Breakthrough for Bellville teenager on Glacier series

Bellville golfer Altin van der Merwe (pictured with Duncan Cruickshank, left, and Dale Hayes, right) claimed his first victory on the Glacier by Sanlam Junior Series when he won the A Division of the Sunshine Tour-sponsored tournament at De Zalze Golf Club on Sunday.


Van Der Merwe won with a round of one-under-par 71 on a course playing long after the heavy rains in the Boland area.


It was a sweet victory for the 16-year-old, who finished second in the Pearl Valley tournament earlier this year and was determined to claim a victory and book his place in the National Final.


“After that second place I really wanted to win one of these tournaments and I worked really hard for this,” he said.


The key to Van Der Merwe’s victory was his two birdies on holes 17 and 18. “On 17 I had to decide whether to go for the green with my second or not. I went for it and it paid off with a birdie. Then I made a five-footer for birdie on the last as well.”


Van Der Merwe already plays off a +3 handicap despite only taking up the game seven years ago, on the same day his father also started playing golf.


“We started together. But he struggles a bit with his swing. He’s a bit older.”


Duncan Cruickshank, communications director of the Sunshine Tour, praised the series for its ability to help produce South Africa’s next generation of professionals.


“We’ve already had a player who used to compete on the Glacier Junior Series turning professional and now playing on the Sunshine Tour, so this is really a tremendous development arena for South African golf,” he said.


A DIVISION (Handicap 1 – 6)

1. Altin van der Merwe 71
2. Noel Anderson 72
3. Andre Loots 75
Best Nett: Cole Cruickshank 70


B DIVISION (Handicap 7 – 18)
1. Blake Greenwood 78
2. Tristan Galant 79
3. Albert Jakobs 80
Best Nett: Adrian Storm 72


C DIVISION (Handicap 19 – 36)
1. Tian van Lill 35 points
2. Kaylah Williams 30 points
3. Seth Liddell 30 points

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