Better late than never for Steyn

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Pretoria golfer Marco Steyn delayed his entry into the Gauteng leg of the Glacier Junior Series until the third-last tournament but made a winning start as he claimed the Selwyn Nathan Tournament title in a playoff at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.

Steyn, who plays off a +3, shot an impressive 68 on the tough East Course, but that was matched by Keegan McLachlan, a 16-year-old from Silver Lakes Country Club, and the pair had to head off back down the par-four 10th hole in a playoff.

The first playoff hole was shared as both golfers sunk clutch putts for par, Steyn showing his mettle after his tee-shot went right of the fairway under some trees, managing to put his second just short of the green with a wonderful approach shot.

Plus-one handicapper McLachlan’s brave effort ended at the second playoff hole when he three-putted, having chipped to 35 feet after his approach went left of the 18th green.

Steyn said he didn’t think a par was going to be enough for victory considering how well McLachlan had played the first hole, but he paid credit to his rival, saying he expected to see him qualify for the Glacier Junior Series final from the remaining Gauteng events at the Ebotse Links and Zwartkop Country Club.

The 17-year-old Steyn, who plays out of Modderfontein Golf Club and is part of the TuksSport academy, has played in the previous two Glacier Junior Series finals presented by Sanlam, and he said he was delighted to qualify again because he feels he has unfinished business at the finale of the countrywide series of 25 one-day regional junior events, each one sponsored and named after a professional golfer or golf administrator.

“It’s my third time in the finals and I’m very happy because this is the first Glacier Junior Series event I’ve played this year and I won it. I’ve been busy with all the other tournaments TuksSport plays in, which left me with not many tournaments left in the Glacier Junior Series.

“The first time I went to the finals, I was leading with nine holes to play but ended third, and then last year I finished sixth, so I have unfinished business there,” Steyn said.

Former professional Nathan, an ardent supporter of junior golf whose involvement in the game goes back to 1970, said the great feature of the Glacier Junior Series was that “you see so many age-groups and girls all competing together” and a 12-year-old was able to steal some of the limelight on Sunday.

Herman du Plessis, a scholar at Fairland Primary School and a member at Eagle Canyon, managed to ace the 12th hole with a five-iron, the hole-in-one helping him to victory in the B Division.

“It just bounced and rolled in! Hopefully it’s the first of many,” Du Plessis said.

 

 

 

 

 

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