Local young golfer wins prestigious tournament at Wingate Park
Dean Wilken, a 15-year-old Grade 10 at Tyger Valley College in Pretoria, recently won the prestigious Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series tournament at Wingate Park Country Club.
In the process Wilken sometimes played awesome golf and among other things eagled two par 5’s on the back nine of the course.
By winning the title Wilken qualified for the regional finals of the Bridge Junior Series in April this year, where the ultimate prize is an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the glittering Junior North and South Championship at Pinehurst, USA in July.
“Having the opportunity to win the trip to the USA is going to be a big motivator at the finals, as playing in the States is a big dream for me. Long term I hope through good golf, academics and hard work I’ll be able to play college golf at UCLA in the California, study to become a Charted Accountant and qualify to play professionally on the PGA tour,” said Wilken after his achievement.
Contending with an uncharacteristically strong and swirling wind, Wilken had a calamitous first 11 holes, including a double bogey and a triple bogey seven on the 11th hole.
“Funny enough, making that seven didn’t throw me off my game. Standing on the 12th tee box I told myself to stay calm, and developed a plan to fix the mistake. All I tried to do to minimise errors was slow down my pre-shot routine, and think twice before selecting a club and shot choice,” he explained.
The result of the mid-round fix was extraordinary, as Dean played the final six holes in four under par including a pair of eagles.
The Bridge Junior Series launched in July 2017 with 16 tournaments countrywide featuring Under-13 and Under-19 divisions for boys and girls. Endorsed by GolfRSA, the series is managed by Peter Little of the South African Golf Development Board.
Having achieved one of his golfing goals for 2019 by winning the tournament, Wilken is focused on the others which include being selected for the Under-19 Inter-Provincial Team, making the cut at all amateur events, being ranked in the Top 10 in SA for Boys Under-17 and Under-19 and winning both the junior and men’s club championships.
Visit juniorseries.bridgefm.co.za for the full schedule and entry mechanism of the series.