ZIMBABWE’S leading female junior golfer Danielle Bekker has been rewarded for her impressive start to the season with selection to represent the country at this year’s edition of the Junior Open Championship to be held at Kilmarnock (Barassie) Golf Club on the west coast of Scotland from July 11-13.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
The tournament runs concurrently with golf’s third major tournament of the year, the 145th Open Championship to be played at Royal Troon Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Bekker, who will be travelling to Scotland with her father Ryan, will be Zimbabwe’s only representative at the biannual tournament which is played over three rounds of strokeplay.
“The Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union selectors met on Wednesday and selected Danielle Bekker to represent Zimbabwe at the Junior Open in July. Danielle will be travelling with her father — he cannot caddy for her in this tournament — but will just be there in a supportive role,” said Danielle’s mom Ilonka Bekker, who is also Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union (ZLGU) president.
The 13-year-old Chapman Golf Club young star has been in dominant form on the local women’s golf circuit, winning the first three major provincial tournaments on the ZLGU calender this year.
Bekker started the year on a high by clinching the Mashonaland East/West Open at Ruwa Country Club and she has since gone on to win two more major local titles — the Matabeleland Strokeplay in Bulawayo and last weekend’s Harare Provincial Open Strokeplay played at The Brooke.
She was also part of a young Zimbabwe side which finished a commendable fourth out of 16 nations at the 2016 edition of the prestigious All-Africa Challenge Trophy held in Tunisia last month.
In preparation for the Junior Open Championship, Danielle is scheduled to take part in the annual European Junior Championships which are being played May 31, June 1 and June 2 at Gullane in East Lothian in Scotland.
Meanwhile, after featuring in the Junior Open Championship, Bekker will head to the United States where she is scheduled to feature in two high profile tournaments.
Bekker has already entered the World Stars of Junior Golf to be played in Las Vegas from July 17-21 and subsequently the US Teen World Championships from July 27-31 at the Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina.
She is expected to return home in time to feature in the ZLGU Open Strokeplay Championships to be played at The Brooke Golf and Country Club from August 5-7.