The big guns of women’s golf moved comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Aon South African Amateur Championship, setting up four mouth-watering clashes on the East Course of Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club on Thursday.
Reigning South African Stroke Play champion and the country’s No 1-ranked amateur Caitlyn Macnab kept her dream of the SA Amateur double alive as she eased past Carmen Taljaard 5&4 in the morning round and veteran Liezl Smit 4&3 in the afternoon match on the West Course.
The 18-year-old has made no secret of her desire to add the SA Amateur title to her SA Stroke Play win from earlier in the week and she offered a warning to her competitors that she is really getting into her groove
‘I feel like my game has steadily been improving since day one of the stroke play and I’m starting to sink a few more putts so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s golf,’ Macnab said.
The Ekurhuleni golfer will face Bloemfontein’s Gabrielle Venter in the first quarter-final after the 15-year old sensationally ended Kim de Klerk’s first round challenge with a walk-off hole-in-one on the 16th hole.
She followed that up with a 3&2 win over Samantha Whateley in the second round.
‘I’m really pleased with how well I played today,’ said Venter. ‘Last year I didn’t make it this far so I’m delighted to get into the quarters and we will see what happens against Caitlyn. It’s match play so anything can happen if I play well.
No 2-ranked Kaylah Williams recovered from a slow start, where she needed extra holes to defeat Tanzania’s Madina Hussein, to reach the quarter-finals with a 2&1 win over Isabella van Rooyen.
Last year’s runner up has her sights set on going one better in 2020.
‘Going into tomorrow, it’s the last day before the final, so I know I need to bring my A-game and hopefully sink a lot more putts,’ said Williams. ‘My putting has been a little bit shabby so I just need to work on that tomorrow morning and I’ll be fine.’
To get there, the Western Province golfer will first have to get past Nadia van der Westhuizen from Ekurhuleni, who followed a 5&3 win over Kaylan Boshof with a tight 1 up win over Kera Healey.
On the other side of the draw, yet another Ekurhuleni standout appears to be the player to beat.
A semi-finalist in 2019, Kiera Floyd recorded a convincing 7&6 against Chloe Malgas-Kelpin in the morning and the 15-year-old Ebotse golfer fired two eagles en route to knocking out Bronwyn Leigh Doeg 6&5 in the afternoon match.
‘I played really well today and was 10 under for the two rounds,’ she said. ‘So I’m excited for tomorrow when we move over to the East Course. It’s a layout that really suits me and I’ve gone low there a few times in tournaments so I’ll carry that confidence through to the next round.’
So low, in fact, that Floyd beat the predominantly male field with a seven-under-par 65 on the East to win the Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series Floyd in 2018. She will face her Ekurhuleni teammate Kyra van Kan in the quarter finals in what will be a battle of the young guns after the 14-year-old dispatched Nicola Schoeman 5&3 and Reunion’s Mila Jurine 3&2.
The remaining quarter-final match up sees fellow Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation members and close friends Larissa du Preez and Kaiyuree Moodley square off for a place in the last four.
CHAMPIONSHIP DIVISION RESULTS
(All players are South African unless stated otherwise)
Caitlyn Macnab beat Liezl Smit 4 & 3;
Gabrielle Venter beat Samantha Whateley 3 & 2;
Kaylah Williams beat Isabella van Rooyen 2 & 1;
Nadia van der Westhuizen beat Kera Healey 1Up;
Larissa du Preez beat Stephanie Barbaglia 4 & 3;
Kaiyuree Moodley beat Bobbi Brown 2Up;
Kyra van Kan beat Mila Jurine FRA 3 & 2;
Kiera Floyd beat Bronwyn Leigh Doeg 6 & 5;
Caitlyn Macnab beat Carmen Taljaard 5 & 4;
Liezl Smit beat Shani Brynard 5 & 4;
Samantha Whateley beat Vicki Traut Won on 22nd hole;
Gabrielle Venter beat Kim de Klerk 4 & 2;
Kaylah Williams beat Madina Hussein TUN 1Up;
Isabella van Rooyen beat Marine Legentil Won on 23rd Hole;
Nadia van der Westhuizen beat Kaylan Boshof 5 & 3;
Kera Healey beat Annalie Swanepoel 1Up;
Larissa du Preez beat Cara Ford 6 & 4;
Stephanie Barbaglia beat Marlie Smit 2 & 1;
Kaiyuree Moodley beat Nicole Strydom 6 & 5;
Bobbi Brown beat Eleonora Galletti 4 & 3;
Kyra van Kan beat Nicola Schoeman 5 & 3;
Mila Jurine FRA beat Demi Flanagan 6 & 5;
Kiera Floyd beat Chloe Malgas-Kelpin 7 & 6;
Bronwyn Leigh Doeg beat Megan Streicher 2Up;
FLIGHT DIVISION RESULT
Anita Chen beat Sandra Winter 19th Hole;
Irene Nakalembe UGA beat Alexandra Delavigne FRA 4 & 2;
Kamaya Moodliar beat Noluthando Mdanda 5 & 3;
Ladina Semadeni SUI beat Danielle Bekker 2 & 1;
Elizabeth Lightley beat Anika Smit 1Up;
Ineke Brynard beat Peace Kabasweka UGA 2 & 1;
Kim Turgut beat Dimpho Mhlongo 4 & 3;
Ellandri van Heerden beat Ashleigh Mills 2 & 1;
Sandra Winter beat Jordan Pillay 3 & 2;
Anita Chen beat Heather Kruger 1Up;
Irene Nakalembe UGA beat Nelia Swanepoel Walkover;
Alexandra Delavigne FRA beat Samyra Fos FRA 2Up;
Noluthando Mdanda beat Hanne Rademeyer 6 & 4;
Kamaya Moodliar beat Heidi van der Berg 1Up;
Danielle Bekker beat Melani Grobler 5 & 4;
Ladina Semadeni SUI beat Sabiha Bacaus Walkover;
Anika Smit beat Suzan Cheslyn Jacobs Conceded;
Elizabeth Lightley beat Lize-Mari Prinsloo 5 & 4;
Ineke Brynard beat Thamara Sandys 2Up;
Peace Kabasweka UGA beat Erica Chen 2Up;
Kim Turgut beat Tyla Potgieter 8 & 6;
Dimpho Mhlongo beat Petrone Rudolph 2Up;
Ashleigh Mills beat Bongiwe Shabalala 2 & 1;
Ellandri van Heerden beat Jasmine Furstenburg 3 & 1;