SELBORNE (3 December) – Bryanston’s Kaleigh Telfer showed a lot of guts, grit and determination to complete a wire-to-wire victory at the KwaZulu-Natal Junior Championship at Selborne Golf Club at the weekend.
The 15-year-old carded rounds of 75-74-75 to beat local favourite Michaela Fletcher by nine shots for the title, barely two weeks after she defeated SA number one Kim Williams for the Mpumalanga Championship. But the fact that Telfer popped in the final putt wearing only her socks, underlines the determined teenager’s competitive spirit.
Just two days before the 54-hole stroke play tournament, Telfer ripped the nail off her big toe when she spilled off her motor bike, but pulling out of the event was just not an option.
“I really wanted to compete in the KZN Junior Champs, because we had already made all the arrangements to travel to Selborne, it was the last event of the season and I was coming into some really good form,” said the brave youngster.
“I felt I could deal with the injury, but I have to admit it was an agonising ordeal. But so worth it.”
Telfer had to have her foot redressed after every nine holes and even had to play the last two holes of the final round in socks.
“The pain was really bad down the stretch and I just couldn’t keep my shoes on once we got past the 16th. It’s fantastic to finish the season on such a high note, though, and it was definitely worth the pain.”
Telfer rose to prominence when she claimed a rare double at her home course.
She won the prestigious Ladies Club Championship in May and claimed the Junior Club Championship in June to become the first player to win both titles in the same calendar year. At 15, Telfer was also one of the youngest Ladies Club Championship winners since 1958 at Bryanston.
Named the Most Improved Junior Ladies Golfer 2012/2013 by Womens Golf South Africa, Telfer currently ranks sixth on the National Junior and 10th on the National Senior Rankings. She also represented Ladies Golf Gauteng at the Pick n Pay SA Womens Inter-Provincial in 2012 and 2013 and received Federation colours for representing South African at the Enjoy Jakarta World Junior Golf Championships.
Maritzburg’s Fletcher, meanwhile, ended her junior career with a runner-up finish after carding round of 77-75-81.
Fletcher finished six shots ahead of Shawnelle de Lange, who took third on 239 with rounds of 79-79-81. The Goldfields golfer finished two shots clear of Mount Edgecombe’s Brittney-Fay Berger (78-85-78).