“This year marks the first occasion that Golf RSA will field both a boys and girls team in the world’s premier junior golf international team championship,” said WGSA president Karen Olivant.
“It also marks the first time that Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) and the South African Golf Association (SAGA) have travelled together to an event. This follows closely on our recent merge as Golf RSA, so it is truly a historic week for South African golf.
“We are really pleased to see our top ranked juniors compete in this world-class event and excited to see how they measure up against a top international field.”
WGSA’s number one ranked Ivanna Samu will lead the girls’ team and the reigning Sanlam SA Amateur and Stroke Play champion will be joined by fellow Gauteng players Kaleigh Telfer and Natasha Carlsson, respectively ranked second and fourth.
SAGA’s top ranked Dylan Naidoo will spearhead the four-man side in the Boys Competition.
The 2014 Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play winner will line up alongside fellow Central Gauteng junior Marco Steyn, Gauteng North’s Keegan de Lange and Herman Loubser from Boland.
The quartet secured their spot in the esteemed field by way of claiming South Africa’s 17th consecutive victory in the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in April. The team hope to follow in the footsteps of Open Championship winner Louis Oosthuizen and Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel, who helped South Africa to its only victory in this championship in 2001.
Meanwhile Jack Allard, David Amm, Justin Kersten and Kiren Vincent will fly the flag for silver medallists Zimbabwe.
SAGA president Gerhard Conradie, who was instrumental in the inclusion of the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship runners-up and the South African girls’ team in the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, is pleased to see three African teams competing in Japan.
“International competition is paramount to the development of our juniors,” Conradie said.
“This is the only junior golf championship of its kind where so many top international teams compete at the highest level and it is really pleasing to our teams and Zimbabwe line up in an event of this stature.
“We are extremely thankful to the organisers for affording all 11 juniors this unique opportunity.”
TuksSport Golf Club and Academies head coach Llewellyn van Leeuwen is looking after both teams in Japan and said the players are geared for the challenge ahead.
“All the players enjoyed their first look at the Ishino Course in the pre-event pro-am on Sunday and will have another practice round today,” Van Leeuwen said.
“They played with sponsors and dignitaries in the pro-am on Sunday and we were impressed by their professionalism. It’s also great to see the camaraderie between the boys and girls. All the players are in good form and I am looking forward to the final nine holes on Friday.”
The format for the Boys Competition will be four rounds of stroke play with three scores to count.
South Africa and Zimbabwe represent Africa, while the European teams include Sweden, Italy, Scotland and Norway, who will mount their title defence in after securing their third victory in the championship with an impressive final round comeback last year.
The rest of the line-up include Asia’s Japan, China and Korea, South America’s Brazil, Chile, Mexico, as well as seven-time champions United States, Canada and New Zealand.
Japan claimed a four-stroke victory in the inaugural Girls Competition, however, this year the field has increased from five to eight teams.
The host nation will launch their title defence against South Africa, Columbia, France, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand and the United States.
Since the teams consist of three players each, the format will also be four rounds of stroke play, but only two scores count.
The 23rd Toyota Junior Golf World Cup, supported by JAL, tees off from 16-19 June.