RUSTENBURG, 12 July 2017 – Jayden Schaper firmed up his bid for an unprecedented Nomads SA Boys Grand Slam when he forced his way to the front in the second round of the Nomads SA Boys Under-17 Championship in Rustenburg on Wednesday.
Coming off his second Sunshine Tour Junior Series win at the Dimension Data Junior Open last Friday, the 16-year-old Benoni golfer followed an opening 69 at Rustenburg Golf Club with a five-under-par 67 to move into pole position on eight under 136.
Schaper leads by two shots from Martin Vorster from Southern Cape and is four strokes clear of Central Gauteng junior Carl Mwale.
Fellow Ekurhuleni golfer Yurav Premlall is five off the pace and overnight leader Ayden Senger finished in fifth at two under.
Vorster from the Louis Oosthuizen Junior Academy in Mossel Bay and Mwale from the South African Golf Development Board both carded 69s, while Premlall from Glendower returned a 71 and Senger from Durbanville Golf Club posted a 74.
Schaper began the second round one shot shy of Senger and tied for second with Vorster, Angus Klintworth and Casey Jarvis.
He edged into the lead when he eagled the par five fourth and kept in front with a birdie at the par-five sixth, but reigning Nomads SA Boys Under-15 champion Vorster racked up birdies at five, sixth and eight to grab a share of the lead.
Vorster handed the advantage to Schaper with a bogey at nine, but Schaper responded with a drop at 11 and the pair stayed neck-in-neck with a pair of gains at 12 and pars at 13 and 14. Schaper answered a bogey from Vorster at 15 with a birdie at 16 for a two shot swing and he protected his cushion when he matched Vorster’s birdie at 18.
Schaper, who is mentored by Sunshine Tour professional turned coach Grant Veenstra, is the only junior to have won three Nomads SA Boys titles since the introduction of the Under-13, Under-15 and Under-17 championships some 10 years ago.
He lifted the Under-15 title in 2012 at the age of 11, was 14 when he won the Under-17 championship in 2016 and sealed his hat-trick with victory in the Nomads SA Boys Under-19 Stroke Play in April at Langebaan Country Club.
Just two days later, the Benoni teenager added his name to an exclusive list of double winners – including European Tour champions Richard Sterne and Dylan Frittelli and Zander Gous – when he won the Nomads SA Boys Under-19 Match Play title, as well.
Making history is becoming a habit for Schaper and if he goes all the way on Thursday, he will become the first junior to win the Nomads SA Boys Grand Slam. But whether Vorster will let Schaper cross the finish line first, remains to be seen.
Second Round Scores (Top 20)
136 Jayden Schaper 69 67
138 Martin Vorster 69 69
140 Carl Mwale 71 69
141 Yurav Premlall 70 71
142 Ayden Senger 68 74
143 Barend Botha 73 70
144 Kieron van Wyk 73 71; Nash de Klerk 73 71; Ben van Wyk 72 72; Reece Coleman 70 74; Casey Jarvis 69 75
145 Kian Rose 72 73
146 Cole Stevens 73 73
147 Christiaan Maas 73 74; Connor Williamson 73 74; Keyan Loubser 72 75; Alexander Pienaar 70 77
148 Jordan Duminy 75 73; Drikus Joubert 74 74; Ryan van Velzen 74 74; Luhan Bester 74 74; Romain Legentil 74 74; Christiaan Burke 72 76