Theunis Bezuidenhout wins Glacier junior golf event

 Theunis Bezuidenhout will be joining the passport queue at Home Affairs on Monday morning after booking his spot at the Orange Bowl Invitational in Miami with a win at the Glacier by Sanlam Junior Series national final at St Francis Links today, 27 September.

The 18-year-old battled the wind and rain to card a third round 84, which gave him a one-shot lead with 233, to take the title ahead of Altin van der Merwe and Tristen Strydom.

Glacier Junior Series winner Theunis Bezuidenhout with CEO of Glacier by Sanlam, Anton Raath.

Glacier Junior Series winner Theunis Bezuidenhout with CEO of Glacier by Sanlam, Anton Raath.

“The wind was really blowing – they said at 80 km an hour at one point and sometimes the rain fell very hard and then it stopped again so the conditions were very tough,” said Bezuidenhout.

“I forgot all my rain gear at home so I was sopping wet but it was good fun and a big challenge.

“Some holes you have to play for drops and you have to know when to go for it and when to stay and somehow I just managed to do enough to win – but only just. It feels really good. I practised very hard so it’s nice to know the practising has paid off.

“I’m very excited and really looking forward to it. I’ve never been overseas before so it will be fun.”

Meanwhile, making his way up the table from joint ninth overnight to second was Belville’s Altin van der Merwe who played the best round of the day of 78 to finish on 234, and claim second spot ahead of Tristen Strydom on count out.

Van der Merwe admitted his experience playing in Cape conditions made the difference for him. “At Belville we get a lot of wind and at Kuilsriver too so I’m used to playing in it but it caught me at the end a bit,” said the 16-year-old.

As for his impressive climb up the table, Van der Merwe added: “I knew it was a links course and anything can happen on a links course. If you play with the wind, you can do anything. It could be a 10 shot, 20 shot swing. So I just thought, give it a go and you can get there.

“For sure, this is the toughest course I’ve ever played in my life. It’s been a great experience,” he added of the Glacier Junior Series.

Commenting on the  the golfing event Jeff Clause, CEO of St Francis Links, says each of the junior golfers playing at the Links over the two days are champions in their own right. They behaved and played like professional golfers.”

The nationwide series, which teed off in April, travelled around South Africa to some of the leading golf courses for 25 tournaments that have identified the best junior golfers in each province.

Each tournament was sponsored by a leading golfer – such as Ernie Els, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and others – and a golf industry official or benefactor.

The winners of each event qualified for this week’s National Final at St Francis Links.

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