CAPE TOWN, 17 June 2020 – Operational savings from its 2020 National Squad budget have paved the way for GolfRSA to add a further R500 000 to its ambitious #GolfRSAHelpFund, which provides assistance to caddies and casual workers that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis.
In April, the organisation set aside R1 million from savings on operational expenses and voluntary staff salary cuts to launch a programme that would identify and reach golf industry workers who have been severely affected by the temporary closure of golf facilities during the government lockdown.
With the full initial sum having been realised over the last six weeks, GolfRSA has explored other avenues for funding sources to sustain the project, including an online auction through Strauss & Co, a raffle site on iTickets SA and savings from the National Squad budget.
“We are extremely proud to have been able to contribute to so many of the most vulnerable members of our golf industry and assist them in a small way,” explained GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn. “However, we recognise the urgency of continuing this programme as our caddies and casual workers continue to feel the effects of the lockdown.
“The lockdown has unfortunately limited the opportunities available to our National Squad players, such as group training camps, tournaments and the annual UK Tour,” explained GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn. “However, there is a silver lining in that we were able to find an extra R500 000 in the budget to put towards our Help Fund.”
The GolfRSA Men’s and Women’s National Squads were launched in 2016 through funding from businessman Johann Rupert and provide a valuable platform for talented golfers to further develop their skills and showcase themselves through competition, locally and on the world stage.
Contributions totalling R15 million from Mr Rupert have played a major part in the success story of the National Squad.
Members who have achieved significant international success include Rebula’s triumph in The Amateur in 2018 and Martin Vorster’s hat-trick in the Junior Open, East Of Ireland Championship and Italian U16 Championship, as well as Christo Lamprecht (East of Ireland Championship), Jayden Schaper (Junior Players Championship), Amilkar Bhana (Italian U16 Championship), Wilco Nienaber (The Amateur Strokeplay Qualifier), Kyle McClatchie (Brabazon Trophy and the Argentine Amateur Qualifier), Tyran Snyders (Junior North & South Championship) and Deon Germishuys, who won on the Tarheel Junior Tour in the USA.
Vorster, Lamprecht, Samuel Simpson and Casey Jarvis also won the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in 2019 with a record-setting tournament total of 41 under par, while Simpson secured the Individual title with a four-shot victory on 18-under 266.
Four members of the National Squad – Schaper, Lamprecht, Luca Filippi and Garrick Higgo – qualified on their world amateur golf rankings to represent the International Team in the 2017 Junior President Cup. In the 2019 edition, Lamprecht and Schaper made a second appearance on the International Team alongside Vorster, Simpson and reigning Nomads SA Boys U-17 champion Jordan Duminy.
“We are very grateful to Mr Rupert for his continued support and we are delighted that we are able to redirect some of this funding to a worthy cause,” said Hepburn.
GolfRSA has announced its National Squad for 2020 with a clear emphasis on youth.
“Towards the end of last year and following the Sunshine Tour’s Qualifying School in March, we saw a number of our senior squad members graduate to the professional ranks and we wish them all the best in their careers,” said Hepburn.
“This has opened up spaces within the squad and, following what is a natural ebb and flow, this year’s Class of 2020 is a very young, but very exciting one.
“We are extremely fortunate that, because of the groundwork put in by the clubs, unions, coaches and academies, we continue to see so many highly talented young golfers come through the system.
With the group of 27 promising golfers averaging just 16 years of age, the most experienced player within the squad is Jovan Rebula, who is based at Auburn University in the USA.”
Rebula, along with Central Gauteng’s Cole Stevens, has been part of the National Squad since its inception in 2016.
Under normal circumstances, National squad members benefit from funding, advice, training camps, dietary, fitness and psychological support and, ultimately, playing opportunities at home and abroad.
“Unfortunately the international pandemic has adversely affected the playing opportunities for this year’s squad, including the cancellation of the UK Tour, but we felt it was important to acknowledge the recent performances of the players who have qualified for the squad, particularly the nine new members,” said Hepburn.
“However, we will continue to work with the players to ensure they remain sharp, both physically and mentally, during the lockdown period. The Squad members will take part in numerous online conference calls and, together their support teams, we will set individual conditioning programmes for the players.”
The 10 new additions to the Squad include Werner Deyzel, who represented South Africa in the 2018 Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, 2019 Nomads SA Under-15 champion Rorisang Nkosi, 15-year-olds Jaden Deltel and 15-year-old Jordan Wessels (the respective winners of the Sun City Under-15 Challenge in 2018 and 2019), 15-year-old Dylan Melville and 14-year-old Fabrizio de Abreu, the 2018 Sun City U-13 Challenge champion, Filip Sakota (14), Marno Lange (13) and 11-year-old rising star Zinan Maimane. The final new cap is Ryan van Velzen (18), who turned heads with an excellent performance in this year’s African Amateur Championship.
2020 GolfRSA NATIONAL SQUAD (* indicates new members)
Amilkar Bhana (15 / Central Gauteng / Country Club Johannesburg)
Carl Mwale (18 / Central Gauteng / Eagle Canyon Golf Estate)
Casey Jarvis (16 / Ekurhuleni / State Mines Country Club)
Christiaan Burke (19 / North West / Potchefstroom Country Club)
Christiaan Maas (16 / Gauteng North / Pretoria Country Club)
Christo Lamprecht (19 / Southern Cape / Pinnacle Point Golf Club)
Cole Stevens (18 / Central Gauteng / Parkview Golf Club
*Dylan Melville (15 / Southern Cape / Oubaai Golf Club)
*Fabrizio de Abreu (14 / Gauteng North / Woodhill Country Club)
*Filip Sakota (15 / Ekurhuleni / ERPM Golf Club)
*Jaden Deltel (15 / Central Gauteng / Bryanston Country Club)
Jordan Duminy (17 / Southern Cape / Pinnacle Point Golf Club)
*Jordan Wessels (15 / North West / Mooinooi Golf Club)
Jovan Rebula (22 / Southern Cape / George Golf Club)
Kian Rose (18 / Central Gauteng / Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club)
Kieron van Wyk (18 / Central Gauteng / Ruimsig Country Club)
Kyle de Beer (21 / Eastern Province / Port Elizabeth Golf Club)
*Marno Lange (13 / Ekurhuleni / Serengeti Estates)
Martin Vorster (18 / Southern Cape / Pinnacle Point Golf Club)
Nash de Klerk (16 / North West / Pecanwood Golf & Country Club)
*Rorisang Nkosi (15 / North West / Pecanwood Golf & Country Club)
*Ryan van Velzen (18 / Ekurhuleni / Benoni Country Club)
Samuel Simpson (17 / Western Province / Bellville Golf Club)
Tyran Snyders (18 / Western Province / Durbanville Golf Club)
Yurav Premlall (16 / Ekurhuleni / Glendower Golf Club)
*Werner Deyzel (20 / Gauteng North / Woodhill Country Club)
*Zinan Maimane (11 / Gauteng North / Silver Lakes Country Club)
Womens Golf South Africa also welcomed a number of new caps from the country’s promising amateur pool into their three-tiered GolfRSA National Squad structure for the 2020 season announced earlier this year, including Stephanie Barbaglia to the B-Squad and Chloe Malgas-Kelpin, Ellandri van Heerden, Kaylan Boshof, Kesha Louw and Lucia Mhlabane, who joined the Talent Identification (TID) Squad.
Caitlyn Macnab (Serengeti Estates / Ekurhuleni)
Kaylah Williams (Durbanville Golf Club / Western Province)
Kiera Floyd (Ebotse Golf Club / Ekurhuleni)
Kaiyuree Moodley (Bryanston Country Club / Gauteng)
Meghan Streicher (Swellendam Golf Club / Boland)
Kajal Mistry (Randpark Golf Club / Gauteng)
Kaleigh Telfer (Bryanston / Gauteng)
Symone Henriques (Glenvista Country Club / Gauteng)
Kera Healey (Eagle Canyon Golf Estate / Gauteng)
Kyra van Kan (Glendower Golf Club / Ekurhuleni)
Ineke Brynard (De Zalze Golf Club / Boland)
Samantha Whateley (Country Club Johannesburg / Gauteng)
Stephanie Barbaglia (Bryanston Country Club / Gauteng)
TALENT IDENTIFICATION SQUAD
Anika Smit (Vryheid Golf Club / KwaZulu-Natal)
Chloe Malgas-Kelpin (George Golf Club / Southern Cape)
Ellandri van Heerden (Bloemfontein Golf Club / Free State)
Kaylan Boshof (Ebotse Golf Club / Ekurhuleni)
Kesha Louw (East London Golf Club / Border)
Lucia Mhlabane (Malelane Golf Club / Mpumalanga)
Tebogo Lififi (Wanderers Golf Club / Gauteng)
Written and released on behalf of GolfRSA.