Teen star Loubser wins KZN Amateur 

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PHOTO: Catherine Kotze

PAR-BUSTING Boland junior Herman Loubser won the KwaZulu-Natal Amateur Championship at Selborne Country Club, the 16-year-old Theewaterskloof golfer underlining his growing status as one of the South Africa’s rising stars when he eliminated Albert Venter 4 & 2 in the 36-hole final.

Loubser started the 36-hole stroke play qualifier sponsored by the eLan Property Group on the back of a joint runner-up finish in the Southern Cape Open and secured his spot in the match play championship with a joint 13th finish.

The reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion dispatched local favourite Siyanda Mwandla 2 & 1 in round one, defeated Central Gauteng’s Tyrone Gibb 1 up in round two, knocked out Andrew van der Knaap 3 & 2 in the quarter-final and downed Central Gauteng’s Andi Dill 2-up to reach the semi-final against Venter.

Venter’s casualties included Gavin Sole from KwaZulu-Natal (2 & 1), David McIntyre from Central Gauteng (2 & 1), fellow Gauteng North golfer Reinhardt Blaauw (3 & 2) and Southern Cape Open champion Carlo O’Reilly (2 & 1).

“Albert claimed a huge scalp when he beat Gavin in the first round and he defeated some other to players on the way to the final, so I knew I was in for a tough match,” Loubser said.

The lead changed hands three times over the first 17 holes, but Venter took command with a birdie at 18 to turn 1-up.

However, Loubser squared the match with a birdie at the 20th and drained an eight-footer for eagle at the par-five third to edge into the lead.

“Albert hit into the hazard off the tee at the 24th hole and took a double bogey and I made par to lead 2-up, but then he birdied the 30th hole to cut my lead to 1-up,” Loubser explained.

“I nailed two 15-footers for birdies at 31 and 32 to lead 3-up and the match wrapped up at the 34th hole when Albert drove out of bounds. It was a great battle of wills and I really enjoyed playing him in the final.”

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