SA fight hard but Japan tops in Junior World Cup

Marco Steyn, Herman Loubser & Keegan de Lange. PHOTO: Karen Olivant

Japan scored a clean sweep in the world’s premier junior golf international team championship at Chukyo Golf Club, while all three African teams rallied in the final round of 23rd Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Aichi-Prefecture, Japan last month.

The Japanese boys team fired a tournament-best 13-under-par 200 at the Ishino Course to claim the Boys’ Division title by four strokes from Sweden on a winning total of 25-under-par 827.

“Our boys played really well, but it was just not their week,” said TuksSport Golf Club and Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen.

“All four players were good in executing the game plan and putted well, but the putts just didn’t drop for them.

“They put in a big effort and remained professional throughout the week, which is all a coach can ask for. I am really proud of these boys and I have no doubt that all four of them are going places.”

Meanwhile the Japanese girls team held off Korea to lift the Girls’ Division title for a second consecutive year. The host nation triumphed with a four stroke victory on 12-under-par 564.

The South African team, who slipped to eighth with rounds of 146, 152 and 152, also made a huge effort in the final round to tie for sixth with Colombia on 15 over 591.

Natasha Carlsson, Ivanna Samu and Kaleigh Telfer.  
Natasha Carlsson, Ivanna Samu and Kaleigh Telfer. PHOTO: Karen Olivant

Top ranked Ivanna Samu gave the side a much-needed boost with a superb two under 70, while fellow Gauteng players Kaleigh Telfer and Natasha Carlsson both returned 72s for a 142.

“Ivanna had a super round, but struggled with the putter and Kaleigh nearly had a hole-in-one at 11, but unfortunately the ball ran on a bit after nearly pitching in the hole,” said Women’s Golf South Africa president Karen Olivant.

“Natasha is not that long off the tee, but she is really did well to finish at level par. They had a much better day and they could have gone even lower, if the putts had dropped.

“I am really proud of the team in their debut performance in this world-class event. It was a great experience to walk with the girls this week and to watch them at work. Overall, they held their own in this strong field and were just let down by their putting.”