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December 2017

Boland's Riaan Rooi earned the chance to play with the pros at Sun City

SAGDB boys revel in opportunity to play Nedbank Golf Challenge Pro-Am

Two of the SAGDB's most promising youngsters, Riaan Rooi from Riverside Golf Club in Boland and Thabiso Magwaza from Umhlali Golf Club in KwaZulu-Natal, were given the incredible opportunity to play in the Pro-Am ahead of this year's Nedbank Golf Challenge at Sun City. The pair were invited by The Sports Trust, which has been a long-time supporter of the SAGDB.

Riaan and Thabiso earned their invitations on the strength of their positions on the SAGDB's National Order of Merit. They have both had very strong seasons, and had therefore earned the opportunity to compete at this prestigious event.

The pair were teamed with Italian professional Edoardo Molinari for the event, but also had the chance to interact with many of the other top golfers at the event. They had a particularly warm reception from South African Branden Grace, who always has time for SAGDB players. This was made even more special when Grace went on to win the title.

“They really had a good time and had lots of fun,” said the SAGDB's head of operations and projects, Andre Rossouw, who accompanied them. “It was a dream come true for them to play on the Gary Player Country Club course, but it's a tough course. You have to hit the ball very straight!”

Thabiso played well to go round in 82, while Riaan struggled a little to card a score of 89.

“Thabiso really enjoyed to play on such long, challenging course,” said KZN development manager Joseph Kunene. “It was a great experience for him to be exposed to such environment.”

Rossouw agreed that the boys would take a lot away from the experience.

“It was great for them to see how things work on the pro circuit,” said Rossouw. “The players are well looked after, but they have to work hard and are very self-disciplined. Even in the heat, they went to the driving range for more practice after their rounds.”