Observatory’s Chrissie Hammer survived a late wobble on Krugersdorp Golf Club’s infamous closing stretch to claim a three-shot victory in the South African Senior Ladies Championship on Wednesday.
The 58-year-old Gauteng golfer trailed defending champion Lorraine Smit from Mowbray by three shots after an opening 79 at the par-72 Randfontein Golf Club. Despite double bogeys at the 17th and 18th holes, Hammer managed to edge three shots clear of Smit and Linda Jordaan to clinch the title with a 12-over-par 84 for a winning total of 19-over-par 163.
Although Hammer, who plays out of Parkview and Observatory, warmed up with victory at the Observatory Club Championships in April, she had very low expectations coming into the tournament.
“It’s been quite a few years since I won on national level, so I’m absolutely thrilled to have won this prestigious senior ladies event,” Hammer said. “But I can tell you, it certainly wasn’t a walk in the park. I was told I putted exceptionally well at Krugersdorp by my fellow competitors, but when I won the B-Division at the 1999 SA Stroke Play in East London and the B-Division Match Play title at the 2006 SA Amateur, I didn’t have five three-putts to win. It’s very nice to lift a national title again, though.”
Hammer collected three birdies, offset by five bogeys, a double drop and a triple bogey at Randfontein for her 79, but only managed to birdie one hole – the par-five 12th – at the tricky Krugersdorp layout.
“The greens were simply diabolical; they were exceptionally fast and smooth” she said. “If you didn’t put it in the perfect spot on the greens, the ball simply rolled off the green. Most of the time you were looking at a two- or three-putt. It was a great tournament, tough, and kudos to the North West Province ladies for giving us a fantastic and memorable experience.”
Fefi Tokarsky won the 36-Hole Nett in the 50-59 age group in a count-out on 143 (70-73) from Elfra van Eyk. Rina de Freitas took the 36-Hole Nett honours in the 60-69 age group on 146 (76-70) while Annetjie Rynners, playing off a 16 handicap, led the 70-plus group with a 156 after rounds of 84 and 72.
TOP 10 RESULTS
163 - Chrissie Hammer 79 84
166 - Lorraine Smit 76 90; Linda Jordaan 81 85
169 - June Watson 84 85
170 - Carina Theron 82 88
172 - Dawn Dinnes 82 90
173 - Fefi Tokarsky 85 88
174 - Brenda Morgan 86 88
177 - Melrise Ungerer 84 93; Niki Christie 87 90; Jane Meenehan 88 89