casey jarvis


Casey Jarvis has continued where he left off as an amateur, by making a big impact on the pro circuit. Gary Lemke

Casey Jarvis had replayed the moment in his head a thousand times. He’d actually practised the same putt countless more times in his first year as a professional golfer. Despite more than 20 amateur titles, including those on international soil in a garlanded career, this was the one that would count as a breakthrough in the 20-year-old’s life. Winning for the first time as a pro.

“I’d come second so many times, that to actually win was a huge relief. And to win it with a four-foot putt was the way I had imagined. It was a good feeling and I’d been practising those four- to five-footers for the whole year as I’d been struggling with them. So to see the ball drop was a culmination of the hard work I’d put in.”

I had a lot of maturing to do on the golf course. But I always believed I was capable of being a success

Jarvis’ first win as a pro was at the Challenge Tour’s Euram Bank Open at GC Adamstaal in Ramsau, Austria, in July. This milestone came in the first year of the former GolfRSA prodigy swapping his amateur status and diving into the deep, unforgiving pool of pro golfers.

“There isn’t a whole lot you can do to be prepared for the difference between the amateurs and pros,” said Jarvis while chilling at home on a rare break from the game. “It was a tough adjustment and I had a lot of maturing to do on the golf course. But I always believed I was capable of being a success.”


Casey Jarvis chats to Craig Stirton about all things golf.

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An emotional Casey Jarvis discusses his first Challenge Tour victory, at the Euram Bank Open in Austria.

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I travelled quite a lot with the GolfRSA squad and it was those trips... which helped me in my first year on the Challenge Tour


How Casey Jarvis set the joint Sunshine Tour scoring record with a round that included two eagles and nine birdies.

Before we reflect on that first year as a pro, which included winning the Sunshine Tour’s Rookie of the Year, Jarvis wants to dwell on the impact GolfRSA had in preparing him for the cut-and-thrust of pro life.

“All the structures are in place for amateurs. From fitness trainers, to psychologists, to funding, to support systems and the importance of the team environment, it all helps lay the foundations. I travelled quite a lot with the GolfRSA squad and it was those trips to countries like the United Kingdom and Japan which helped me in my first year on the Challenge Tour. I am so grateful to the likes of [CEO] Grant Hepburn and Mr Johann Rupert for all they did for me, and for what they do to contribute to the success of our amateur golfers.”

So while we have established that winning in Austria is the clear highlight of Jarvis’ first year, shooting 59 in the third round of the Stella Artois Players Championship at Dainfern in April is also worth celebrating. Although he had stood on the 18th with a 57 in sight, a wayward drive put an end to that dream. Instead, he left himself a 10-foot birdie putt for a 58. “I couldn’t feel my hands on the putter,” he says. While he missed the attempt, he tapped in for a 59, equalling the lowest-round score on the Sunshine Tour with Peter Karmis at the 2009 Lombard Insurance Classic.

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Reflecting on his first year out of the amateurs, the 20-year-old, says: “To think I won for the first time as a pro, lead the points rankings on the Challenge Tour and give myself a chance of earning my DP World Tour card is definitely a year where I exceeded any expectations I set myself. Having said that, I don’t have any specific goals for my second year. I don’t want to put any more pressure on myself and would like to see it as one where I consolidate, and progress, without having actual targets.”

Before his first tournament as a pro in 2022, this writer had asked Jarvis about his goals for 2023. “I want to try to get top-fives at the events I play in and I want to try to win on the Sunshine Tour. The big goal for next year is to get my DP World Tour card.”

One can see just how successful the South African has been. As he remarked earlier about “coming second so many times”, he had actually been runner-up at the Sunshine Tour’s PGA Championship last November, at the SDC Open in February, and at the Stella Artois Players Championship and The Tour Championship in April. So, he did that – and won on the tough Challenge Tour, in Austria.

He has also made friends while playing in Europe, while he admits to supporting Team Europe at the Ryder Cup. And then, without drawing much breath, he hastily adds: “But there’s no place like home – and home is South Africa.” And for that millions of countrymen and women can count their blessings, because we have another golfer with superstar potential.


Casey Jarvis’ amateur record and best finishes since turning pro in August 2022


A young Casey Jarvis chats about the importance of having a good attitude on the course!

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How Casey Jarvis won the 2021 African Amateur Championship, making him the first player to win the GolfRSA Triple Crown.

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