HOT | Premlall goes wire-to-wire at Nedbank Junior Challenge

SUN CITY, 5 May 2021 – Glendower’s Yurav Premlall walked in the footsteps of giants when held on for a wire-to-wire win in the inaugural Nedbank Junior Challenge on a score of three-under-par at the Gary Player Country Club on Wednesday. The 17-year-old GolfRSA National Squad member led by two strokes after the first round and carried a single shot lead into the final round, which soon became a two-horse race between Premlall and nearest challenger Jordan Duminy.

Duminy, the 2021 Boland Amateur champion and a fellow member of the National Squad, got off to a fast start and drew level with Premlall after seven holes.

“I was playing really solidly to begin with, hitting fairways and greens and not making too many mistakes,” said Premlall. “Then came the blunder of a three-putt on the seventh hole. It threw the tournament wide open, because Jordy hit it to about three feet and tapped in for birdie.”

A blocked tee shot on the difficult eighth hole saw Duminy sign for an unfortunate double bogey and Premlall carried a two-shot lead into the
closing nine.

Duminy trimmed the gap to one shot again with a birdie on the par-five 10th, but the Louis Oosthuizen Academy member made costly bogeys on 12 and 13 to hand the advantage back to Premlall. As they reached the closing stretch, Premlall looked to have the tournament
sewn up.

“I knew that, with a one-shot lead, pars on the last three holes would give me a great chance at winning,” he said. “I really put a lot of effort into my iron shots and although I didn’t make the putts, it was good enough at the end.”

Reigning South African Amateur champion Christiaan Maas put in a late charge, firing birdies at the 16th and 17th holes, but his hat-trick birdie attempt on the closing hole rolled past and the GolfRSA No 1-ranked junior finished two back, tied with Duminy in second on 1 under.

Premlall, who is ranked third in the SAGA Junior Ranking – behind Maas and Duminy – was happy to make amends for his last outing at the Gary Player Country Club layout, where he missed the cut in the South African Open in December.

“To get the win at a golf course like this means so much,” said Premlall. “In the SA Open I hit a couple of loose tee shots and paid the price, so it feels good to get a little bit of sweet revenge on the course.”

Premlall not only got to take home the replica of the famous Nedbank Golf Challenge trophy, but the Glendower golfer landed a once in a lifetime behind-the-scenes experience at the next Nedbank Golf Challenge with his victory.

“I can’t wait to experience Africa’s Major’s from the other side of the ropes,” said the excited young champion. “I don’t have all the details yet,
but I’ll get to meet players, watch them on the driving range up close and I get to walk the golf course during the Pro-Am. It’s going to be epic.”

It has been some months since Premlall ended in the winner’s circle since his Harry Oppenheimer Trophy and Central Gauteng Open triumphs in November last year. Although he won the ProShop Northern Amateur match play title, the teenager was delighted with his performance. He also sounded a warning that the best is yet to come from the new champion, who has been hard at work tightening up his swing and putting with his coach, Grant Veenstra.

“It’s a real confidence booster that I could get the job done in stroke play,” said Premlall. “I had a couple of good results since the start of the
season, but I just couldn’t pull it through. I’ve been making changes every week to my game so I’ve accepted that it’s going to be hot and cold.

“But I know that when it all comes together and I start to play consistently, it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

New GolfRSA National Squad member Daniel Bennett, who finished runner up in the Nomads SA Boys Under-19 Match Play Championship last week, finished alone in fourth on a score of 2-over-par, with Hannes Strooh, who beat him in last week’s 36-hole final, finishing in fifth on 3-over.

TJ Sandys led the 20-strong South African Golf Development Board squad with a top 20 finish. Although the 16-year-old Klerksdorp junior struggled to navigate the typically tough final round course set-up, he was just five over for the day when he suffered a costly a triple on the par-4 15th. Sandys also dropped on 17, but still managed to seal a joint 16th finish on 13-over.

“This was an incredible experience; not just for me, but for the entire squad,” the North West junior said. “To play one of the best courses in the country with the best juniors in the country was a huge opportunity.

“We talked about last night at dinner. Everyone us will leave here having learned something from playing with these juniors. We especially liked watching the top guys. How they handle themselves, their course management and how they adjust their strategy when they get into trouble.

“This week was a massive learning curve, and we are leaving motivated to raise our games. We all want to be back here again next year.”

CMR Golf Club’s Rezario Adams was the next best in, tied for 31st on 18-over, and Alric Rooi from Theewaterskloof Golf Club finished 34th on his own, just a further stroke adrift.

Final Result

  • 213 Yurav Premlall 68 72 73
  • 215 Christiaan Maas 72 73 70; Jordan Duminy 70 71 74
  • 218 Daniel Bennett 75 72 71
  • 219 Hannes Strooh 75 75 69
  • 221 Christopher Bagnall 73 74 74
  • 223 Morris Schiefner 73 78 72
  • 225 Behn Heyns 79 68 78; Ivan Verster 76 75 74
  • 226 Amilkar Bhana 76 77 73; Malan Potgieter 73 77 76
  • 227 Jaden Deltel 80 72 75; John-William Blomerus 79 71 77; Fabrizio de Abreu 77 76 74; Nash de Klerk 70 77 80
  • 229 Jack Brugman 77 74 78; Nico Booyens 76 77 76; Joshua Koekemoer 76 75
  • 78; Hanro Kriel 75 82 72; TJ Sandys 73 75 81
  • 230 Herman du Plessis 82 73 75; Werner Potgieter 79 74 77
  • 231 Damian Osner 80 74 77; Dean Wilken 78 78 75; Janko van der Merwe 78 74 79; Divan Mostert 76 77 78; Stefan Delport 76 76 79
  • 233 Reinhardt Uys 85 72 76; Marno Lange 80 76 77; Jaime Clive Lewis 77 78 78
  • 234 Rezario Adams 82 75 77; Jonathan Wilsenach 79 77 78; Josh De Aguiar 75 81 78
  • 235 Alric Rowaan Rooi 80 78 77
  • 237 C.J van Wyk 82 80 75; Christian Lewis 78 76 83; Keagan Crosbie 75 82 80
  • 238 Julian Daws 80 81 77
  • 239 Jordan Wessels 82 73 84; Sean Tsipa 81 79 79; Caden Sanders 80 79 80; Dino Thobela 80 77 82; Matthew Lotz 77 76 86; Stefan Jacobs 75 80 84
  • 240 Devon Valentine 78 79 83
  • 241 Nico Els 77 78 86
  • 242 Zinan Maimane 89 74 79; Filip Sakota 79 82 81; Tristan Leonard 79 77 86
  • 243 Matthew Dippenaar 83 80 80; Vuyisani Makhama 81 83 79; Kyle Conradie 76 85 82
  • 244 Hezron Frieslaar 90 78 76; Dylan Melville 81 82 81; Hayden Morgan-Evens 81 80 83; Jacob Joseph 80 80 84; Michael Ferreira 76 84 84
  • 246 Ethan Govender 85 80 81; Jayden Hoskins 85 74 87
  • 247 Luc Gavagnin 90 82 75; Tobias Jan de Flamingh 85 78 84; Timothy Daniels 81 83 83; Thami Ngobeni 72 94 81
  • 248 JC Schutte 78 87 83
  • 249 Bernhard Köster 87 83 79; Luka Stanisavljevic 87 80 82; Tiaan Hugo 86 82 81
  • 251 Angelo Keffers 90 79 82
  • 252 Mitch Phigeland 78 87 87
  • 254 Eric Ncube 83 86 85
  • 256 Kairav Maduray 85 90 81
  • 258 Kushal Bugareth 82 88 88
  • 263 Mihlali Tom 88 89 86
  • 267 Thobelani Magwaza 89 92 86
  • 282 Ronan Nortje 92 86 104
  • 302 Matthew Dennis 99 98 105
  • WD Andrew Long 88 87 WD
  • DQ Johndre Ludick 81 DQEnds

    PHOTOS – GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall became the first
    Nedbank Junior Challenge champion with a wire-to-wire victory at the Gary
    Player Country Club; credit GolfRSA.

    For further information, please contact:

    Grant Hepburn (GolfRSA CEO) – granthepburn@golfrsa.co.za
    <mailto:granthepburn@golfrsa.co.za>

    Martin Saaiman (South African Golf Association President) –
    martinsaaiman@gmail.com <mailto:martinsaaiman@gmail.com>

    Sarah Braude (Womens Golf South Africa President) – sarah@wgsa.co.za
    <mailto:sarah@wgsa.co.za>

    Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.

About Simone Anderson

Simone Anderson is the owner and founder of the JUNIOR GOLFER SA magazine as well as Simone Anderson Design and Layout Solutions.