Rebula wins 123rd Amateur Championship
Jovan Rebula will make a dramatic move up the World Amateur Golf RankingTM when it is updated June 27th after becoming the second South African winner of the Amateur Championship. The 20-year-old from George defeated Ireland’s Robin Dawson 3&2 in the scheduled 36-hole final at Royal Aberdeen to join Bobby Cole in 1966 as South African winners.
Rebula gained bragging rights over uncle Ernie Els by taking the title. Four-time major winner Els appeared in the 1988 final, but only as caddie to teammate Ben Fouchee. Els lost in the fourth round that year, his best performance in three Amateur Championship appearances, but hung around to caddie for Fouchee, who lost to Sweden’s Christian Hardin.
Rebula began the tournament ranked 192nd on the WAGR table, 157 places behind 35th ranked Dawson, who will also improve his world status with his runner-up finish. However, Rebula played better golf over the 34 holes to earn a place in next month’s Open Championship at Carnoustie, where he will play a practice round with Els. He also earns invitations to next year’s Masters and U.S. Open.
It was an excellent week for South African golf. Wilco Nienaber finished number one qualifier with an 8-under-par 133 36-hole total to enter the match play rounds as number one seed by two shots. Nienaber lost in round four but will greatly improve his current ranking of 215th.