More than half of the Gary Player Class of 2017 squad members formed part of the field at last week’s Dimension Data Pro-Am tournament at Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate, and gave a good account of themselves in the process.
Among the things that programme aims to achieve, apart from just development, is to ensure the previously disadvantaged players get access to more tournaments so that they can raise their profiles as players of good quality. That’s structural support.
There was plenty of that quality on display last week and players like Musiwalo Nethunzwi (pictured), Makhetha Mazibuko, Omar Sandys, Keenan Davidse and Heinrich Bruiners responded with good performances over the course of the event. Highest finishers included the pair of Mazibuko and Nethunzwi who both finished tied 53rd at two-under-par 287, while Bruiners finished level-par, with Davidse and Sandys on one-over.
“The Gary Player Class of 2017 is very important for many of us. The financial aspects of the game are problematic sometimes and with this kind of support, we are able to play,” said Nethunzwi.
“There are many young people out there who want to play golf but are not able to because of financial problems and lack of development. They must go to golf clubs and take part in developmental programmes like many of us did,” he said. He and Sipho Bujela, another member of this group who took part in this week’s event, grew up near the Soweto Golf Club where they started playing.
Echoing Nethunzwi’s sentiments on the importance of development for players, Jack Kutumane said: “When you go to development structures, you are brought up in phases that are important. Important aspects of the game like discipline, how to handle pressure, proper etiquette and how to interact with people are instilled during this time and when you are a pro, then you have no problem,”
Teboho Sefatsa, Kutumane, Jacquin Hess, Lindani Ndwandwe, Trevor Mahoney, Derick Petersen, Gerard Du Plooy, Thanda Mavundla and Irvin Mazibuko were some of the members of that squad who played last week.
Next up will be this week’s Jo’burg Open for this group and judging by the performances they have been dishing up of late, it is not too far-fetched to think that one among them will cause an unexpected upset and win something one of these days.
Article courtesy of the Sunshine Tour.