SA’s Potgieter makes golf history

Henry

Golf’s record books have been rewritten for the second time within a week.

This time it was the South African Aldrich Potgieter who immortalized his name in the annals of the game.

At 19 years, four months and 11 days, Potgieter became the youngest winner ever in the American Korn Ferry series with his victory on Wednesday in the Greater Abaco Classic in the Bahamas.

The previous youngest champion was Australian Major champion Jason Day, who was 19 years, seven months and 26 days old in 2007 when he won the Legend Financial Group Classic.

“I didn’t expect it in any way and just tried to do as well as possible,” said the native of Mossel Bay after he won by two shots with a score of 278 (-10).

The British amateur champion of 2022 started the final round with a deficit of five shots.

However, a great 65 (-7) on the last day, which included four birdies over the last six holes, gave the young South African star his first career victory.

“It’s incredible, but it’s not going to change much in my life. My goal is to play in the PGA series and there is a lot of hard work ahead to achieve that,” said Potgieter after pocketing $180 000 (about R3.4 million) for his first title as a professional player .

The Korn Ferry Series in which Potgieter currently competes is the feeder series of the PGA Series.

At the end of last year, Potgieter was unable to secure a player’s card for the prestigious series in the PGA Series’ qualifying tournament, but was granted playing rights for the Korn Ferry Series by finishing among the top 100.

Potgieter joined the money ranks in June last year after a successful amateur career.

Apart from the British amateur title, Potgieter also won the African amateur stroke crown in 2023.

The Mossel Bay star was part of Louis Oosthuizen’s academy before he went to pursue his dreams in the USA.

*The Yank Nick Dunlap rewrote the record books ahead of Potgieter on Sunday with his victory in California in the American Express tournament. It was the first time in 33 years that an amateur won a tournament of the American PGA series.

The last person before Dunlap to do it was Phil Mickelson, who in 1991 won the Northern Telecom title as an amateur.

*The two South African players in the field of the Farmers Insurance Classic, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Garrick Higgo, are far behind the leader after the first round of this PGA tournament in California.

Bezuidenhout played 72 shots over his first 18 holes, with Higgo recording a score of 73 (+1).

Kevin Yu (64) sets the pace at -8, followed by Patrick Cantlay and Ryo Hisatsune at -7 in joint second position.

The start of the Farmers Insurance tournament has been brought forward by a day so that the end of the tournament does not clash with two important NFL football games taking place in America on Sunday.

  • Additional Information: PGA Tour