Quintin van Jaarsveld
Simoné Ferreira followed in her hero Lee-Anne Pace’s footsteps as she sealed a SA Kids Golf Junior Africa Challenge hat-trick at San Lameer Country Club last week.
A field of 140 promising players between the ages of six and 18 from all over the world showcased their talents in Africa’s most prestigious kids’ golf competition, which culminated on Friday.
Eleven countries were represented with 30 international players among the field who teed it up in the US Kids and Teens World Junior Championships qualifier, which is held in Pinehurst North Carolina every August.
The younger kids played off age appropriate tee boxes to allow them to achieve pars, birdies and eagles.
The Mark McNulty Junior Golf Foundation product carded rounds of 85, 84 and 89 to complete a hat-trick of African titles in dominant fashion on 258.
Alexa Horwood (347) was a distant second with Thabisiwe Motsoeneng (414) finishing third.
Ferreira’s feat was inspired by her idol and the country’s leading ladies player, Pace, whom she met and watched clinch a South African Women’s Open hat-trick at the same course from 2014 to 2016.
“I am on top of the world,” the talented youngster told eHowzit.
“It is such an honour to pull off this hat trick. Watching Lee-Anne win three years in a row really made we want to walk in her footsteps.”
Ferreira was pleased with her performance, especially off the tee.
“My driving ability I must say was key. I received my Srixon Z565 driver from Ivanna Samu, a professional that I was competing against in the Under-19 rankings recently, and it is a huge asset in my bag. I should probably focus a lot on my short irons now.”
Her driving was indeed the standout feature of her game, and almost earned her eagles on the par-five first. Solid tee shots saw her convert for birdies on this hole on both the first and second day.
“I really enjoyed the Challenge this year,” she said. “I was paired with two girls in the 15 to 18 age group and I gave them a good scuffle. I fell only three shots behind the winner of that age group.
“I am very honoured to be trained by Mark McNulty and being sponsored by his Junior Golf Foundation. I am glad to do his foundation proud.
“As soon as he returns from overseas, I will take up more lessons from him to try to get my scores down to the seventies.”
The other winners were Jacques Olivier (Boys U6), Christopher Grota (Boys U7), Abigail Eden Thambiran (Girls U7), Asher Ethan Hollister (Boys U8), Lisa Coetzer (Girls U8), Zinan Maimane (Boys U9), Megan Marais (Girls U9), Bryan Newman (Boys U10), Shivania Kalimuthu (Girls U10), Dujuan Snyman (Boys U11), Olivia Krige (Girls U11), Keegan Shutt (Boys U12), Kamaya Moodliar (Girls U12), Phil Snyman (Boys U13), Domonic Musondo (Boys U14), Hanco Rudolph (Boys U15-18) and Petrone Rudolph (Girls U15-18).
Andrew Weir of SA Kids Golf said it was a terrific tournament, adding, “A huge thank you must go to all the players and parents for the support, all the volunteers at San Lameer, Meyer du Toit and the team at San Lameer for always being so accommodating and helpful, The Mark McNulty Junior Golf Foundation, Bidvest, MotoXpress and 3I Developments for their support and TaylorMade SA/Adidas, our product sponsor.”
Photos by Justin Klusener Photography