GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall lifted the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the 111th South African Open Championship. Photo: Ernest Blignault
GolfRSA National Squad member Yurav Premlall lifted the Freddie Tait Cup as the leading amateur in the 111th South African Open Championship. Photo: Ernest Blignault

To lift the Freddie Tait Cup is very special, says SA’s Yurav Premlall

By Michael Sherman Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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Johannesburg - Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Branden Grace and Brandon Stone are just some of the names that have won the Freddie Tait Cup for the top-placed amateur at the SA Open, and on Sunday Yurav Premlall added his name to that heralded list.

The 18-year-old Premlall carded rounds of 70, 69, 72 and 75 to finish on two-under in a tie for 30th.

In fact, Premlall had already held a record at the SA Open as he became the youngest amateur in the history of the event to make the halfway cut in 2018 at the age of 15 years and five months.

On Sunday at the Gary Player Country Club, a more mature Premlall finished three shots ahead of his closest amateur challenger Kieron van Wyk who finished on one-over for the week.

It was the culmination of a number of attempts for the young prodigy to achieve his ultimate goal at SA Open as an amateur.

“It took me four tries, and I am over the moon that that I got the job done. I’ve been waiting a long time for this moment. It was something I always wanted to achieve, and this means the world to me,” said Premlall.

“To lift the Freddie Tait Cup is very special. Ours is the second oldest Open in golf, and to finish as the leading amateur and to join the list of past winners is something we all aspire to. To join guys like Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Charl Schwartzel and Branden Grace as a winner is a dream come true and I am over the moon that I pulled it through.”

It was also not the first time Premlall tasted success at the famed Gary Player Country Club - in May he won the Nedbank Junior Challenge, going wire-to-wire. On that occasion, the then-17-year-old Premlall finished on three-under for the week.

“I guess something about this course brings out the best in me. It just suits my game. Coming back here after winning the Nedbank Junior Challenge definitely boosted my confidence.”

His romp to victory at the SA Open, however, didn’t go exactly according to plan in the fourth round as he recorded two double bogeys and two bogeys, and just three birdies.

“To be honest, I almost lost it by getting too aggressive. I wasn’t disciplined and made a terrible start with a double at 11 and bogey at 12. I went back to playing the last nine holes conservatively and not doing anything stupid. Even coming into the final hole, I could have gone for the green, but I chose the safer option.”

As for his thoughts on when he might turn professional, Premlall said he still had some goals to achieve in the amateur game before he joins the paid ranks.

“I’m on the right track. There’s still a couple of things I need to do to turn pro and have a purpose to turning a pro. There’s a big difference (between the amateur and professional game), I’m not going to be the kind of person to turn pro just for the sake of it. I’ve learnt a lot from this week, and I can’t wait for the next part of the journey.” - African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Michael Sherman

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