The KeNako Schools Golf Festival was once again an amazing success and indications are that this tournament is set to make a significant impact for golf within the schools sporting calendar.  A total 23 school teams of 4 players participated in the 2013 tournament that was played from 2nd to 4th May at three of George’s outstanding golf courses – Oubaai, George GC and Kingswood. 

The weather on day one at Oubaai was fantastic with sunny skies and little wind, but the course still proved to be a challenge for many of the players who have not previously experienced sea-side golf on a championship course such as Oubaai.  At the end of day one Hoërskool Waterkloof from Pretoria were in the lead in the Medal Division with a total of 219 strokes for the 3 counting scores, with Hoërskool Punt from Mossel Bay just one shot behind and Glenwood House a further 2 shots back at 222.  Defending champions Paul Roos were at 224, with KeNako Academy’s new school Rundle College’s team on 225, followed closely by Paarl Boys High on 226.  In the Stableford Division for the higher handicap golfers Parel Vallei from Somerset West were in the lead with an excellent combined score of 111 Stableford points, 3 points clear of Rundle College’s team on 107 points.  Trinity House from Johannesburg were in 3rd place on 103 points.

The weather on day two at George GC ended up being shocking and it saw the scores soaring and some major changes in the leaderboard.  Very cold weather, with heavy rain accompanied by strong winds really challenged the players.  Hoërskool Waterkloof increased their lead to 3 strokes over Hoërskool Punt, with Rundle College moving into 3rd position 7 strokes behind Waterkloof.  The weather played havoc with the scoring and unlike day one when teams were fairly closely bunched, the field became quite strung out.  Parel Vallei increased their lead over Rundle College in the Stableford Division to 10 points, with Hoërskool Suid Natal from Port Shepstone moving into third place, but 17 points behind the leaders.

Exciting Finish

The stage was set for an exciting finish at Kingswood and the teams did not disappoint.  In the Medal Division the three leading teams separated themselves from the field.  Cyril Botha from Punt played some amazing golf, starting his round with six consecutive 3’s including two eagles and two birdies and he managed to get his score to 7 under par for his round.  His outstanding play, supported by some solid golf by his teammates, saw Hoërskool Punt taking the lead after 9 holes but with a couple of holes to play both Hoërskool Waterkloof and Rundle College still had a chance to win.  The Rundle College team were playing ahead of their main rivals and the team scored an excellent level par 216, with Aidan Boon scoring 70, his twin brother Caylum 72 and Cameron Moralee 74.  Cyril and his teammate Mentz Germishuis both birdied the 17th hole which allowed Punt to take a 3 shot lead into the final hole and with all 3 counting players managing to par the final hole they went on to win by 3 stokes from Rundle College and Hoërskool Waterkloof, who were tied at 672 shots.  Defending champions Paul Roos Gymnasium finished in 4th place, 13 shots further back.

In the Stableford Division Parel Vallei continued with their dominant performance and increased their lead to 16 points over second placed Rundle College.  The best individual player in this division was Naude Barkhuizen from Hoërskool Suid Natal who played some excellent golf, scoring an individual 114 points and beating his 7 handicap by 6 strokes over the 3 days.  Charnay Williams from Rundle College continued her excellent recent progress and scored 111 individual points, also an outstanding effort.  On day 2 at George in the bad weather Charnay excelled and scored a career best gross 79 off her 14 handicap.  It will not be long before Charnay is making a real impact on woman’s golf.

Highlights

JP Cooper from Hoërskool Waterkloof was the leading individual player, managing to shoot one under par 71 on each of the three courses to finish on 213, an outstanding effort.  In second place was Elmo Barnard from Strand who was one under par 215 for the 3 days, also a terrific effort.  The low round for the three days was Cyril Botha’s career best 67 at Kingswood on the final day, a remarkable effort!

An integral part of the tournament program saw all teams attending an educational session at the KeNako Academy, which included some technical input from Head Coach Roger Wessels, some physical training advice by KeNako’s Biokineticist Jan Fourie and mental skills coaching by Mariette le Roux.  The players and their teachers really appreciated this element of the tournament.  Dinner each night was served by KeNako’s resident chefs in a marquee set up at KeNako and this allowed for a festive atmosphere and some excellent social interaction between the players from around the country.  KeNako Academy once again invited a team from the SAGDB to participate and they really appreciated their invitation.  Participation in a tournament such as this is not only an amazing experience for the boys and girls but it also a chance to participate in an event that enthuses youngsters and promotes the values and the spirit associated with the game of golf.  The KeNako Schools Golf Festival is not just about golf – it is about making a positive contribution to society; about helping to break barriers; and allowing boys and girls to learn some Skills for Life!

KeNako Schools Golf Festival Selected Results

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