Broomhead seals stab at US Junior North and South

Jonothan Broomhead gave himself an excellent chance to win a coveted spot in the 2018 Junior North and South Championship when he won the fourth Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series event on Sunday.

When the nationwide series wraps up in March next year, all 18 of the A-Division winners will have a shot to win the chance to play in the prestigious, top ranked junior event.

Nine winners will compete in the North and nine in the South Regional Finals.

When 16-year-old Broomhead eagled the par-five 18th hole at Royal Durban Golf Club, he tied fellow KwaZulu-Natal junior Byron Coetzee for the lead at three-under-par 70. In the ensuing sudden-death play-off at the par four first, the Durban Country Club golfer hit two great shots and two-putted for par to guarantee himself a stab at the Bridge Fund Managers sponsored trip to the USA.

“I’ve given myself a one in nine shot of playing against the best juniors in the world,” gushed the excited Westville Boys High School learner. “We have a great junior golf schedule here in KwaZulu-Natal and we play in odd Nomads National Order of Merit events, but nothing comes close to offering this kind of incentive. We were so excited about the Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series and now I’ve crossed the first hurdle.

“I’ll have a few more months until the series finishes in March to sharpen game. That’s great because you can expect the top juniors in Gauteng and Gauteng North to qualify for the North Regional Final. I think everyone under 18 in South Africa wants that spot to the Junior North and South. I’m just relieved that I got it done early.

Broomhead trailed by one when he headed to the 18th tee with Coetzee.

“Byron was two under and I was one under,” he said. “The last hole isn’t particularly long and it played with the wind, so I knew he could finish with a birdie. That meant I had to go for the eagle.

“I hit a great drive down the middle and a seven-iron with a nice draw from 175 metres to 10 metres left of the pin. Byron’s eagle putt from the front edge lipped out and he tapped in for birdie. I knew standing over the putt I could hole it. I saw the line, and I put the perfect pace on the stroke. The ball struck the back of the cup and dropped.”

During the play-off, Coetzee’s tee shot finished behind a tree.

“It was into the wind and Byron’s three-wood looked good, but the wind pushed it down behind the trees,” said Broomhead. “I went with the driver, drove it past the trees and ended on a bit of a slope. Byron had to punch out and he caught a flier.The ball flew the green and hit the fence.

“I had 125 meters left to the pin and I punched a low eight-iron to 10 meters. Byron faced a really tough chip. He had almost no green to work with, but he got it on the green. His par putt missed on the right, leaving me two chances to win. I lagged the first putt close and tapped in.

“I’m so glad I could pull this off for my dad, coaches me. And for my conditioning coach Mike Usher at school. I hope this motivates my brother Jason win all his matches for KZN at the premier SA IPT.”

Meanwhile Hunter Walker from Ekurhuleni spoiled the local party when the Wanna Be A Champion Academy player from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate edged out Jan Human in a count-out on 79 to win the Under-13 A-Division.

But James Jarvis from Royal Durban gave the locals something to cheer about when he won the B-Division (9-15 handicaps) on 72 gross.

Nishalin Naidoo won the C-Division title on 39 points, beating fellow Kloof golfer Junior Gumede by two points and Jaden Munsamy from Mount Edgecombe won the B-Division (16-plus handicaps) with 39 points.

Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series – Royal Durban Winners List

U-18 A-Division 0-8 h/c Gross
70 – Jonothan Broomhead (Durban Country Club – first play-off hole)
U-18 A-Division 0-8 h/c Net
72 Dylan Underwood (Kloof Country Club)
U-18 B-Division 9-15 h/c Net
72 James Jarvis (Royal Durban Golf Club)
U-18 C-Division 16+ Net (Individual Stableford)
39 Nichalin Naidoo (Kloof Country Club)
U-13 A-Division 0-15 h/c Gross
79 – Hunter Walker (Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate)
U-13 B-Division 16+ h/c (Individual Stableford)

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.