Bloemfontein’s 16-year-old Enrique van Wyk is one of the youngest competitors to participate in this year’s Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open in May. This will be the fourth time that Van Wyk will take part in the tournament.
Organised annually by the South African Disabled Golf Association (SADGA), the Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open has at its heart the goal to inspire and unite players, as well as acknowledge their achievements. The event, now sponsored by Canon South Africa, takes place in Cape Town from 15-17 May 2017.
Many talented local and international golfers have confirmed their participation in the Golf Open. Among these are Bob MacDermott (Canada), Martin Williams (United Kingdom), Shaun Bakker (United Kingdom), George Mecs (France) and Cian Arthurs (United Kingdom). South Africans have historically dominated the tournament, with Ben van Zyl winning the event from 1998 to 2003, Pieter Jansen in 2004, Nico Wentzel in 2008, Iglin Grobblaar in 2009 and 2010, and Daniel Slabbert from 2011 to 2013, and again in 2015.
In 2016, 30% of the field boasted single figure handicaps and more than half of the competitors have handicaps of 18 or lower. Van Wyk plays off a handicap of 27.
Van Wyk, who was born with Les Autres, which caused the left side of his body to be partly paralysed, is one of the emerging young stars on the disabled golf circuit. He won three divisions in 2015 at the Nedbank SA Disabled Golf Open for the Juniors Les Autres and C division. In 2016 he achieved two third places. He has also fared well in able-bodied competitions, winning the Glazier by Sanlam Junior tournament C division in 2014, achieving second place in 2015 and third place in 2016.
He describes golf as ‘his life’ and is excited to participate in the 2017 Canon South Africa Disabled Golf Open. ‘This tournament gives me the opportunity to compete at my own level, forget about disability and have fun. It is my week to be spoilt,’ he said.
According to Reinard Schuhknecht, brand ambassador for SADGA and the 2017 Canon South African Disabled Golf Open, the 2017 event boasts one of the best and most diverse fields in the history of the tournament. ‘Competition will indeed be fierce at the event, with over 80 talented golfers in the field,’ he said.