Johannesburg’s Kaleigh Telfer claimed her maiden Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship title when she won by six strokes at Westlake Golf Club on Tuesday.
The 17-year-old Telfer closed with a tournament low of three-under-par 69 to win on one over par. Eleonora Galletti and Switzerland’s Azelia Meichtry shared second place on seven over par.
“I’m a little bit speechless. I’ve been working towards this for a very long time so I’m just glad it came when it did,” said Telfer.
The Bryanston Country Club golfer took a two-stroke lead into the final round and didn’t have the best of starts with bogeys at the second and third holes to fall back into the chasing pack.
“I was very nervous at the start so I just told myself to relax and be patient,” she said.
Telfer birdied the fourth and then holed a 25-footer for eagle on the par-five seventh hole that effectively ended any challenge to her title chase as she moved four strokes clear of the field. And she added two birdies on the back nine for a comfortable win.
Galletti made a bit of a run with her three birdies in four holes from the 10th to close the gap to three strokes at that stage. But none of Telfer’s fellow competitors had it in them to make a serious run at her lead.
“That eagle kicked me into gear and I started playing like I wanted to. I was aware of my lead but I was still quite nervous over the last few holes. But I managed to stay calm and keep it together,” said Telfer, who struggled to find her rhythm in the first two rounds.
“I thought the course would be quite easy but in the first round the pin positions were tough and the trees are also very close to the fairway, so it turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought. But I’m just really pleased with this win. I’ve worked really hard on my game and I’m pleased it’s paid off.”
For Women’s Golf South Africa President Karen Olivant, Telfer’s victory capped a highly successful championship in the Cape.
“The whole country is in the grip of a drought and Westlake presented an amazing course for the golfers. We had 101 entries overall, which was pleasing. And Kaleigh is a deserved champion. She’s come on in leaps and bounds over the last 18 months and her representing South Africa on the international stage has really helped her cope with such a big stage as this.”