Siphayi in with a shot at Amateur Strokeplay

SWINGING: Siphiwe Siphayi. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 03/08/00. © Sowetan.
SWINGING: Siphiwe Siphayi. Pic. Veli Nhlapo. 03/08/00. © Sowetan.

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Promising young Soweto golfer Siphiwe Siphayi, who teed off yesterday in the South African Amateur Strokeplay Championship at Pearl Valley Country Club, stands a chance of lifting the prestigious trophy.

Siphayi, 17, who has been playing against older players in these tournaments, hopes to do well in this event that ends tomorrow.

His father Kenny, who saw his son off at OR Tambo International Airport, said they were not under pressure but his son was likely to give his older opponents a run for their money.

"He's still young and learning. He likes the game and is committed to golf and I'm praying that he should do well in this event," said Kenny yesterday.

Young Siphayi won a number of tournaments last year, including the Central Gauteng Under-23 and the Central Gauteng Close at Randpark; the Ernie Els Junior Order of Merit in George; the Under-19 World Cup in Japan; and the Interprovincial Under-23 tournament in Swartkop.

But he will be meeting exciting golfers like Dylan Frittelli, who has declared that victory in this tournament would rank high on his list of achievements.

But the 17-year-old says the national strokeplay title is the one he's really after.

"The SA Amateur Strokeplay is an exceptionally tough tournament to win, and it will be even tougher on a layout like Pearl Valley," said Frittelli.

Another golfer who will be looking to raise the bar this week is Western Province Amateur Strokeplay champion Alpheus Kelapile.

A black golfer has never won the national strokeplay title, and Kelapile is using James Kamte's recent success in the professional ranks as motivation.

Kamte recently became the first local black golfer to win on the Sunshine Tour's summer swing.