Jayden Schaper captured his second Sunshine Tour Junior Series title in wire-to-wire style in the Dimension Data Junior Open, while fellow Ekurhuleni junior Nash de Klerk claimed an emphatic five stroke victory in the Under-15 Challenge at Fancourt last month.
Dimension Data Junior Open
Schaper got off to a rather scrappy start in the final round at the Montagu Course.
With nine holes to go, the outlook was dismal for the country’s top ranked junior, but the 17-year-old rallied with a pair of birdies for a three-over-par 75 to edged out Ayden Senger from Western Province and Werner Deyzel from Gauteng North for a one stroke victory on eight-under-par 209.
Having fired a six-under-par 67 in the first round at the Links and five-under-par 67 at the Outeniqua Course in round two, Schaper began the final round at 11 under with a four shot lead over Senger and five shots clear of Deyzel.
A bogey start signalled problems and Schaper bled bogeys while Senger and Deyzel pounced.
“The putter turned ice-cold and shots were dropping like flies,” said Schaper, who also dropped shots at five, seven, eight and nine. “By the time we reached the turn, I was tied with Werner at six under and Ayden had moved to eight under. But I knew I could still do it, because I always play better when I’m chasing.”
Schaper showed his mettle when he came from behind to win the 2016 Tshwane Junior Open in a play-off and won his third Nomads SA Boys title in a play-off at the U-19 Stroke Play Championship in April.
Schaper birdied 13 and when Senger bogeyed 13 and 14, the trio were tied at seven under.
Deyzel dropped a shot at 15, though, as Senger matched Schaper’s birdie at 16. The pair headed down the final hole tied at eight under, with Deyzel two behind.
Senger’s title bid drowned in the water surrounding the island green, but Deyzel was on the green for two and still had an eagle chance to force a play-off.
“Unfortunately for Werner his putt pulled up short of the hole and I just had to tap in for the win,” said Schaper. “I definitely felt more in control after the turn and the putts started to drop. This was one of the toughest wins of my career. I had to hang tough and stay patient and I’m really pleased that I go the job done.”
Deyzel birdied the final hole for a 71 and Senger signed for an even-par 72 to tie for second at seven under 210.
Last year’s champion, reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht from Southern Cape, closed with a 68 to take fourth on 213, while Chris Woollam from KwaZulu-Natal carded a 73 to round out the top five at three under 214.
Dimension Data Junior Open Under-15 Challenge
De Klerk carded a final round one-over-par 73 at the Montagu Course to celebrate his first victory on the national circuit on four-under-par 213.
The 13-year-old from Glendower Golf Club opened with a two-under-par 70 at the Montagu Course to trail by two, but pushed into the lead with an even-par 73 at the Links. He began the final day with a two shot lead over Jordan Duminy from Southern Cape, but like Schaper, De Klerk also had to dig deep after Duminy piled on the pressure.
After an eagle start, De Klerk dropped the 11th and back-to-back bogeys saw him start the homeward loop one over par and trailing Duminy, who birdied the second and the 16th holes, by one shot.
While Duminy sandwiched a bogey between birdies at the third and fifth, De Klerk birdied the par-three second and another gain at the fifth saw him tie the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy player for the lead.
“I hit a great shot into the short hole and holed a 10-footer for birdie to get my round back to two-under, and made another good birdie to draw level with Jordan,” said the De Klerk. “Unfortunately Jordan double-bogeyed the sixth and dropped another two shots at the eighth. He was really unlucky and I felt very sorry for him.
“I just tried to par the last couple of holes, but it was great to finish with a birdie. I’ve played the Links and the Outeniqua in other junior events before, but I was very excited to play the Montagu course this year, because you always see the pro tournaments finish on the Montagu. It’s just as tough as it looks on television. It’s such a privilege to play at Fancourt and I’m really chuffed that I won my first national trophy here. Maybe in a few years, I can win my first pro trophy here, as well.”
Duminy finished at one over 218 after closing with a 73.
Rorisang Nkosi from North West signed off with a 75 to take third on 222, Christiaan Maas finished a further shot back in fourth after a 71 and Gowrie U-15 Challenge champion Amilkar Bhana placed fifth on 227 with a final round 77.
Dimension Data Junior Open Result (Top 20)
209 Jayden Schaper 67 67 75
210 Werner Deyzel 76 63 71; Ayden Senger 69 69 72
213 Christo (Jnr) Lamprecht 72 73 68
214 Chris Woollam 73 68 73
215 Wilco Nienaber 74 71 70; Tyron Davidowitz 74 71 70; NJ Botha 73 70 72
217 Dandre Spies 81 66 70; Alex van Wyk 74 69 74; Armand van Dyk 73 70 74; Andre van Dyk 72 73 72; Martin Vorster 72 72 73
218 Yurav Premlall 82 66 70
219 Pieter Zietsman 78 65 76; Shaun Jones 76 69 74; Deon Germishuys 71 72 76
220 Oliver Goldhill 74 75 71; Keegan Mclachlan 73 73 74
221 Jordan Burnand 77 70 74; Ian Botha 76 72 73
Dimension Data Junior Open Under-15 Challenge Result (Top 20)
213 Nash de Klerk 70 73 70
218 Jordan Duminy 72 73 73
222 Rorisang Nkosi 71 76 75
226 Christiaan Maas 72 83 71
227 Amilkar Bhana 72 78 77
228 Brandon Weir 76 75 77
229 Matthew Dennis 68 81 80
230 Malan Potgieter 73 84 73
231 Murray Boast 76 76 79
233 Jaco Anderson 80 80 73
235 Herman du Plessis 74 84 77
236 Du Toit Fourie 79 79 78
237 Hezron Frieslaar 77 78 82
238 Awethu Mkhwanazi 79 79 80; Dylan Melville 76 82 80
240 C.J van Wyk 84 78 78
241 John-William Blomerus 80 82 79; Zander Lombard 79 83 79; Hannes Strooh 73 86 82
242 Ulrich Steinhobel 77 93 72