Nikhil Rama, an 18-year-old member of Bryanston Country Club, produced exceptional and error free play to win his first Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series title on a picture perfect yet scorching day at Milnerton Golf Club on Thursday 26 September 2019.
Having never played the links course which has Table Mountain providing a dramatic backdrop, Nikhil focused on keeping the ball in play. He managed to hit 17 of 18 greens on his way to a bogey-free 66 and a single shot victory over Tobias Jan de Flamingh of Pretoria CC and Westlake GC member Kieran Urquhart (68) in third.
A late birdie flourish on 15 and 16 was decisive for the young star who is coached by Hendrik Buhrmann of the BD Golf Academy at Eagle Canyon Golf Estate. A relative latecomer to golf, having taken up the game at age 13, Nikhil’s star has risen remarkably over the past 12 months and his aim is to earn a spot in the national junior squad which will tour the UK in 2020.
“The long-term plan is to go to qualifying school for the Sunshine Tour, then look to Europe and the USA – starting with smaller tours and working my way up,” said Nikhil.
By winning the title Nikhil has secured his place in the regional final of the #BridgeJuniorSeries to be played over 36-holes in April 2020, where he will compete for the ultimate prize – an all-expenses paid trip to the Junior North and South Championship at Pinehurst, USA in July 2020.
“I have entered a number of Bridge Junior Series events over the past few years with the goal of getting to Pinehurst,” said Nikhil. “I am sure I have had more runner-up and third-place finishes than anyone! So it is great to finally get the job done.”
The juniorseries.bridgefm.co.za launched in July 2017, is endorsed by GolfRSA and managed by the SA Golf Development Board. Open to boys and girls in the U13 and U19 divisions, the Series is played across 18 tournaments hosted by leading courses countrywide and attracted over 1500 entries in Season 2. The 18 tournament winners contest 36-hole regional finals in April 2020 with the two winners jetting off to Pinehurst.
“Nikhil showed remarkable composure in managing both the heat and the challenge of an unknown course,” said Paul Stewart, Chief Executive at Bridge Fund Managers. “He has been a loyal supporter of the Bridge Junior Series and we will be delighted to host him at the regional finals in April 2020.”
TaylorMade Golf has renewed its support for the Series and will provide prizes for the outstanding young golfers at the 18 regional events, as well as the two finals.