Johannesburg - The next two weeks in South
African golf will be a showcase of the young stars in the professional and
amateur ranks as two of the country’s biggest tournaments in both play out
The €1.3-million Joburg Open, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Tour
and European Tour and to be played at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf
Club from Thursday, will be followed by the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship at
Silver Lakes Country Club in Pretoria.
In fact, on the Sunday that the new Joburg Open champion is
crowned, the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship will tee off with its qualifying
Should a South African win the Joburg Open, as has been the case
over the past five years, these two weeks would be the perfect transition from
one generation of this country’s golfers to the next.
And some of the top amateurs competing the following week will
also be in the Joburg Open field. South Africa’s top-ranked amateur Tristen
Strydom is one of them, as is countryman Dylan Naidoo.
As Selwyn Nathan, the Executive Director of the Sunshine Tour,
explains, this is another example of the solid structures that make South
African golf so successful.
“The foundation of our success is about our structures. Our
structures provide the opportunity for our golfers to move from one level to
the next. The minute your foundation is right you have a good recipe.”
South Africa’s George Coetzee is back to defend his Joburg Open
title in a field highlighted by the presence of new European Ryder Cup captain
Darren Clarke. Richard Sterne is also back and attempting to become the first
three-time winner of the Joburg Open following his triumphs in 2008 and 2013.
On the amateur front, Strydom heads into both tournaments having
just represented South Africa in a test against Scotland at Leopard Creek,
which the South Africans lost 15 ½ - 8 ½.
Last October he ended his junior career with a victory in the
National Final of the Glacier Junior Series.