BENONI, 13 September 2017 – GolfRSA Elite Squad player Caitlyn Macnab cashed in on her first provincial victory in impressive style when she banked a hat-trick of titles in the recent Ekurhuleni Open.
Since losing the Curro SA Juniors International in March in a play-off to number one ranked Woo-Ju Son, the 15-year-old junior from Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate has been in threatening form.
Second in the Free State Championship in May and the Southern Cape Women’s Open in August, the petite Benoni golfer also racked up a handful of third place finishes, including the Northern Cape Championship earlier this month.
On Sunday, 10 September, it finally came together for Macnab at the Lake Club Benoni.
Having won the Champions of Champions at the same layout in August, she reeled in six birdies on the back nine and cancelled a double bogey at the first with an eagle at the par four 12th. She set the first round target at six-under-par 66 and headed into the second round with a five shot cushion over South Africa’s top senior Kajal Mistry from Gauteng.
Fellow Ekurhuleni junior Kiera Floyd blistered the course in 65 strokes in round two, but a 71 kept Macnab in pole position.
The 12-year-old Floyd kept up the pressure in the final round, but Macnab birdied the 17th hole to close with a 74 that was good enough to seal a one stroke victory over her stable-mate from the Grant Veenstra Golf Academy.
“Kiera opened with a 76, but she was on fire in round two and she chased me all the way to the final putt,” said Macnab. “It was great, because she kept me focussed.”
Victory on five under 211 not only earned Macnab the Open trophy, but she also collected silverware in the Junior A and Closed divisions.
“It feels really great to finally get through the door,” said Macnab. “It feels like I’ve been knocking for ages, but I trusted that if I stayed patient, my reward would come.
“It was really special to win my own provincial open and to celebrate my first big win with all my family, my coach and my friends.”
The grade nine St Dunstans College scholar attributed her victory to the work she has done with Womens Golf South Africa national coach Val Holland, her own coach Veenstra and the support team for the GolfRSA Elite Squad.
“Since I joined the squad at the start of the season, I’ve been exposed to so many things that have helped me to better golfer,” she said.
“I’ve learned processes from Val and Grant around tee shots, the short game and chipping that has helped to take my game to a higher level. I learnt just how much nutrition and conditioning impact on your performance. And the sessions with Maretha Claassen has definitely helped me to have a much stronger mental approach in competition.”
Macnab rose to fourth in the Junior Rankings and sixth in the Senior standings, courtesy of her win.
“Ultimately, I hope to get to number one in both the juniors and seniors rankings,” she said. “For now, my first goal is to break into the top three and the second is to achieve national colours. Hopefully this first win is just the start.”
In other results, Zane Naude edged out GolfRSA Elite Squad member Symone Henriques to win the Net Division on a 54-hole total of 213.
The 36-hole B-Division was also a closely run race with Lezette Vermaak defeating Christelle Delport by one shot for victory on 168.
Lake Club Benoni member Candice Rowles took the honours in the Open C Division. Rowles scored 65 points in the 36-hole Stableford Competition for 19–36 handicaps to win by four points.
Floyd also took the runner-up spot in the Closed A Division and the Junior A-Division, while Gauteng’s Holly Lau triumphed in the Junior B-Division.
GolfRSA National Squad player Sarah Bouch won the 54-hole Net Division on 223.
PHOTO – Caitlyn Macnab, proudly posing with her Open, Closed and Junior A Division trophies after winning the Ekurhuleni Open; credit Yvonne Macnab.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.