have demonstrated great success and consistency this season and warranted their selection with their performances. We are extremely pleased to welcome the Indian teams to our shores after a fantastic experience at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club last year and we look forward to hosting the India Golf Union at Leopard Creek.”
GolfRSA Chief Executive Officer Grant Hepburn said the second Fellowship Cup continues the partnership with the India Golf Union, which was mediated with the assistance of Golf RSA and business man Johann Rupert.
“The Fellowship Cup Test was born from a friendship between Mr Rupert, the chairman of GolfRSA, and Mr Dilip Thomas, a Council Member of the Indian Golf Union, who had a mutual desire to strengthen the ties between the two countries.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to reciprocate and host the four teams from India after the success of the inaugural matches in India last December. The addition of the Junior and Open Amateur age groups heightens the excitement for this year’s Fellowship Cup Test. It will be a first in terms of all four age groups playing in one event and we are hopeful to extend the Fellowship Cup Test even further in the future to include women’s teams, as well.
“We look forward to some rousing shot-making and electrifying matches in August and on behalf of GolfRSA, SAGA and the India Golf Union, we thank Leopard Creek and its members for allowing us to host this year’s Fellowship Cup Test at this exceptional venue.”
Thomas said the India Golf Union is delighted with the prospect of bringing their leading players to Leopard Creek.
“I am delighted to be returning to South Africa, especially to Leopard Creek which is such a beautiful African experience,” said Thomas. “Last year we started to develop the relationship between India and South Africa and the second Fellowship Cup Test will take that friendship to a new level.
“Having four teams of different age groups competing in one event is a unique format and it emphasizes our aim of developing our players by nurturing this special relationship with South Africa.”
SOUTH AFRICAN TEAMS
(Ranking and union in brackets)
Steve Williams (#1 / Central Gauteng)
Francois le Roux (#2 / Boland)
Greg Gleeson (#3 / Central Gauteng)
Andre van Dyk (#4 / Boland)
Ryan Dreyer (#1 / Central Gauteng)
Almero Theron (#2 / Free State)
Gerlou Roux (#3 / Western Province)
Kevin Sharp (#4 / Central Gauteng)
Kyle McClatchie (#1 / Ekurhuleni)
Malcolm Mitchell (#3 / KwaZulu-Natal)
Matt Saulez (#4 / KwaZulu-Natal)
Luca Filippi (#5 / Western Province)
Jayden Schaper (#1 / Ekurhuleni)
Christo Lamprecht (#2 / Southern Cape)
Wilco Nienaber (#3 / Free State)
Luke Mayo (#4 / KwaZulu-Natal)