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SA youngsters pull team back to top 10 in Japan

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A stupendous effort from Jovan Rebula and wingmen, Kyle McClatchie and Altin van der Merwe have lifted South Africa to a top 10 finish in the final round of the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.

The South African team included McClatchie and Hennie du Plessis who were both part of Team South Africa at the recent 2nd African Youth Games in Botswana. The SA side posted a solid opening 208 to tie for fifth, but subsequent rounds of 215 and 218 saw the junior foursome slip to 12th in the 15-nation field in Aichi-Prefecture, Japan.

Deflated, but not defeated, the local heroes rallied with a solid final round five-under-par 208 to seal a top 10 finish at three-under-par 849.

Southern Cape’s Rebula scorched the par-71 layout at Tokyo’s Chukyo Country Club in 66 strokes to boost the team’s momentum, while McClathie from Ekurhuleni went around in two under 69 and Western Province’s Van der Merwe added a 73.

Hennie du Plessis from Limpopo, the team’s top scorer in the first round, carded a non-counting 74.

ÔÇ£This was a great final round showing from all the boys and I am really proud of the way they rose to the challenge,ÔÇØ said South African Golf Association vice-president, Gerhard Conradie.

ÔÇ£The weather turned nasty after nine holes, but they all dug deep on the back nine to ensure a top 10 finish for South Africa. This week has been a superb learning curve for these future champions and I am sure they will have taken a lot on board in this world class championship.ÔÇØ

Rebula’s momentous effort also lifted the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member to 10th in the individual competition standings. The George teenager shared 10th spot on five-under-par 279 with Australia’s Zach Murray after rounds of 72, 71, 70 and 66.

Norway blitzed the course in seven-under-par 206 to win the prestigious team championship.

The Norwegian team finished the tournament at 21-under-par 831, four strokes clear of joint runners-up, Venezuela and the United States.

Zimbabwe made their debut in the top international event, courtesy of their runner-up finish behind South Africa at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in Zambia in May. Stuart Krog, Justin Kersten, Kieron Vincent and Mbongeni Mpahosa carded rounds of 224, 221 and 226 and closed with a great 214 to finish on 33-over-par 885.

An impressive final round 67 from Krog lifted the number one junior to a tie for 26th on two over 286 in the individual standings.

Meanwhile, Jorge Garcia dipped below par in all four rounds. His combination of 64, 68, 64 and 67 handed the Venezuelan golfer an eight stroke victory on 21-under-par 263 for his second successive victory in the Individual Competition. Australia’s Brett Coletta finished second, while Joaquin Niemann from Chile took third on 11 under.

In the Girls’ Division, Japan held off a late charge from Korea to win the Girls Team Competition. The Japanese team carded a final round two over 146 to finish the tournament at even par.

Korea’s Kim Sojung fired a final round four-under-par 68 to win the Individual Competition on three under 285 by one shot from Sweden’s Linnea Strom.

FINAL SCORES
831 (-21) Norway 213 209 203 206
835 (-17) United States 205 210 209 211; Venezuela 205 214 202 214
836 (-16) Australia 210 211 207 208
837 (-15) Italy 209 208 211 209
841 (-11) Chile 204 214 217 206
843 (-9) Canada 211 213 209 210
845 (-7) Mexico 208 219 205 213
848 (-4) Japan 207 213 219 209
849 (-3) South Africa 208 215 218 208
851 (-1) France 211 211 209 220
854 (+2) Korea 215 212 213 214
856 (+2) Thailand 213 216 220 207
866 (+14) Argentina 218 217 215 216
885 (+33) Zimbabwe 224 221 226 214

FINAL BOYS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top 10)
263 (-21) Jorge Garcia VEN Venezuela 64 68 64 67
271 (-13) Brett Coletta AUS Australia 68 69 67 67
273 (-11) Joaquin Niemann CHL Chile 65 69 71 68
274 (-10) Cameron Young USA United States 65 67 72 70
275 (-9) Guido Migliozzi ITA Italy 66 70 71 68
276 (-8) Alvaro Ortiz MEX Mexico 71 68 68 69
276 Andreas Halvorsen NOR Norway 71 66 73 66
277 (-7) Renato Paratore ITA Italy 72 67 68 70
278 (-6) Aaron Terrazas MEX Mexico 67 72 69 70
279 (-5) Jovan Rebula RSA South Africa 72 71 70 66
279 (-5) Zach Murray AUS Australia 70 69 70 70
Other South African scores
T33 – 287 (+3) Hennie du Plessis 67 75 71 74
T47 – 293 (+9) Altin van der Merwe 69 74 77 73
51 – 296 (+12) Kyle McClatchie 79 70 78 69

FINAL GIRLS TEAM STANDINGS
576 (lvl) Japan 142 146 142 146
580 (+4) Korea 145 150 145 140
585 (+9) Sweden 143 146 148 148
586 (+10) United States 139 152 144 151
594 (+18) Colombia 148 149 151 146

FINAL GIRLS INDIVIDUAL STANDINGS (top three)
285 (-3) Kim Sojung Korea 69 76 72 68
286 (-2) Linnea Strom Sweden 70 70 72 74
288 (lvl) Mizuho Konishi Japan 71 75 71 71

In the photo: From left to right ÔÇô Hennie du Plessis (Limpopo), Jovan Rebula (Southern Cape), Altin van der Merwe (Western Province) and Kyle McClatchie (Ekurhuleni). Picture: TJGWC.


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