Defending champions Gauteng made a super-fast start in their bid for a hat-trick in this year’s 72-Hole Teams Championship, while their C-team also opened up a two-stroke lead in the Challenge Trophy at Polokwane Golf Club in Limpopo on Monday.
Woo-Ju Son fired a one-under-par 71 and Kaleigh Telfer signed for 73 to put Gauteng A at the top of the pile at even-par 144.
The country’s No 2-ranked golfer won the Ladies Championship title at Country Club Johannesburg on Sunday and only arrived in Polokwane late that night , but the 16-year-old Son didn’t show any signs of slowing down.
She navigated the par-72 layout in 15 pars, two birdies and a lone bogey at 13.
‘Woo-Ju didn’t even have a practice round, but she was absolutely solid,” said team manager Rene Roodt. ‘Kaleigh also played really well and had just two blips on her card. She birdied 11 and hit a great drive down the 12th fairway and laid up at 80 metres.
‘But she duffed her approach and caught a pretty bad lie in the bunker. Her trap shot had no sand to bite on and it flew the green, and she had to chip and two putt for seven at the par five. She recovered quickly with a birdie at 13, where she stuck her second to six feet and holed the putt, and her other drop was a soft bogey at 17.
‘Kajal Mistry battled with the short stick. As the number one-ranked player in the country she feels under pressure to perform and she was frustrated with a 78, but Woo-Ju and Kaleigh told her to write it off and she went straight to the practice area to sort things out.
‘It’s great to get a foot in the door early on because there is a lot of golf still to come. KwaZulu-Natal and Ekurhuleni are close behind, so there will be no counting any chickens just yet. I’m also happy that our B-team made a solid start, too. Symone (Henriques) shot two over and Chiara (Contomathios) returned 75. They will be looking to improve on fifth in Tuesday’s second round.”
Son led the individual standings on day one, with Casandra Hall from Ekurhuleni, Michaela Fletcher from KwaZulu-Natal and Southern Cape’s Ethel Ruthenberg tied for second at level par.
Fletcher – on a break from the University of Memphis – was the banker for KwaZulu-Natal, while Brittney-Fay Berger added a 74 to move the team within striking distance at two over 142.
Hall’s 72 and a 75 from Caitlyn Macnab lifted Ekurhuleni into third at three over 145. Ruthenberg and Hungarian amateur Laila Hrindova combined put Southern Cape in the mix in fourth at five over 145.
Kelsey Nicholas opened the batting for Gauteng C in the Challenge Trophy with a 75 and Lynette Fourie added a 78 to lift the side into pole position at nine-over-par 153.
‘Kelsey and Lynette were solid out there,” said the team manager Imera Astell. ‘Kelsey mixed three bogeys with 15 pars and Lynette dropped a couple of drops over the first nine holes at Polokwane, but played 10 to 18 in straight pars.
‘Our third player, Kaiyuree Moodley, had a tough day at the office, but her teammates kept on encouraging her and she hung tough. I have no doubt she will bounce back and show us the form that won her the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl title.”
Gabrielle Venter shot 76 and Chante van Zyl 79 to put Free State within two shots of Gauteng C, while Ekurhuleni shares second at 11 over after 13-year-old Kiera Floyd set the pace with a 74 and Carmen Taljaard added an opening 79.
Picture of defending champions Gauteng A, B and C courtesy of LGG.
Swiss Team Trophy – Round 1 Result (format best 2 scores of 3 to count)
144 Gauteng A Woo-Ju Son 71 Kaleigh Telfer 73
146 Kwazulu Natal A Michaela Fletcher 72 Brittney-Fay Berger 74
147 Ekurhuleni A Casandra Hall 72 Caitlyn Macnab 75
149 Southern Cape Ethel Ruthenberg 72 Laila Hrindova 77
149 Gauteng B Symone Henriques 74 Chiara Contomathios 75
149 Boland A Crystal Beukes 74 Bianca Wernich 75
150 Western Province A Kaylah Williams 74 Kelly Erasmus 76
151 Gauteng North A Lenanda van der Watt 73 Catherine Lau 78
153 Border Zethu Myeki 74 Demi Flanagan 79
162 Western Province B Ashleigh Mills 80 Zayb Fredericks 82
162 Gauteng North B Adele Beytell 81 Karin Watts 81
169 Gauteng North C Shanice De Gee 83 Genee Marais 86
Challenge Trophy Results (Format best 2 scores of 3 to count)
153 Gauteng C Kelsey Nicholas 75 Lynette Fourie 78
155 Free State Gabrielle Venter 76 Chante Van Zyl 79
155 Ekurhuleni B Kiera Floyd 76 Carmen Taljaard 79
160 Kwazulu Natal B Lizzie Currie 78 Bronwyn Rae 82
161 Mpumalanga Zane Naude 77 Chante Boonstra 84
162 North West Crystal Cooper 80 Kaitlin Fensham 82
164 Western Province C Jordan Rothman 76 Jessica Green 88
170 Boland B Annalie Swanepoel 84 Megan Streicher 86
179 Eastern Province Shene Du Toit 86 Minette Olivier 93
179 Limpopo Mari Stroh 88 Anzel Van der Schyff 91
186 Northern Cape Magdel Du Toit 90 Lilian David 96
Round 1 Individual Leaderboard (top 20)
71 Woo-Ju Son
72 Casandra Hall; Michaela Fletcher; Ethel Ruthenberg
73 Lenanda van der Watt; Kaleigh Telfer
74 Symone Henriques; Crystal Beukes; Kaylah Williams; Zethu Myeki; Brittney-Fay Berger
75 Kelsey Nicholas; Caitlyn Macnab; Chiara Contomathios; Bianca Wernich
76 Gabrielle Venter; Kiera Floyd; Kelly Erasmus; Jordan Rothman
77 Eleonora Galletti; Laila Hrindova; Zane Naude; Elsune Roode; Katia Shaff