Thriston Lawrence (@ThristonL), one of the brightest amateur talents ever produced in South Africa, is to turn professional this week.
Lawrence, the two-time reigning SA Amateur champion and current holder of the Lytham Trophy, makes his debut at the Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley GC this week.
The Mpumalanga-born 17-year-old, who became the first South African to lift the Lytham Trophy in May, will be represented by International Sports Management and becomes the third major amateur champion to join the stable in less than a year after Garrick Porteous and Matt Fitzpatrick.
“I’m looking forward to a new beginning and the experience,” said Lawrence, who played in the SA Open last November. “I’m still young, but I think it is good to start early. The more I can learn, the better – I love the game and I want to be the best one day.”
Lawrence is ISM’s youngest ever signing and follows in the spike marks of major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Charl Schwartzel plus multiple European Tour winner Branden Grace as golfers from the Rainbow Nation who have progressed through the stable’s ranks.
“Thriston is an unpolished gem and with a bit of experience on the European Challenge Tour will become a real diamond,” said Andrew ‘Chubby’ Chandler, ISM’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are delighted he has decided to join us and look forward to guiding him through this very exciting part of his career and what promises to be a glittering future.”
Lawrence added: “Chubby and the team are great. Players like Darren Clarke, Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood have been here for a long time and I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.”
The teenager triumphed brilliantly on home soil in 2013 to become the youngest SA Amateur winner in the event’s 106-year history before retaining his title in March – the first player in 36 years to do so.