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Local trio among elite

Durbanville Golf Club duo Kaylah Williams and Tyran Snyders, along with Bellville Golf Club’s Samuel Simpson have all been selected for their respective GolfRSA amateur teams.Williams will represent GolfRSA’s elite women’s squad, while Simpson and Snyders have once again been drafted into GolfRSA’s national squad.

“Operational savings from its 2020 national squad budget have paved the way for GolfRSA to add a further R500 000 to its ambitious help fund, which provides assistance to caddies and casual workers that have been severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis,” according to GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn.

In April, the organisation set aside R1 million from savings on operational expenses and voluntary staff salary cuts to launch a programme that would identify and reach golf industry workers who have been severely affected by the temporary closure of golf facilities during the government lockdown.

The GolfRSA men’s and women’s national squads were launched in 2016 through funding from businessman Johann Rupert and provide a valuable platform for talented golfers to further develop their skills and showcase themselves through competition, locally and on the world stage, with contributions totalling R15 million.

Members who have achieved significant international success include Snyders’ Junior North and South Championship, while Simpson was part of the team who won the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup last year with a record-setting tournament total of 41 under par. Simpson also secured the individual title with a four-shot victory on 18-under 266.

Meanwhile, GolfRSA has announced its national squad for 2020 with a clear emphasis on youth. “Towards the end of last year and following the Sunshine Tour’s qualifying school in March, we saw a number of our senior squad members graduate to the professional ranks and we wish them all the best in their careers,” said Hepburn.

“This has opened up spaces within the squad and, following what is a natural ebb and flow, this year’s Class of 2020 is a very young, but very exciting one. We are extremely fortunate that, because of the groundwork put in by the clubs, unions, coaches and academies, we continue to see so many highly talented young golfers come through the system.”

Under normal circumstances, national squad members benefit from funding, advice, training camps, dietary, fitness and psychological support and, ultimately, playing opportunities at home and abroad.

“Unfortunately the international pandemic has adversely affected the playing opportunities for this year’s squad, including the cancellation of the UK tour, but we felt it was important to acknowledge the recent performances of the players who have qualified for the squad, particularly the nine new members,” said Hepburn.

“However, we will continue to work with the players to ensure they remain sharp, both physically and mentally, during the lockdown period. The squad members will take part in numerous online conference calls and, together with their support teams, we will set individual conditioning programmes for the players.”

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