23 School Teams Enjoy KeNako Schools Golf Festival

KeNako Academy hosted the second annual KeNako Schools Golf Festival during May.  The tournament was once again an amazing success with 23 school teams of 4 players playing in the 2013 tournament.  KeNako was pleased to be able to host the tournament at three of George’s outstanding golf courses – Oubaai, George GC and Kingswood.

The weather fluctuated from absolutely beautiful at Oubaai on day one; to quite shocking with wind and rain on day two at George Golf Club; with day three at Kingswood then presenting the young players with something from all four seasons! One of the features of the KeNako Schools Golf Festival is that it doesn’t only cater for the top junior golfers.  The tournament has two divisions – the Medal Division sees the top young players, many of whom compete regularly in tournaments around the country, competing;  with the second section being a Stableford Division for players with higher handicaps – young players who do not normally get an opportunity to play in such an inter-schools competitive golf tournament.  The best 3 individual scores of each day count towards the overall team score.  Both boys and girls are welcome and the hope is that in years to come a separate Girls Division will be hosted as a third competing section.

The current Retief Goosen National High School Champions, Hoërskool Waterkloof from Pretoria, entered for the first time and played extremely well, being amongst the front runners on all three days before finally finishing in third position.  Another first time entry was Hoërskool Suid Natal who travelled all the way from Port Shepstone in KwaZulu Natal.  They played in the Stableford Division and provided the overall best individual Stableford Points player, Naude Barkhuizen, who played some excellent golf, scoring an individual 114 points and beating his 7 handicap by 6 strokes over the 3 days.  This was an outstanding result for a young boy who had never previously seen any of the courses played on.  Hoërskool Suid Natal finished in 3rd place in the Stableford Division.

Exciting Finish

The stage was set for an exciting finish at Kingswood and the teams did not disappoint.  In the Medal Division the three leading teams separated themselves from the field.  Cyril Botha from Hoërskool Punt in Mossel Bay played some amazing golf, starting his round with six consecutive 3’s including two eagles and two birdies and he managed to get his score to 7 under par for his round.  His outstanding play, supported by some solid golf by his teammates, saw Hoërskool Punt taking the lead after 9 holes but with a couple of holes to play both Hoërskool Waterkloof and Rundle College still had a chance to win.  For those of you who may not know, Rundle College is a new school that has been launched in George and that is attended by most KeNako Academy students.  The Rundle College team were playing ahead of their main rivals and the team scored an excellent level par 216, with Aidan Boon scoring 70, his twin brother Caylum 72 and Cameron Moralee 74.

Cyril and his teammate Mentz Germishuis both birdied the 17th hole which allowed Punt to take a 3 shot lead into the final hole and with all 3 counting players managing to par the final hole they went on to win by 3 stokes from Rundle College and Hoërskool Waterkloof, who were tied at 672 shots.  Defending champions Paul Roos Gymnasium were 13 shots further back in 4th place.  It was great having Paul Roos back and they did their school proud.  KeNako looks forward to hosting them for many years to come.

In the Stableford Division Parel Vallei dominated things on all three days and they managed to increase their lead to 16 points over second placed Rundle College’s Stableford team.  Charnay Williams from Rundle College continued her excellent recent progress and scored 111 individual points, an outstanding effort.  On day 2 at George in the bad weather Charnay excelled and scored a career best gross 79 off her 14 handicap.  It will not be long before Charnay is making a real impact on woman’s golf.

Other Highlights

JP Cooper from Hoërskool Waterkloof was the leading individual player, managing to shoot one under par 71 on each of the three courses to finish on 213, an outstanding effort.  In second place was Elmo Barnard from Strand who was one under par 215 for the 3 days, also a terrific effort.  The low round for the three days was Cyril Botha’s career best 67 at Kingswood on the final day, a remarkable effort!

An integral part of the tournament program saw all teams attending an educational session at the KeNako Academy, which included some technical input from Head Coach Roger Wessels, some physical training advice by KeNako’s Biokineticist Jan Fourie and mental skills coaching by Mariette le Roux.  The players and their teachers really appreciated this element of the tournament.  Dinner each night was served by KeNako’s resident chefs in a marquee set up at KeNako and this allowed for a festive atmosphere and some excellent social interaction between the players from around the country.  KeNako Academy once again invited a team from the SAGDB to participate and they really appreciated their invitation.  Participation in a tournament such as this is not only an amazing experience for the boys and girls but it also a chance to participate in an event that enthuses youngsters and promotes the values and the spirit associated with the game of golf.

The KeNako Schools Golf Festival is not just about golf – it is about making a positive contribution to society; about helping to break barriers; and allowing boys and girls to learn some Skills for Life!

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