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Loubser clinches championship play-off

Sixteen-year-old Paul Roos Gymnasium pupil Louis Loubser Jr, who plays off a scratch handicap, birdied the second play-off hole to win the prestigious Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series tournament at Boschenmeer Golf Estate, Paarl on Sunday 19 August 2018.

Earlier, 16-year-old Keegan-Slade Couch, a 1 handicapper, birdied the 17th and 18th holes to force a play-off as he joined Loubser in shooting a 2-under-par 70.

Managed by the South African Golf Development Board, the #BridgeJuniorSeries of events run countrywide from July 2018 through to March 2019 for boys and girls in the u-13 and under-19 divisions. The big prize sees the top two under-19 golfers being flown to the USA to compete in the Junior North and South Championship at Pinehurst in 2019 – an event that has featured future Major winners including Jack Nicklaus.

“It is great to finally win a Bridge event, because I have come close so many times. I look forward to the finals and the chance to win the trip to Pinehurst,” says Loubser.

His goal is to study at a US college where he will be able to measure himself against the best and hopefully make the move to play as a professional.

Paul Stewart, Executive Director at Bridge Fund Managers, congratulated Loubser on his stellar play, which included an eagle on the par 5 6th hole. “Louis is a worthy winner, and it is good to hear that his future plans include furthering his golfing and academic education at US College level.”

Coached by Lana Orgovanyi of Pure Motion Golf Academy, Loubser was introduced to golf by his father at around age 6, but took up the game aged 12. “That feeling you get when you stripe a driver or sink a long putt is what gets you hooked.”

Regarding golf’s infamous mental challenges, Loubser says when he hits a bad shot he reminds himself of previous occasions when he managed to recover. “Like in the play-off where I pulled my drive left into the rough,” he said, “I recalled times this had happened and how I turned that into a positive.”

His response was a purely struck short-iron to about 3 metres, and then he stepped up to stroke home the birdie putt for the win.

Although his win in Paarl means he has already qualified for the #BridgeJuniorSeries finals, Loubser is committed to playing in more of the tournaments. “I will definitely enter more of the Bridge events, because of the quality of the organisation and the courses we get to play. They are opportunities to play tournament golf at a high level.”

The next tournament is at Royal Durban GC on 9 September 2018 and at Strand GC on 16 September 2018.

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