Golf RSA, the governing body for amateur golf in South Africa, has announced a national squad of 34 players for 2016.
The squad will be made up of some of the country’s most talented young amateurs and will feature players from the top of the open amateur and junior amateur rankings, plus a good mix of promising youngsters who have the potential to become great players.
South Africa’s top ranked amateur Tristen Strydom spearheads the group of Open Amateurs, while the country’s number one ranked junior Ross Sinclair leads the way in the U-19 section.
South African Golf Development Board member Banele Mavusa from Mpumalanga and Wilco Niebaber from Free State, who shared the Most Valuable Player honours in the B-Section at the recent South African Under-19 Inter-Provincial, are also among the 2016 inductees.
Funded by businessman Johann Rupert, one of the main objectives of the national squad is to ensure that should players opt to turn professional, they are well prepared for the rigours of the paid ranks.
‘We believe that by enhancing the players’ amateur experiences and opportunities, we can produce stronger national teams and provide individuals with the best preparation for life as golf professionals,’ explained Golf RSA CEO Grant Hepburn.
‘That’s where the national aquad comes in. Thanks to the generosity of Mr Rupert, we are able to provide funding, support, advice, training camps and, ultimately, playing opportunities for the best of South Africa’s young golfing talent.
‘Womens Golf South Africa are nominating their own national squad early next year. The squad will receive funding from Golf RSA and their Elite Squad players will be invited to attend our national squad camps.’
The national squad will provide a valuable platform for talented golfers to further develop their skills and showcase themselves through competition, locally and on the world stage.
Players on the fringe of selection to the national squad will also benefit from squad funding via their provincial unions, and will be closely monitored. These players will have a chance to play their way into the squad through good performances.
Albert Venter, Andre Nel, Anuerin Gounden, Aubrey Beckley, Darin de Smidt, David Meyers, Dylan Naidoo, Dylon Jacobs, Hayden Garcia, Jade Buitendag, James du Preez, Jason Smith, Jovan Rebula, Kyle McLatchie, Luke Trocado, Matt Saulez, Sentanio Minnie, Steven le Roux, Tristen Strydom
Banele Mavuso, Cole Stevens, Dylan Mostert, Franklin Manchest, Herman Loubser, Jordan Duminy, Karabo Mokoena, Keegan Mclachlan, Keelan van Wyk, Luca Filippi, Luke Mayo, Marco Steyn, Martin Vorster, Ross Sinclair, Wilco Nienaber
Picture of number one ranked junior Ross Sinclair courtesy of Catherine Kotze/SASPA