29 July 2014 – SA juniors Kyle McClatchie and Kaleigh Telfer will make local golfing history as South Africa’s first golfing Olympians at the Summer Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in China next month.
The South African Golf Association (SAGA) and Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) are proud to announce that McClatchie from Ekurhuleni and Telfer from Gauteng were named to Team SA and will be among the 54 athletes that will represent South Africa in Nanjing from 16-28 August.
Golf was not among the featured sporting codes at the first Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010. However, following the sport’s reinstatement at the 2016 Olympics, the International Olympic Committee has included golf in the programme this year.
Team SA will compete in 14 of the 30 sporting codes at this year’s event, including aquatics, athletics, canoeing, equestrian, golf, gymnastics, hockey, judo, sailing, shooting, swimming, tennis, triathlon and wrestling.
McClatchie and Telfer will tee it up in the 54-Hole Boys and Girls Stroke Play events from 19-21 August at the Nanjing Zhongshan International Golf Club, where after they will combine for South Africa in the Mix Gender Team event from 24-26 August at the same venue.
Both players have represented South Africa abroad in the past.
McClatchie led South Africa to victory in the Team Competition at the second African Youth Games in Botswana in May, and the 17-year-old Serengeti golfer also claimed gold in the Individual Boys Competition at Gaborone Golf Club.
Telfer recently returned from the United Kingdom where she competed against a world-class field at the R&A Junior Open Championship.
“In addition to winning the Dr Bam Nomads National Order of Merit title in January, Kyle claimed top 10 finishes in the SA Stroke Play and Nomads SA Boys U-19 Championship,” said SAGA president, Andre Pieterse.
“He further underlined his growing stature as a valuable team player on four occasions this season and we are confident he will do South Africa proud in China.”
McClatchie served on the Junior Teams that defeated France in a two-day Test and won the annual Triangular against Scotland and the SAGDB in February. In May, McClatchie shared in South Africa’s 16th consecutive victory at the All-Africa Junior Golf Championship in Lusaka and in June, contributed to a top 10 finish for South Africa at the TOYOTA Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.
Telfer was named Womens Golf South Africa’s 2013 Junior Golfer of the Year following a breakthrough season during which she won the Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Jnr Championships.
“Kaleigh was a natural choice for Nanjing,” said WGSA president, Karen Olivant.
“She is currently ranked third on our Junior Rankings. In addition to victory at the Curro SA World Juniors International in March, Kaleigh has claimed seven top 10 finishes at provincial level, including a runner-up finish at the KwaZulu-Natal Championship and joint fifth at the Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship.”
The two young golfers are immensely proud to fly the flag for South Africa in China.
“I am incredibly honoured to have been selected for Team SA,” McClatchie said. “Going to the Africa Youth Games was very exciting, but this is undoubtedly the biggest achievement of my career.”
Telfer is also relishing the chance to prove herself in Nanjing.
“It is always incredibly special to represent South Africa, but to wear the green and gold at the Youth Olympics is the highest honour of all,” Telfer said. “I am extremely excited about this opportunity.”
The inaugural Summer Youth Olympics drew just over 3,500 athletes between the ages of 14 and 18 that competed in 201 events in 26 sports.
This year, more than 5,000 athletes from 168 countries will compete in 222 events across 30 sporting codes. Sevens rugby will also debut on the programme, while beach volleyball will replace indoor volleyball, field hockey will also see a seven-a-side format and a shooting mixed gender event has also been introduced.
“The Youth Olympics is an event that fills us with great excitement as we hope to unearth our future Olympic stars,” said SASCOC president Gideon Sam.
“We hope that Team South Africa will provide more than one star who will go on to shine at the very highest level.
“The Youth Olympics is not purely about sport but, with the abundance of cultural and educational programmes featured, also an opportunity to embrace the international world and grow stronger as a person and an ambassador. May you all make a name for yourselves in Nanjing.”