Zimbabwe’s leading amateur golfer Stuart Krog intensified his preparations in the run up to the prestigious Curro South African Junior International Championship currently being held in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Curro South African Junior Championships, formerly known as the Kenako World Junior Series started today at Langebaan Golf Estate and will run until 6 March.
Krog, who is a student at St George’s College in Harare, headlines a strong contingent of six local junior golfers featuring at the tournament, which has attracted entrants from over 120 junior players from around the world.
Other members of the Zimbabwe team are Kieran Vincent and Travis Smith from St John’s College and Mbongeni Maphosa from Heritage School. Two Bulawayo juniors, Jack Allard and Justin Kiersten, are also part of the team.
Krog, who is tipped to do well in South Africa after putting on a superb display at the Orange Bowl International Golf Championships in the US in December, said he is hoping to do well at the prestigious tournament.
“I have been working hard around the greens making sure my chipping and putting is the best it could be. I have also put lots of emphasis on hitting the ball a bit lower to keep it under the wind.
“I’m hoping to be in contention for both individual and team event which I will play with my partner Kieran Vincent,” said Krog.
17-year-old Krog, who plays his golf at Chapman Golf Club in Harare, put Zimbabwe’s junior golf firmly on the golf map after finishing 19th at the Orange Bowl International Golf Championships in Florida.
Krog’s performance saw him catching the eye of scouts from several US universities including Virginia Tech University where Harare-born PGA Tour professional Brendon de Jonge did his tertiary education.
“Having the opportunity to be part of Orange Bowl was a dream come true for me and was a result of six years of hard work and dedication. My experiences while there were amazing and having the chance to play on the biggest stage meant the world to me,” he said.
“During the four-day tournament I had the chance to grow and learn from the best junior golfers in the world. Added to the pressure of participating each day, I had numerous US college scouts watching me, especially on day two after having nine birdies on my first round, colleges such as Virginia Tech, Tennessee State, Mississippi State and Florida Tech were in attendance. I am hoping to receive a scholarship from one of these colleges for 2015.”
Zimbabwe Junior Golf Association (ZJGA) president, Brian Maphosa said Krog and company were selected by virtue of being the highest placed junior golfers on the Order of Merit Standings.
“The ZJGA has an Order of Merit Ranking system from its national junior tournaments and that was used as the basis for selecting the six players for the Curro South African Junior Championships.
“The selected 6 are therefore the country’s top junior players and very promising young men and we are confident they will do well,” said Maphosa.
The Curro South African Junior Championships was until last year known as the Kenako World Junior Series. Last year, one of Zimbabwe’s representatives, Ben Follet-Smith finished a commendable fourth with scores of 72, 69 and 71. Follet-Smith, who is now on a golf scholarship at Mississippi State University, was two shots behind the overall winner Jade Buitendag of South Africa.