Casandra Hall’s title bid in the Sanlam South African Amateur Stroke Play Championship got off to the ideal start in Port Elizabeth on Sunday.
The Ekurhuleni golfer birdied the par-five closing hole for an opening three-under-par 69, which earned her a two-shot lead over Western Province rising star Kaylah Williams.
Hall came into the premier women’s amateur championship on the back of three top-10 finishes and second in the Free State Championship less than a fortnight ago. She continued her good form to take the early lead with birdies at the 5th, 6th and 8th. A fourth gain at the par-five 13th moved the 18-year-old Ebotse golfer to four-under.
She had her first bogey of the day at 14th, but she rallied with a birdie at 16th, before she stumbled at the penultimate hole and signed for a double bogey.
Williams’ 71 also featured a bogey and a double, but the Bellville golfer racked up birdies at the 13th, 14th and 17th to leapfrog a trio of players on even-par for second on her own.
Gauteng North’s Lenanda van der Watt made the most of an early start to take the early lead with a brace of birdies at the second and third. She managed to offset bogeys at the 12th and 15th and a double at 17th with a pair of birdies at 16th and 18th to finish alongside Eleonora Galletti from Gauteng and Ekurhuleni teen Caitlyn Macnab.
Galletti was three-over after 10 holes, but birdied 11th and holed an eagle putt at the 13th to claw her way back into contention. She dropped again at 15th, but also finished in style with a birdie at the ultimate hole.
Macnab won the Ekurhuleni Open and the Champion of Champions last year and made her debut for South Africa in the victorious GolfRSA Girls Team that reigned supreme in the All-Africa Junior Golf Champion in Morocco in March. She traded three early bogeys for birdies at 7th, 10th and 18th to get back to level par.
Thirteen-year-old Kiera Floyd from Ekurhuleni – bidding to become the youngest champion ever in the flagship event – carded a two-over 74 to join Swiss golfer Azelia Meichtry, Chante van Zyl from Free State and Woo-Ju Son from Gauteng in joint sixth, while Zimbabwean Emily Jones and Brittney-Fay Berger from KwaZulu-Natal closed out the top 10 with a pair of 74s.
The first round of the B-Division was a closely-contested affair, but par at the closing hole earned Kamaya Moodliar from KZN pole position on 82. Sanet Pieterse from Border finished one shot adrift and local hope Lara Giddy moved into third after posting an 85.
69 Casandra Hall
71 Kaylah Williams
72 Eleonora Galletti; Caitlyn Macnab; Lenanda van der Watt
73 Azelia Meichtry; Woo-Ju Son; Chante van Zyl; Kiera Floyd
74 Brittney-Fay Berger; Emily Jones ZIM
75 Kaiyuree Moodley; Lindi Coetzee
76 Jordan Rothman; Alisa Rich; Kajal Mistry
77 Demi Flanagan; Tara Griebenow
78 Larissa du Preez; Danielle du Toit; Megan Streicher
79 Liezl Smit; Cara Ford; Kim de Klerk
80 Jessica Shurety; Catherine Lau; Kim Turgut; Zethu Myeki
81 Bianca Wernich; Cassidy Williams; Crystal Beukes; Lynne Behagg; Zayb Fredericks; Pheletso Mota
82 Zane Naude; Symone Henriques; Sandra Winter; Adele Beytell
83 Annalie Swanepoel; Noluthando Mdanda; Samantha Whateley; Sarah Bouch; Lynette Fourie
84 Zilke Bal; Annette Swanepoel; Shanice de Gee; Gabrielle Venter; Kera Healey; Ethel Ruthenberg
85 Shani Brynard
86 Anika Smit
87 Nicola Schoeman; Marlie Smit; Marine Legentil
88 Senayah Moodliar; Ciara Koekemoer; Luzan Esterhuizen; Monique Jansen; Petrone Rudolph; Sylken November
89 Cleo Jordaan
90 Bobbi Brown
91 Duduzile Ndhlovu
94 Bianca Sun
99 Melissa Loretz
82 Kamaya Moodliar
83 Sanet Pieterse
85 Lara Giddy
86 Kayla Paulsen
87 Lauren Clough
91 Louise van Niekerk
93 Zahn Scholtz; Alison Bourne; Ellandri van Heerden
94 Tebogo Lefifi; Rene Matthee
95 Zane Gouws; Luzelle Booyens
100 Koeksie Eagar
102 Adri Wessels
105 Esther Goosen
108 Karen Botha
Photo: Casandra Hall leads by two in Port Elizabeth, by Sunshine Ladies Tour/GolfRSA