Young golfer dreams of SA junior squad

2015-08-23 15:13
Sentanio Minnie (17) won the Africa Junior Open last week. Picture: Catherine Kotze /SASPA

Fresh from his Africa Junior Open victory, promising amateur golfer Sentanio Minnie has set himself the goal of winning another big event – the Joburg Junior Open. 

The tournament takes place at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from December 10-11. 

The 17-year-old from Oakdene, Johannesburg, put up a sterling showing on his way to lifting the inaugural Africa Junior Open title at the Fish River Sun Country Club in Port Alfred, Eastern Cape, last Sunday. 

Minnie held off a spirited challenge from Gauteng North’s Dylan Mostert to claim his first national title with an eight-stroke victory. He closed with an overall score of 73 to triumph with a four-over-par score of 220. 

A matric student at TuksSport Golf Academy at the University of Pretoria’s high-performance centre, Minnie said he was looking forward to making a mark by winning back-to-back titles. 

“Winning the Africa Junior Open has given me the urge to go for the next big one, which is the Joburg Junior Open,” said Minnie. 

“I’m working hard to keep myself in shape for that particular tournament. I hope to prevail by taking home another trophy come the end of the event,” said Minnie. 

He said the Joburg Junior Open would be more competitive, as it was the last event of the season and juniors throughout the country would pit their skills against one another. 

“We’ll compete for points rankings. The top-ranked players will be chosen to represent the country in international events next year.” 

He said he was also hoping to carry his confidence on the fairways into the premier SA Inter-Provincial Tournament, at his home club, the Glendower Country Club, Ekurhuleni, next month. 

Minnie’s victory last Sunday moved him to ninth in the SA Amateur Golf Association (Saga) rankings. 

The number one spot is currently held by his schoolmate Dylan Naidoo. 

“I want to work very hard and be in the top four. That means winning more events,” he said. 

Minnie said everything had worked according to plan to make last week’s victory a reality. 

The juniors’ performances this season are under a magnifying glass, as Saga will be choosing the first national squad in the next few months to benefit from a R10 million sponsorship from businessman Johann Rupert. 

The national squad will receive specialist coaching, fitness training and sports psychology intervention, and will compete internationally. 

It is Minnie’s dream to make the national junior squad.

Read more on:    golf

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