Yurav Premlall

Yurav Premlall laid down a marker in the first staging of the Nedbank Junior Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City. Photo: GolfRSA

Yurav Premlall powers to Nedbank Junior Challenge lead at Sun City

Yurav Premlall laid down a marker in the first staging of the Nedbank Junior Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City.

Yurav Premlall

Yurav Premlall laid down a marker in the first staging of the Nedbank Junior Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City. Photo: GolfRSA

Glendower’s Yurav Premlall laid down a marker in the first staging of the Nedbank Junior Challenge when he fired an opening four-under-par 68 in an impressive start at the testing Gary Player Country Club.


On a day when only three golfers posted under-par rounds, the 17-year-old opened up a two-shot lead with a perfect start and finish to his opening salvo.

Fellow GolfRSA National Squad members Nash de Klerk and Jordan Duminy tied for second on two-under, while South African Golf Development Board (SAGDB) rising star Thami Ngobeni joined reigning SA Amateur champion and the GolfRSA No 1-ranked junior Christiaan Maas in fourth on level par.

Starting on the par-five 10th, Premlall blasted out of the blocks with a trio of birdies but his flawless exhibition was interrupted by a solitary bogey on the challenging par-four 18th hole, where 40 Nedbank Golf Challenge champions have lifted the iconic crystal trophy.


“I got off to the fast start with three birdies in a row,” said the 2021 Pro Shop Northern Amateur winner.

“I drove it far down the right on the 10th, but I had a decent lie in the rough. I hit a 2-iron just short of the green and made a good up-and-down birdie.

“On 11, I wedged it to five foot and holed the putt and on the next hole, I boxed a 25-footer.”


After his mid-round stumble, it looked as though Yurav Premlall would be eclipsed by Duminy and De Klerk, but he regained the lead with an exquisite chip shot to tap-in distance at the par-five 2nd.

“I had hit my tee shot too far left on the 18th and got a mud ball out of the rough,” Premlall said.

“I managed to miss the bunker right, but I couldn’t up-and-down to save par. I made amends on the second hole when I chipped it close and made the birdie putt.


The GolfRSA No 3 Junior stayed ahead of the chasing pack with six successive pars and sealed his position at the summit with a closing birdie at the picturesque par-five 9th.

“On the last hole, I was way right off the tee, so I punched out and left myself 120m in. I didn’t want to take on that pin, so I aimed right of the flag and the shot came off nicely. And I holed a 20 foot putt to finish with birdie.”


Yurav Premlall said that although the outward loop seemed impressive, he was very pleased with his game on his back nine.

“I didn’t really have a golf swing for the first nine holes, but just managed my game with some good up-and-downs and a couple of good breaks, if I’m very honest,” he said.

“On the back nine I started finding my swing and hit the ball really solid. I had nine holes of bogey-free golf, which is really tough to do around this course, so I’m pleased with that result.

“The course is a little shorter than when we played the SA Open here last December, but it’s also so wet that the ball is grabbing up a lot faster. The greens are a little slower too and I am still adjusting to that pace, but hopefully I’ll have the measure of them by tomorrow.”

Pecanwood’s De Klerk also started with three birdies on the bounce from the 10th and picked up two more on the par-four 14th and par-four 5th, while reigning Boland Amateur champion Duminy racked up five birdies in his opening round.

Maas, who took his title tally to 13 in the last eight months with his runaway triumph in last week’s Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship at Waterkloof Golf Club, pencilled two birdies and an eagle on the par-five 2nd hole on his card. Unfortunately the reigning SA Amateur champion offset his gains with four bogeys.

Ngobeni, who represented Mpumalanga in the 2019 SA U19 Inter-Provincial at Oubaai, came into the week ranked third on the Mpumalanga Junior standings.

The 17-year-old Kambaku golfer backed up his first victory on the provincial junior circuit in 2020 with another trophy finish this year, as well as a runner-up finish in the Sabie Junior Open, third in the Middelburg Junior Open and a sixth place finish in the Witbank Junior Open.

Fellow SAGDB member TJ Sandys, son of Sunshine Tour legend Omar Sandys, reached one-under with three holes to play, but a double bogey at the par-three 7th was his undoing.

The Klerksdorp golfer finished in a tie for sixth with Malan Potgieter, Morris Shiefner and 2021 GolfRSA National Squad inductee Christopher Bagnall.

Further down the leaderboard, both finalists of the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Match Play Championship on the weekend – medallist Hannes Strooh and runner-up Daniel Bennett – finished in the six-way tie on three-over.

First round scores:

68 – Yurav Premlall

70 – Nash de Klerk; Jordan Duminy

72 – Thami Ngobeni; Christiaan Maas

73 – Malan Potgieter; TJ Sandys; Christopher Bagnall; Morris Schiefner

75 – Hanro Kriel; Hannes Strooh; Daniel Bennett; Stefan Jacobs; Keagan Crosbie; Josh De Aguiar

76 – Michael Ferreira; Amilkar Bhana; Divan Mostert; Stefan Delport; Ivan Verster; Nico Booyens; Joshua Koekemoer; Kyle Conradie

77 – Jaime Clive Lewis; Jack Brugman; Matthew Lotz; Nico Els; Fabrizio de Abreu

78 – Devon Valentine; Mitch Phigeland; Janko van der Merwe; Christian Lewis; Dean Wilken; JC Schutte

79 – Behn Heyns; Jonathan Wilsenach; Werner Potgieter; John-William Blomerus; Tristan Leonard; Filip Sakota

80 – Julian Daws; Damian Osner; Dino Thobela; Alric Rowaan Rooi; Marno Lange; Jacob Joseph; Caden Sanders; Jaden Deltel

81 – Dylan Melville; Timothy Daniels; Hayden Morgan-Evens; Vuyisani Makhama; Johndre Ludick; Sean Tsipa

82 – Jordan Wessels; Kushal Bugareth; Rezario Adams; Herman du Plessis; C.J van Wyk

83 – Eric Ncube; Matthew Dippenaar

85 – Tobias Jan de Flamingh; Reinhardt Uys; Kairav Maduray; Ethan Govender; Jayden Hoskins

86 – Tiaan Hugo

87 – Luka Stanisavljevic; Bernhard Köster

88 – Andrew Long; Mihlali Tom

89 – Zinan Maimane; Thobelani Magwaza

90 – Hezron Frieslaar; Luc Gavagnin; Angelo Keffers

92 – Ronan Nortje

99 – Matthew Dennis