South African Amateur Smashes Records With Dominant 21-Shot Tournament Victory

Daniel Bennett led from start to finish to claim the Nomads South Africa Boys Under 19 event with record 34-under score

Young South African Daniel Bennett
(Image credit: GolfRSA)

Rising star Daniel Bennett took dominating a golf tournament to a whole new level as he stormed to victory in the Nomads South Africa Boys Under 19 Stroke Play Championship by an incredible 21 shots.

The 17-year-old led from start to finish at Pecanwood Golf and Country Estate and left the field trailing in his wake as he not only claimed a record 21-shot victory but also finished on record score of 34-under.

Bennett made just one bogey in the entire 72-hole competition but carded 33 birdies and an eagle to lift the trophy previously won by South African greats such as Ernie Els and Trevor Immelman.

“It’s something special for me to win this way,” said Bennett after lifting the trophy. “As soon as I teed off on the first day, I never looked back. 

“There are some great names on this trophy, like Ernie Els, Trevor Immelman, Dylan Frittelli, Thriston Lawrence and Jayden Schaper. I’m thrilled that I get to add my name to the list. 

“If I can continue playing some good golf, hopefully I can reach the levels they have reached in the game.”

Bennett pipped the previous record 20-stroke victory set by reigning Amateur champion Aldrich Potgieter and also beat Mark McNulty’s previous South African scoring record of 29-under – and tied Cameron Smith’s PGA Tour record of 34-under.

“Wow, Cameron is such big name and to know that I matched his record, it pretty amazing,” added Bennett. “It feels really cool to match someone of that calibre.”

The teenager looks like one to keep an eye out on as the next big golfing star coming out of South Africa, but for now he’s keeping his feet on the ground and focusing on improving his game.

“I think my game has been heading in the right direction,” he added. “I changed my grip just before I went to the Northern Amateur and this week, just before the tournament teed off, I changed my putter. 

“I am really happy with the changes I made because I can now see the results. I’ve been working really hard with my coach Nico van Rensburg at Silver Lakes; just grinding and working hard every week. So, this win is very special. This is a satisfying win for me.”

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.