NMMU student Kyle de Beer continued to show his potential on the golf course when he captured the Eastern Province-Border Strokeplay title at the Fish River Sun this weekend.
The first-year human movement science student won the event after being one shot behind second-round leader Naldo Claassen, of Port Elizabeth, following the opening 36 holes on Saturday.
Shooting a four-under-par 68 in the last round on Sunday, De Beer posted a final total of 211, finishing one ahead of Greg McKay from Mount Edgecombe in KwaZulu-Natal.
Claassen, after rounds of 73 and 69 on Saturday, had a 71 on Sunday to finish tied third on 213 with another PE player, Allan Lones.
The 18-year-old KPMG Madibaz Golf Club member said he was pleased with the victory, having gone into the tournament without any great expectations.
“I had a few new clubs in my bag which I was trying out so I wasn’t expecting too much,” he said.
“But it was nice to get the win which was my first open tournament victory.”
He added he would be targeting a number of similar events on the South African calendar this year, with his next date being the Western Province Amateur in Cape Town in the last week of April.
Last month, De Beer was recognised by the national selectors when he was named in a South African Junior team for a triangular tournament at Houghton Golf Club in Johannesburg against a Scotland side and an SA Golf Development Board outfit.
The Madibaz star emerged from that triangular with two wins and a half in three of his matches, losing only in the foursomes encounter against Scotland when they were beaten on the final hole.
In the singles matches against Scotland, De Beer was the only South African player not to lose, an achievement which he said gave him a sense of pride.
Having grown up in PE, De Beer attended St Dominic’s Priory and, besides golf, also excelled at cricket and soccer, earning provincial colours in both sports.
His earliest memories of golf are playing with a set of plastic clubs with his father, Dean, when he was about three.
Although a versatile sportsman, his focus is now on golf, while also concentrating on his studies at NMMU.
“First I want to complete my degree and then look to try to compete in the professional arena,” said De Beer.
Not surprisingly, he looks up to the best golfer South Africa has produced, Gary Player, as his role model, while he also cited American Rickie Fowler and Irishman Rory McIlroy as players he would like to emulate.
However, he acknowledged those closer to home when he reflected on his career so far.
“All my coaches played major roles in the other sports I played, but in golf, my coach Graeme Whale and my dad have been the biggest influences.”