Three of the country’s top amateurs will debut for South Africa when the SA team take up their title defence at the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships at Windhoek Golf and Country Club from 22-26 April.
The new caps include reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion Thriston Lawrence from Nelspruit, SA Amateur finalist Andrew Light from George and Eddie Taylor from Harrismith, who plays out of Country Club Johannesburg.
Lawrence, Light and Taylor are ranked fourth, seventh and ninth on the South African Golf Association’s current rankings.
The threesome will line up alongside the country’s No 2 Zander Lombard, Louis Taylor, ranked third, as well as Gerlou Roux, Werner Ferreira and Tertius van den Berg, ranked sixth, eighth and 12th respectively.
Lombard is the only member from the team that secured South Africa’s 12th victory in Malawi last year, while Louis Taylor, Roux, Ferreira and Van den Bergh earned their national colours in the recent Leopard Trophy.
“The players earned their places in the side based on merit, but their performances so far this season support their selection,” said SAGA president Andre Pieterse.
“We are excited to field a young team in our title defence at this year’s championship. We are delighted to give these players the opportunity to gain some valuable international experience and we are confident that we are sending a strong team to Namibia.”
Vice-president Gerhard Conradie will manage the team, while Llewellyn van Leeuwen, who guided the SA team to their third victory against the Scots at Leopard Creek, will also accompany the team as coach and captain.
Pieterse explained that the team will also tee it up in the Bank Windhoek Namibian Amateur, which will precede the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships at the same venue from 20-21 April.
“The team will use this curtain-raiser as a warm-up for the team competition,” Pieterse said. “It will also give Llewellyn the ideal opportunity to study their form and to plan out the best strategy and combinations for the side for the Zone VI.
“South Africa has won the Africa Zone VI Golf Championships a record 12 times since it launched in 2000 and the side will be determined to keep our proud history in this event alive. They are a young side, but a group of gritty fighters and they are hungry to win.”
The Africa Zone VI Golf Championship attracts countries mainly from East and Southern Africa.
In addition to the hosts and the defending champions, the other teams expected at to contend include Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique and Rwanda.
The first reserve is Callum Mowat, another member of the victorious SA side at Leopard Creek, while Teagan Gauche was named second reserve.