Richards lifts Free State Championship title
WELKOM (30 April 2014) – Mpumalanga’s Monja Richards claimed her first provincial victory of the season with a wire-to-wire victory at the Free State & Northern Cape Championship title at Oppenheimer Golf Club on Sunday.
Richards got off to a solid start with an opening 73 and shared the first round lead with 16-year-old Shawnelle de Lange from Central Gauteng.
A second round 73 pushed the Nelspruit golfer into pole position on two-over-par 146.
De Lange returned a 77 and slipped to second, two shots ahead of recent Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion, Carrie Park, who carded successive 76s.
Richards carded a final round 74 to seal a comprehensive five-stroke victory on four-over-par 220.
Gauteng North’s Park fired a 73 and vaulted to second alongside De Lange, who signed for a closing 75.
The pair finished one stroke ahead of Central Gauteng duo, Ivanna Samu and Natasha Carlsson.
Fifteen-year-old Samu carded rounds of 76, 74 and 76, while 16-year-old Carlsson opened with a 76 and followed with two 75s.
Richards, who has been in threatening form this season, was thrilled to get the monkey off her back.
“I am really excited by this victory, because I feel like I have redeemed myself,” she said.
“After winning a couple of times last year and posting some top 10 finishes, I was in a good position in the WGSA senior rankings and I thought I would make the All-Africa team.
“But, although I had a couple of close shaves this season, I just wasn’t able to close it off in the final round and I started slipping in the rankings and my performance at the Sanlam SA Womens Stroke Play didn’t help me much, either.
“I came to Oppenheimer Park looking to redeem myself. I turned the disappointment into positive energy and I’m really pleased that I pulled it through.
“The course was pretty tough, especially in the wind, and it was a great challenge. To be honest, I was pretty nervous going into the final round. I was in contention before this season and threw it away, but this time I hung in there and got the victory.
“To say I’m pleased would be an understatement. Now I’m just gunning to keep going!”
Twelve-year-old Caitlyn McNab won the B-Division by three strokes from Carina Theron. The 10-handicapper carded rounds of 83, 85 and 86 for a winning score of 254.
Meanwhile Moira Jordaan edged out Marie Vermeulen for the C-Division title on a count-out after both players finished on 300.
The FS & NC Closed Championship was won by Zanele Mazibuko from Harrismith Golf Club, who is currently studying at Tuks University.
Ivanna Samu of Ruimsig Country Club has just won the Pam Golding Western Province Stroke Play Championships on two level par rounds of 144. This is Ivanna's first ever Provincial title and I am sure she is delighted. She has been playing great golf of late and is currently ranked number two in Gauteng, this may change after todays great rounds. She beat Ji Sun Kang of Atlantic Beach by one shot. The only other Gauteng golfertaking part was Kaleigh Telfer who finished tied 13th on 156 (79,77) Kaleigh flew down to Cape Town after competing in the Sunshine Ladies Tour event at Blue Valley, she has played in three of the seven professional tournaments and has gained great experience.
Our Gauteng girls took part in the KZN Championships held this weekend at Mount Edgecombe golf club. In the A Division, Kaleigh Telfer continued her great golf and was runner up to Carrie Park. Kaleigh playing off scratch carded rounds pf 75 and 72 to finish 6 shots back of Park. Woo-Ju Son, playing off a 3 handicap shot 75 and 76, Chiara Contomathios finished in 14th place after rounds of 80 and 79 and Symone Henriques was 17th with rounds of 87 and 75.
In the B Division, Kaiyuree Moodley of Bryanston won on great scores of 81 and 78. Kaiyuree played off an 11 and has been cut to a 10 after this weekend's great golf.
Mae Cornforth gave the local crowds plenty to cheer about when she stormed to victory in the North West Championship at Goldfields West Golf Club on Monday.
Cornforth carded rounds of 71, 76 and 69 to triumph on three-under-par 216, four shots ahead of Ekurhuleni’s Sarah Bouch five clear of Gauteng North’s Magda Kruger.
The 18-year-old Potchefstroom golfer took the first round lead at the classical Bob Grimsdell-designed layout ahead of Monja Richards from Mpumalanga, who opened with a 72.
When Cornforth surrendered her advantage in the second round and slipped to third, Richards took control with a 73, while Bouch doubled up on 73s to edge into second.
However, Cornforth has enjoyed a very successful run this season and pulled on all her resources to vault past the opposition in the final round.
In early February, Cornforth reached the final of the Eastern Province Match Play and tied for fifth in the Stroke Play Championship. A few weeks later, she took sixth at the Border Championship.
Boosted by these performances and drawing on her recent good fortune on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, Cornforth decided on a game plan for the final round.
“I really wanted to win at home and I knew I needed a game plan,” Cornforth said.
“I didn’t have any kind of plan at the Eastern Province and Border Championships, so I thought about how I played the Sunshine Ladies Tour events.
“I tied for 10th at Lost City and at Glendower, I finished 16th and I outplayed a lot of professionals. I realised that in those events I played tee to green and limited my bogeys. I didn’t take unnecessary chances and I controlled my game better.
“So that is what my game plan was for the final day…solid striking from tee to green, and limiting my mistakes. I needed birdies and I needed to finish well below par, because that’s how the players like Ashleigh (Simon), Tandi (von Ruben) and Kim (Williams) play.”
Although Cornforth dropped four shots, she rallied with eight birdies to hit the magic number.
“The key was that I made a birdie for every bogey on my card,” Cornforth said. “I didn’t do that in the Eastern Province or Border Championships, but once I got it going, I knew I could win.”
Cornforth erased a bogey at the second with birdie at the third, cancelled a bogey at four with a birdie at five, and converted bogeys at 11 and 13 with birdies at 12 and 17.
“I was really pleased to birdie the 18th, too, because the moment I realised that I was winning, I duffed my second after a perfect drive down the fairway,” Cornforth admitted. “I chipped it well past the hole, but boxed a 10 meter putt for birdie. That was undoubtedly my best putt of the day.”
Kruger carded rounds of 75, 75 and 71 to take third place on two over 219, with Richards slipping to fourth on 222 after a closing 77.
In the B-Division, 12-handicapper Kaiyuree Moodley carded successive rounds of 82 to finish six strokes ahead of Lynette Pretorius on 142. Pretorius, who plays off an 11 handicap, returned rounds of 84 and 86.
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
216 Mae Cornforth 71-76-69
220 Sarah Bouch 73-73-74
221 Magda Kruger 75-75-71
222 Monja Richard 72-73-77
226 Eugenie Clack 74-75-77
231 Michaela Fletcher 82-75-74
232 Danielle du Toit 77-77-78
235 Michelle Swanepoel 80-75-80
237 Crystal Cooper 77-82-78
240 Natasha Carlsson 85-76-79; Carmia van Wyk 82-81-77
PHOTO: 2014 North West Championship winner, Mae Cornforth from Potchefstroom; credit WGSA.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.
Gauteng North teenager Carrie Park underlined her growing stature when she tamed gusting winds at East London Golf Club to claim the Border Open Championship title on Sunday.
The GFG Academy golfer won by a six shot victory margin on four-under-par 215 and her second victory in four months followed along the same lines as her runaway nine stroke triumph at the 33rd Ackerman Championship last October.
Park carded an opening one-over-par 74 to lag two shots behind the country’s number one ranked junior, Kaleigh Telfer, however, the overnight leader returned a second round 77 that left the door open for Park to pounce with a 73 to take a one stroke lead over Monja Richards at the 36-hole mark.
Once the 17-year-old Irene golfer hit the front, not even winds gusting at 35 kilometers an hour could hold her back.
Park collected a pair of birdies at the third and fourth holes, and reeled in a string of four gains from the ninth hole to move to six under. The Irene golfer notched yet another birdie at the par-five 15th, but her own eagerness cost her back-to-back shots at the 16th and 17th.
“We were playing into a two to three club wind and the back nine was extremely tough,” Park explained.
“I hit it well from tee to green and had been putting really well all day, especially nailing those 12 to 15 foot putts. I got a little ahead of myself and diverted from my game plan, because I was really pumped and I took the holes and I shouldn’t have.
“At the 16th, I got stuck in a bunker behind the hill and at the par-three, I took a six-iron off the tee and finished well short of the green. That was two lessons learned, so I took care with the 18th. I hit my driver too high, though, and the tee shot didn’t travel very far. I hit a three-wood for my second and it finished to the left of the green, which left me with a downhill chip.”
Park executed the chip to perfection, though, and knocked in a three-footer for par and victory.
“I’m really pleased with this win so early in the season,” Park said. “I am in matric this year and it is going to become increasingly difficult to maintain my WGSA rankings and world amateur rankings with all the preparations for exams.
“I have been putting in a lot of long hours with my coach, Graeme Francis, since last year and I’m just really pleased that all the hard work has paid off.”
Richards from Nelspruit carded rounds of 77, 71 and 73 to take second on two over 221, while recent Eastern Province Match Play champion Michaela Fletcher from Maritzburg finished two shots adrift in third after rounds of 75, 76 and 72.
South Africa’s top ranked junior Kaleigh Telfer has set up back-to-back victories after firing an opening one-under-par 72 in high wind at the East London Golf Club to take the lead in the Border Open Championship on Saturday.
Coming off her third win in four months at the Gauteng North Junior Girls Championship at Zwartkops last weekend, the 15-year-old from Bryanston Golf Club was in imperious form at the home of the Africa Open and finished two strokes clear from Gauteng North’s Carrie Park.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Michaela Fletcher, also a winner this season, finished third with a 75, while North West’s Mae Cornforth carded a four-over-par 76 to join another 2014 champion, Bianca Theron from Boland, in fourth place.
Telfer got off to a solid start with a birdie after hitting her tee shot in the bush, and reeled in two more against a lone bogey by the time she reached the par-five 15th.
“That hole played dead into the wind, which was really starting to gust, and I was very pleased to walk off with my fourth birdie,” Telfer said, “but the last two holes was extremely tough. They both played straight into the wind, and I dropped two shots in succession.
“I feel great about the round, though, despite the closing bogeys, and I’m really looking forward to the next two rounds.”
Telfer beat former SA number one Kim Williams for the Mpumalanga Championship title in November last year and followed with a wire-to-wire win at the KwaZulu-Natal Junior Championship in December. She featured prominently at the Boland Junior Championship in January, as well.
The Gauteng golfer shot to the number one spot on the WGSA Junior Rankings with back-to-back third place finishes in the Eastern Province Stroke Play Championship at Port Elizabeth Golf Club earlier this month and at the last weekend.
Second-placed Park also made strides in the rankings when she lost the Boland Championship in play-off and scored a runaway victory in the 33rd Ackerman Championship last October. The 17-year-old GFG Academy golfer recently posted a top four and runner-up finish to solidify her number five ranking.
Considering her seasons so far, it’s not surprising to see KwaZulu-Natal’s Michaela Fletcher in contention, either
Fletcher from Maritzburg claimed the Eastern Province Match Play title earlier this month and rode her rich vein of form to a tie for third at the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies a week later.
Local golfers Millie Dondashe and young Demi Flanagan carded 80 and 81 in the opening round.
The 54-hole world amateur golf ranking event will conclude with 36 holes on Sunday, 23 February 2013.
TOP 10 LEADERBOARD
72 – Kaleigh Telfer
74 – Carrie Park
75 – Michaela Fletcher
76 – Mae Cornforth, Bianca Theron
77 – Cara Gorlei, Monja Richards, Brittney-Fay Berger
78 – Magda Kruger, Imkeleen Meyer
Bianca Theron of Devonvale golf club won the Gauteng North Junior Championships held at Zwartkops Golf Club on Sunday. Bianca carded rounds of 70 and 73 to win by 2 shots from Gauteng's Ivanna Samu on 145 with two very consistent rounds of 72 and 73. Gauteng's Kaleigh Telfer finished in third place after taking the lead through the first round with a brilliant 69 followed by a disappointing second round of 78 to finish on 147, a furhter 2 shots back from Ivanna. Woo-Ju Son 154 (76,78), Natasha Carlsson 156 (79,77), Symone Henriques 158 (82,76), Shawnelle de Lange 159 (79,80) and Eleonora Galletti 161 (88, 73) all finished in the top ten.
12 year old Kaiyuree Moodley of Bryanston Country Club has won the B Division of the Boland Junior Championships held over the the 8th and 9th January 2014 at Kuils River Golf Club. Kaiyuree, playing off a 13 handicap, carded two rounds of 82 to win by 5 shots from fellow Gauteng golfer Cara Ford. Cara is a member at Ruimsig Country Club and she had rounds of 84 and 85. Well done to both of you.
Kaleigh Telfer of Bryanston Country Club, playing off a 1 handicap was leading the tournament after a great first round of 70 but finished in 5th place on 226 (70,78,78). Ivanna Samu of Ruimsig was one shot behind Kaleigh on 227 (77,77,73). Shawnelle de Lange of GOldfields West was 7th on 229 (77,80,72). Chiara Contomathios of Modderfontein Golf Club was in 13th place on 237 (80,83,74)