Rising star Cara Gorlei from Western Province will join top Ekurhuleni amateurs Tristen Strydom and Paul Boshoff in the 14th edition of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy, which tees off at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland on Tuesday.
The highly exclusive 54-hole stroke play championship is open only to current Under-18 National Championship holders worldwide, players who have won a major golfing event in the preceding year, past champions or juniors who received a special invitation, issued by the Tournament Advisory Board.
Gorlei claimed a magnificent play-off victory in the Nomads SA Girls Championship at Orkney Golf Club in June, while Strydom won the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play and Boshoff the Match Play Championship at Umhlali Country Club in April.
Boshoff assumed the number one spot in the South African Golf Association Junior Rankings following his triumph, while Strydom is ranked sixth among the country’s junior golfers. However, the 17-year-old has risen to seventh in the Open Amateur rankings following a number of top 10 finishes and two l match play victories on the provincial circuit this year.
Gorlei, too, has made great strides this season.
Her victory in Orkney followed two months after she won the prestigious Nomads SA Rose Bowl Girls Championship and the country’s number two ranked junior added to her rare ‘double’ with a podium finish at the Gauteng North Championship in July.
“Tristen and Paul competed in several top European amateur championships in June and July, including the RB German Junior,” said Womens Golf South Africa president, Karen Olivant, who accompanied the South African trio to Aberdeen.
“Cara tees off on the back of her World Amateur Teams Championship debut in Japan where she helped South Africa achieve a joint 29th place finish in the Espirito Santo Trophy.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the young players and they are all very excited to get started.
Some of the world’s top players competed in this championship, including Rory McIlroy, Matteo Manaserro and Carly Booth. This tournament draws the cream of the crop and our juniors will gain incredible experience competing against players of the highest calibre at this top international venue.”
South African Golf Association president, Andre Pieterse, added: “The Duke of York Young Champions Trophy was conceived as an international competition that aims to promote global junior golf development.
“It encourages competitive and friendship between the individual champions at highly rated courses in the United Kingdom and we are honoured that our juniors have been invited to participate in such a highly acclaimed event.”