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Runner-up Dylan looks to maintain his run of good form at Randpark
- Updated: March 8, 2016
Dylan Naidoo, who finished second in the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship over the past weekend, will tee-off in the Northern Amateur Tournament at Randpark on Sunday.
Naidoo, who is 18 years old, is quietly confident that he will be able to sustain his current good form until Sunday.
‘It will be only the second time that I will compete in the tournament. I competed there for the first time last year, but unfortunately I wasn’t playing at my best then. If I remember correctly I finished about 18th,’ said Naidoo, who matriculated with four distinctions at TuksSport High School last year.
So far this season Naidoo has been on song. In January he claimed a five-stroke victory in the prestigious Nomads Dr Bam at Benoni Country Club. Another good result was when he finished tied fourth at the Cape Province Open (Kingswood Golf Estate) with his former school mate Marco Steyn and Albert Venter.
It is interesting to note that all three of them, as well as James du Preez who was second overall, are being coached at the Tuks Golf Academy.
Steyn lost in the semi-finals of the Sanlam SA Amateur Championship against Craig Ross from Scotland, the eventual winner.
One would have expected Naidoo to be slightly disappointed because he did not win the SA Amateur Championship, but that is definitely not the case.
‘Naturally I would have loved to have won. I played my heart out and I don’t think I made too many mistakes. In hindsight I can see that I have probably missed a couple of putts that would have given me a bit more momentum. But, to be honest, in the end Craig played the better golf. He finished 14 under par and I was 11 under par.
‘I will admit that I was hoping Marco would beat Craig, because it would have been really cool to play against him in the final. It would then have been an all TuksGolf Academy final.’
Naidoo’s main goal at the moment is to be selected for the South African team that will compete at the World Amateur Championships in Mexico.’
Even though he will begin his studies at the University of Arkansas in August, he will still be coached by the Tuks Golf Academy.
‘It is important to me to keep my ties with the Tuks Academy. Being coached at the Academy gives one confidence in one’s ability and that is important. The moment a player gets nervous during a tournament he starts making costly mistakes.
‘Becoming part of the Academy and the hpc set-up has definitely been a life changing experience. Not only did they help me to become a better golfer, they made a better person of me as well.’
‘The only reason why I decided to go to Arkansas is the opportunities they offer. The field in which I am going to play will probably be stronger than what I am used to. I also see playing in the USA as an opportunity to be noticed by the important role players in international golf. Becoming a professional player will be easier if you can get a good management deal to start off with.’
There is long history of talented young South African athletes (athletics, swimming, golf, etc.) getting lost in the sports set-up of the USA Universities. Naidoo is confident that he will not become merely another statistic.
‘I had offers to study in the USA but I did thorough research before I made my final decision.’