South African golf legend Ernie Els’ daughter Samantha will make her Springbok Women’s rugby team debut in its WXV2 warm-up match against San Clemente Rhinos at False Bay Rugby Club in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Els is a 24-year-old former Stanford University student who plays for US club team New York Rugby Club as a lock forward.
Meanwhile, the WXV2 is a competition involving six teams including two from Europe, the fourth-placed team from the cross-regional tournament featuring USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia and one team from Oceania, Asia and Africa, including the Springboks.
The match will mark coach Louis Koen’s final opportunity to assess his options before the WXV2 begins in October.
Samantha’s dad is well known to most golf fans. He won four Majors between 1994 and 2012 among a total of 75 professional victories. He also spent nine weeks as World No.1 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011. Nowadays, the 53-year-old mainly competes on the PGA Tour Champions although he does occasionally still play on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Asian Tour,
As a two-time winner of The Open, he is also still eligible for the final Major of the year, and played in the tournament at Royal Liverpool in July, but missed the cut.
Samantha has previously accompanied her father several times in The Masters Par 3 Contest at Augusta National, while she was also seen with him when he captained the International Team in the 2019 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Australia.
Samantha’s call-up to the Springbok Women’s team suggests she’s poised to follow in her father’s footsteps, albeit in a different sport, and forge a successful career of her own.