CAPE TOWN, 14 July 2023 – GolfRSA is delighted to announce the three amateurs who will represent South Africa in the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi in October.
The South African team will feature reigning Amateur champion Christo Lamprecht, 2022 English Men’s Stroke Play champion Christiaan Maas and GolfRSA No 1 Altin van der Merwe.
South African Golf Association President Henk Smith will serve as captain and the team will also be accompanied by GolfRSA Manager: Governance, Rules and Education Neil Homann.
The 33rd men’s championship for the Eisenhower Trophy will be hosted by The Emirates Golf Federation (EGF) and Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC) at the National Course at the Abu Dhabi Golf Club from 18-21 October.
Lamprecht made international headlines in June when he became the third South African in six years – and the third successive GolfRSA National Squad player after Jovan Rebula in 2018 and Aldrich Potgieter in 2022 – to lift one of amateur golf’s most prestigious titles. He defeated Switzerland’s Ronan Kleu 3 & 2 in the 36-hole final to triumph at Hillside Golf Club in England.
The rising Georgia Tech senior rose to third in the Official World Amateur Golf Rankings after the victory in England, the highest position a South African has held in more than 15 years.
Before The Amateur, Lamprecht excelled on the US collegiate circuit.
The First-Team All American reeled in eight top-10s and finished the 2022-2023 season ranked seventh in the NCAA Men’s Division 1 standings.
Maas, in turn, finished in 22nd place after a breakout freshman season with the University of Texas.
Having registered five top-10s and 10 top-20 individual finishes, the 19-year-old Pretoria golfer earned a career-first All-American honour from the Golf Coaches Association of America, who named him to the 2023 Division I PING All-America Teams and the 2023 Ben Hogan Award watch list.
He was also named by the Haskins Foundation to the Fred Haskins Award watch list and, at the end of his first season with the Longhorns, the 2021 SA Amateur champion earned the Big 12 Conference Men’s Golf Newcomer of the Year award and earned a spot on the All-Big 12 Team.
Lamprecht and Maas also made the International Team at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup, based on their first and second place rankings in the International Team standings.
Lamprecht and Maas will be making a return trip to the World Amateur Team Championships, having competed in the 32nd edition in France alongside Potgieter, while it will be a first-time appearance for Van der Merwe, who shot to No 1 in the GolfRSA Open Amateur rankings after a standout season on home soil.
The 26-year-old converted five top-10s and three runner-up finishes with back-to-back victories in the Western Province Amateur and Boland Amateur Stroke Play Championships.
After captaining South Africa to victory in the Africa Region 5 Tournament in Malawi, he took his hot run of form on the recent GolfRSA National Squad Tour to the United Kingdom, where he finished second in the Scottish Men’s Open Championship, 10th in the Brabazon Trophy and joint 12th in the St Andrews Links Trophy. The Western Province golfer also reached the third round in The Amateur.
“We are excited to take these three exceptional rising stars to Abu Dhabi,” Smith said.
“Christo, Christiaan and Altin are superbly talented, and all have a winning mindset, which will serve them well going up against the world’s very best golfers. They have worked exceptionally hard and have produced the results to earn the honour of representing South Africa. We believe they will do South Africa proud.”
GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn congratulated the selectors on naming a powerful team who can put up a compelling performance and challenge for the ultimate prize in amateur golf.
“The World Amateur Team Championships are played at the highest level of competition, and I have no doubt that Christo, Christiaan and Altin will rise to the challenge. All three players have enjoyed strong performances and excellent results this year. We are very proud of their achievements, and we wish them well as they fly the flag for South Africa in Abu Dhabi.”
South Africa’s best performance in the Eisenhower Trophy was a runner-up finish in the 1980 edition by Etienne Groenewald, Duncan Lindsay-Smith, Wayne Player and David Suddards at Pinehurst.
The World Amateur Team Championships are conducted by the International Golf Federation (IGF), who also conducts the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games.
The South African team to represent South Africa in the 30th women’s championship for the Espirito Santo Trophy, which will be held from 25-28 October at the same venue, will be announced in due course.