CofC golfer Van Wyk makes history as 1st black golfer to medal in CAA Tournament
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Kieron Van Wyk says it was a surprise when he learned he’s the first black golfer to win the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
“I had no clue until I was sitting in the van and I saw all the Instagram posts pop up.” Van Wyk said. “Yeah, I had no clue that that was even a thing. I’m happy and honored to be that and represent the College of Charleston on that basis.”
And he says its one of his goals to pave the way for more kids in South Africa and kids in America from different ethnic backgrounds to get into the sport of golf.
“Back home in South Africa, it’s been growing as a Golf is a predominantly white sport. So for non whites, it has been growing.” Van Wyk said. “And I’ve seen I’ve seen the progress through the development systems that have kind of filtered through. For America, I believe I can be an inspiration to young golfers black golfers over here as well. And I hope to be that for them. And I’m happy to represent a black young golfer abroad in South Africa.”
A role model Head Coach Mitch Krywulycz says kids can definitely look up to.
“He’s just a really good player, he makes great grades, and he’s competitive.” Krywulycz said. “He wants to beat you at everything he does. And he kinda looks like a young professional. You watch him play and think this kids got it together.”
He and his teammates are just getting started here in Charleston. The CofC team has four freshman which Van Wyk says has made the adjustment to college life a lot easier.
“It’s helped us climatized I guess, all of us, for all four of us being international.” the golfer said. “We kind of bounce off one another. Being away from home for for so long is a big deal. And getting home sick. We kind of just speak to one another. Hang out with each other. keep each other company.”
But for now they still have work to do heading into post-season play.
“Individually. I would like to see myself given that the field is so strong I’d like to see myself placing top 10. But as a team, of course advanced to the NCAA championships and I think we have a good chance.” Van Wyk said.
Van Wyk leads this CofC men’s golf team to the Palm Beach Gardens NCAA regional site where they’re the 9th seed. That tournament happening May 16 through 18.
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