Jovan Rebula hoping to better famous uncle's British Amateur record

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Jovan Rebula hoping to better famous uncle's British Amateur record

Amateur

Jovan Rebula hoping to better famous uncle's British Amateur record

ABERDEEN, Scotland – Jovan Rebula is hoping to follow in the footsteps of uncle Ernie Els and make it to the British Amateur Championship final. He just wants a different part from The Big Easy’s 1988 role.

The Auburn player is through to match play after adding a level-par 71 at Royal Aberdeen to his 73 at Murcar. He sits at 3 over.

The rising junior rose up the leaderboard after playing Royal Aberdeen’s first eight holes in 4 under with birdies at the fifth and eighth holes, and an eagle at the par-5 sixth. Sadly, he played the next 10 holes in 4 over.

“You just need to make it to the match play,” Rebula said. “First part of the job’s done. Now for the second part. Links golf suits me. I can hit it low enough to be able to keep it in play. I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament. I’ll bring my A-game.”

Having a four-time major winner for an uncle has benefited Rebula’s game.

“He’s done a lot for me over my career,” Rebula said. “We’ve got a very good relationship. It’s always special to have someone like that you can talk to who’s been in way bigger moments than this.”

Rebula has taken the college route to develop his game, unlike Els. Classmates can’t say his name.

“They just go with Jo or Yo, or Big Jo,” Rebula said.

But his college experience compensates.

“It’s been a big learning curve but this season went pretty well,” Rebula said. “The competition is big because you get all the guys who want to play the PGA Tour, European Tour. They want to go to college and compete against the best and that’s my mission, too.”

Els played in three straight Amateurs. He suffered first-round losses in 1987 and ’89 but reached the ’88 final at Royal Porthcawl … as caddie for South African teammate Ben Fouchee. Els lost in Round 4 but hung around to caddie for Fouchee, who lost by one hole to Sweden’s Christian Hardin.

Rebula will have major bragging rights over Uncle Ernie if he can become only the second South African-born British Amateur winner since Bobby Cole in 1966.

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