Record-breaking Jarvis triumphs in SA Stroke Play

by | Feb 14, 2020

JOHANNESBURG, 13 February 2020 – Casey Jarvis etched his name into the record books as the youngest winner in South African Stroke Play Championship history when he claimed the prestigious title in dominant fashion at Randpark Golf Club on Thursday.

At 16 years, 6 months and 17 days, Jarvis broke a record that had been held for 51 years when he triumphed with a winning aggregate of 25-under-par 263 – a full nine strokes clear of his nearest competitor, Port Elizabeth’s Kyle de Beer.

The Boksburg teenager eclipsed the previous mark held by the renowned Dale Hayes, who won the first edition of the flagship event at 16 years and 8 months at Humewood Golf Club in 1969.

In January, Jarvis shot to No 1 in the GolfRSA Open Amateur rankings with successive victories in the Free State and Gauteng North Opens. He briefly relinquished the top spot on Monday to African Amateur Stroke Play Championship winner Martin Vorster, but this latest victory has propelled the State Mines golfer back to the summit.

His performance around the 6,746-metre, par-72 Firethorn Course, where a month earlier the European Tour’s elite players battled it out for the South African Open Championship, gave new meaning to the old cliché of ‘he came, he saw, he conquered’.

Jarvis laid down a marker with an opening six-under-par 66, opened up a two-shot lead with a second round 67 and stretched his advantage to four shots with a round of 65 on moving day. Over 54 holes, he racked up 22 birdies and surrendered just four shots. That birdie tally would swell to 27 as the State Mines golfer toured Firethorn on the final day in flawless fashion.

He opened with three straight pars, followed by a trio of birdies from the par-five fourth and made the turn on 21-under. Leading De Beer and Irishman Rowan Lester by eight shots, Jarvis put on a real show on the back nine – a fourth gain on the par -five 12th, a chip-in eagle at the par-five 14th and a final birdie at the par-four 16th.

Two rock solid pars on the closing holes put an exclamation mark behind his feat.

His success came down to an unwavering belief that he could win, his affinity for the Firethorn Course and his partnership with legendary caddie Tiger Lekhune – the man who once famously told Tiger Woods “Nice to meet you, but I’m the original Tiger”, and who carried the bag for most of Major champion Nick Price’s 48 victories worldwide. He also helped steer Jarvis to victory at Randpark in the Joburg Junior Open last December.

“My dad almost always carries for me and we’ve won some big ones,” said Jarvis. “Tiger took the bag for the Joburg Junior Open, so I asked him to carry for me again this week. He’s been at Randpark for more than 25 years, and he reads the greens better than anyone I know.

“He is also good at calming me down. I am very fast. I walk fast, I hit fast and I putt fast. Because he is slower, he slows me down. It actually helps me to focus. He is so experienced and he knows just when to speak up and when to back off. It’s been a great week for us.”

As for his love affair with Firethorn, Jarvis says it is all about the greens.

“I love these greens. They are so pure and run so true. If you steer your ball on the right line and with the right pace, then the putts drop centre cup every time. I drove the ball really well and barely missed a fairway or a green all week. And my putting was on song.

“When I’m playing like this, I know I can win and I know I can win big. I just go out there, believe it and I make it happen.”

The teenager reflected on the week, and a final round that will live long in his memory.

“This has been a dream. To win the SA Stroke Play is the best achievement of my career. It was a magic week where I really played my best golf and got rewarded for it. Now I’m going to switch off for a day and then turn my focus to the AON SA Amateur Championship.

“My other goals are to lift the Proudfoot Trophy and the SA Amateur title. If I can play well in the qualifier and win it, it will put me in a good position for the match play. I love Royal Johannesburg and Kensington; it’s one of my most favourite courses, so taking a game this solid to the SA Amateur feels really good.”

The ground-breaking AON SA Amateur Championship will see the Women’s and Men’s Championships being played concurrently on the East and West Courses of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from 16-21 February.

Jarvis will not be the only player to fancy his chances next week.

GolfRSA National Squad stablemate Kyle de Beer carded rounds of 67, 71, 67 and 67 to finish alone in second on 16-under. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation will take a healthy amount of confidence to the flagship event, as will Irishman Caolan Rafferty – a semi-finalist in last year’s SA Amateur.

The Dundalk golfer closed with 67 to finish in third on 15-under. South African pair Keagan Thomas and Kieron van Wyk produced a pair of 68s to share fourth a further stroke back.

Final Result
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified
263 Casey Jarvis 66 65 67 65
272 Kyle de Beer 67 71 67 67
273 Caolan Rafferty IRL 70 71 65 67
275 Keagan Thomas 70 69 68 68; Kieron van Wyk 69 72 66 68
276 James Sugrue IRL 70 66 72 68
277 Joseph Long GBR 72 70 67 68; Tom Mckibbin IRL 71 75 64 67; Amilkar Bhana 71 66 70 70; Rowan Lester IRL 66 67 69 75; Haider Hussain ENG 65 71 72 69
278 Drikus Joubert 71 68 68 71; Sam Bairstow ENG 70 70 69 69; Martin Vorster 69 68 71 70
279 Aneurin Gounden 73 68 70 68; Nordin van Tilburg NED 72 73 67 67; Siyanda Mwandla 70 69 69 71
280 Kiet van der Weele NED 70 69 71 70; Koen Kouwenaar NED 69 69 72 70
281 Matthew Mcclean IRL 72 72 67 70; Nicolas Muller FRA 70 72 65 74; Tyran Snyders 69 73 67 72
282 Christo Lamprecht Jnr 72 71 69 70; Andrew Williamson 70 73 74 65; Nikhil Rama 70 71 70 71
283 Dario Antonisse NED 73 70 71 69; Yurav Premlall 71 71 71 70; Samuel Simpson 71 69 69 74; Christiaan Burke 70 70 73 70; Olly Huggins GBR 70 70 70 73
284 Tom Vaillant FRA 75 72 69 68; Jonothan Broomhead 74 68 71 71; Robin Williams GBR 72 73 69 70; Ryan van Velzen 72 73 68 71; Nikhil Gopal 72 70 69 73; Constantin Unger GER 69 73 72 70
285 Letsoso Letsai 75 71 69 70; Peter Handcock GBR 72 72 67 74; Christiaan Maas 71 72 70 72
286 Oliver Goldhill 73 74 70 69; Therion Nel 70 77 68 71; Luca Filippi 70 75 69 72; Stuart Easton SCO 70 74 71 71; Connor Wilson SCO 67 72 75 72
287 Charles Larcelet FRA 72 70 71 74; James Wilson SCO 64 74 74 75
288 Ayden Senger 70 71 70 77; Bob Geurts NED 69 75 74 70; Thabiso Magwaza 69 74 73 72
289 Nash de Klerk 77 70 71 71; Keith Egan IRL 74 71 74 70; Shaun Jones 69 74 72 74
290 Cole Stevens 72 75 70 73; Robert Brazill IRL 71 76 68 75; James Biggs ENG 70 72 76 72
291 Jason Broomhead 73 72 72 74; James Murray 70 70 79 72
292 Elliot Anger FRA 73 74 70 75; Stephen Roger SCO 70 76 70 75; Sebastian Sliwka GER 71 75 74 72
293 Jordan Duminy 72 72 72 77; Adam Breen 71 73 74 75
296 Mandla Dlamini 74 69 76 77; Louis Liebenberg 70 77 72 77
297 Darren Howie SCO 72 68 79 78
298 Warwick Purchase 74 73 74 77
299 Brendan Els 75 71 73 80
300 Pierre Pellegrin 76 69 83 72

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.
Photo credit Ernest Blignault.

 

 

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