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