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Hall dedicates ‘dream’ SA title to her mom

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It was unquestionably the toughest test of her golf career, but when the chips were down, 18-year-old Casandra Hall held her nerve to win the 2018 Sanlam South Africa Stroke Play Championship title on Tuesday.

The Ebotse golfer opened with a three-under-par 69 and shot 72 in round two at Port Elizabeth Golf Club. Having opened up a four-shot lead over playing partners Woo-Ju Son from Gauteng and Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry, she was primed for a wire-to-wire victory.

However, with a three-club wind sweeping through the tree-lined course, Hall’s lead evaporated quickly as she dropped four shots from the 2nd hole.

She salvaged a birdie at the 5th, but gave the shot back with another bogey at the par-five 8th and turned one-over and under major pressure.

Her biggest threat was not Son or Meichtry, but defending champion Kajal Mistry.

South Africa’s top-ranked junior won both the Boland Ladies Open in Hermanus and the Ackerman Championship at Langebaan Golf Club in ssimilarly windy conditions last year.

Coming into the women’s amateur golf’s premier event on the back of a runaway eight stroke victory in the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship at Royal Cape, her skills in the wind were paying off.

Mistry made a great start when she offset bogeys at 2nd, 6th and 8th with birdies at 3rd and 9th and grabbed a share of the lead through nine holes.

The Randpark golfer took the outright lead with a birdie at 11th after Hall dropped again at the par-four 10th. She bogeyed 12th and 15th, but three solid pars over the closing holes netted Mistry a final round 74 and she set the clubhouse target at four-over-par 220.

Hall, meanwhile, clawed her way back into contention with a birdie at 13th, but slipped to four-over with back-to-back bogeys at 14th and 15th. She also made pars at final three holes for a 79 to tie Mistry for the lead at the end of regulation play.

The pair set off for a short course play-off at the 10th and 11th holes.

Hall hit her second in the greenside bunker at 10th, while Mistry finished long and left of the green. Hall splashed out to four feet and made the putt, but Mistry chipped and tapped in for par.

They moved to 11th, where Mistry pulled her tee shot left.

‘I also veered left off the tee, but Kajal had a clean shot to the green,’ said Hall. ‘I was further back and had to punch out from under trees. I was in the same spot in the regulation play and it landed just left of the green. Kajal hit hers long and back right, just off the green.’

Hall fluffed her chip but got onto the green. Mistry’s birdie putt ran 12 feet past the hole, but it was still inside Hall’s putt. And she hit it to perfection.

‘The putt was on the same line as in the morning and I knew it was good when I hit it,’ said Hall.

‘Kajal knew she had to give hers a chance, but she knocked it three foot past. I can’t describe the joy I felt after finally winning. I had too many close calls to count in the last two years, and to finally get through the door in this championship is so inspiring.’

Happy with the result, Hall was frank about her shaky start.

‘The wind really got to me,’ she said. ‘I just couldn’t get comfortable and I hit too many high shots, and the bogeys kept mounting. And if I made a birdie, I’d drop a shot right away. I had bad bounces and lip-outs and it all just added up.

‘After the first nine holes, I took a good look at my scorecard and told myself to pull it together. The last nine holes was a grind; I was just trying to limit the damage and keep Kajal from running away with the championship.’

Hall said her first round 69 was the highlight of the week.

‘I know most people would say the win, but really, breaking par on the first day was huge for me. It gave me so much confidence to know I could beat the best golfers in the field and that kind of carried me through the tournament.

‘I am incredibly proud to be the Sanlam SA Amateur Stroke Play champion. This is the second most esteemed event in amateur golf.

‘I’m dedicating this to my mom, Charmaine, who has waited nine years for this moment.

‘It’s a dream come true after so many runner-up finishes and now I have the belief that I can pull off the double and win the Sanlam SA Amateur, as well.’

In the B-Division, 12-year-old Kamaya Moodliar from KwaZulu-Natal also wrapped up a wire-to-wire result.

The Umhlali teenager (pictured above) carded rounds of 82, 86 and 83 to win by 14 strokes from Gauteng’s Lauren Clough and Sanet Pieterse from Border a winning total of 251.

Lara Giddy from Eastern Province finished a further shot back in fourth on 266.

Photos: Hall (main picture) and Moodliar with their trophies, by GolfRSA

A-Division Results
220 Casandra Hall 69 72 79 (won at second play-off hole)
220 Kajal Mistry 76 70 74
222 Woo-Ju Son 73 72 77; Caitlyn Macnab 72 73 77
223 Kaiyuree Moodley 75 77 71; Kiera Floyd 73 74 76; Kaylah Williams 71 75 77; Azelia Meichtry 73 72 78
224 Brittney-Fay Berger 74 73 77
226 Tara Griebenow 77 78 71
227 Jordan Rothman 76 73 78; Lenanda van der Watt 72 77 78
229 Lindi Coetzee 75 71 83
230 Sarah Bouch 83 70 77
232 Larissa du Preez 78 75 79; Chante van Zyl 73 75 84
233 Danielle du Toit 78 75 80
234 Zethu Myeki 80 76 78; Sandra Winter 82 74 78
235 Emily Jones ZIM 74 78 83
236 Demi Flanagan 77 82 77; Bianca Wernich 81 78 77
237 Crystal Beukes 81 75 81
238 Eleonora Galletti 72 83 83
239 Lynette Fourie 83 78 78; Ethel Ruthenberg 84 73 82
240 Kim de Klerk 79 78 83
241 Samantha Whateley 83 79 79; Symone Henriques 82 79 80
242 Zayb Fredericks 81 82 79; Liezl Smit 79 81 82
244 Gabrielle Venter 84 75 85
245 Cara Ford 79 81 85
247 Zilke Bal 84 83 80; Catherine Lau 80 80 87
248 Petrone Rudolph 88 79 81; Cassidy Williams 81 79 88
250 Adele Beytell 82 81 87
251 Annalie Swanepoel 83 89 79; Nicola Schoeman 87 82 82; Kera Healey 84 81 86; Zane Naude 82 82 87
252 Kim Turgut 80 85 87
253 Senayah Moodliar 88 85 80; Megan Streicher 78 90 85
254 Lynne Behagg 81 87 86; Alisa Rich 76 84 94
255 Bobbi Brown 90 79 86
256 Ciara Koekemoer 88 85 83
258 Pheletso Mota 81 89 88
259 Marlie Smit 87 88 84; Annette Swanepoel 84 90 85
262 Cleo Jordaan 89 86 87
263 Monique Jansen 88 86 89; Shani Brynard 85 87 91
264 Marine Legentil 87 89 88; Anika Smit 86 89 89
266 Sylken November 88 90 88
270 Noluthando Mdanda 83 97 90; Luzan Esterhuizen 88 89 93
273 Duduzile Ndhlovu 91 87 95
274 Bianca Sun 94 90 90
287 Melissa Loretz 99 90 98
WD Jessica Shurety 80 WD WD
DQ Shanice de Gee DQ 82 89

B-Division Results
251 Kamaya Moodliar 82 86 83
265 Lauren Clough 87 94 84; Sanet Pieterse 83 96 86
266 Lara Giddy 85 87 94
268 Rene Matthee 94 85 89; Tebogo Lefifi 94 85 89
271 Louise van Niekerk 91 90 90
272 Zahn Scholtz 93 86 93
276 Ellandri van Heerden 93 88 95; Kayla Paulsen 86 90 100
280 Zane Gouws 95 89 96
283 Luzelle Booyens 95 89 99
286 Alison Bourne 93 94 99
290 Adri Wessels 102 93 95
295 Esther Goosen 105 89 101
302 Koeksie Eagar 100 96 106
303 Karen Botha 108 94 101


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