• Germany’s Cowan leads in CT

    Olivia Cowan
    Olivia Cowan

    Germany’s Olivia Cowan took control of the Investec South African Women’s Open on Friday, firing a second round 67 to lead by three heading into the final round in Cape Town.

    The 23-year-old began the afternoon session in hot and sunny conditions on the 10th tee at Westlake Golf Club and picked up her first birdie at the par five 13th.

    She then made three birdies on the bounce from the 15th and, although she gave a shot back to the field on the par-four second hole, further gains on the fourth and fifth holes kept her well clear of the chasing pack.

    The fourth-year Ladies European Tour campaigner dropped another shot the ninth, but will still sleep on a three-shot cushion.

    Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald, Alice Hewson from England and Italian Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso are three strokes back in joint second.

    Recent Joburg Ladies Open winner Monique Smit leads the local challenge. The Oubaai golfer carded 71 to finish a further stroke adrift and is tied for fifth with Emma Nilsson from Sweden.

    Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland and Megan MacLaren from England share seventh on two-under.

    A second round 73 saw three-time winner Ashleigh Buhai slip to one-over. The South African rounds out the top 10 on 143 with Maha Haddioui from Marocco, Manon de Roey from Belgium, Dane Emily Pedersen and Sweden’s Julia Engstrom.

    Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley was the only amateur to survive the cut to 60 and ties, which fell at six-over 150. The GolfRSA Elite Squad player and Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member will start the last 18 holes on five-over after rounds of 75 and 74.

    Thirty-six hole leader Cowan is long overdue for a first Ladies European Tour (LET) victory.

    A three-time winner on the LET Access Series in 2015, Cowan won the Order of Merit the same year to graduate to the LET. In 2019, she enjoyed a career best tie for second in the Dubai Moonlight Classic, which was one of her seven top-10 finishes from 16 starts last season.

    She ended seventh on the LET Order of Merit for the second year in a row.

    She made a strong start to the 2020 season in Australia, tying for 15th in the Women’s New South Wales Open and began the week in South Africa ranked 28th on the Race to Costa del Sol Order of Merit.

    Cowan attributed her solid second round to great ball striking and a well-behaved putter.

    ‘I was hitting my irons close and putting well, so I had a lot of chances, most of which I took. I’d say the best part of my game was my putting,’ she said.

    The German golfer also felt that the tranquil conditions over the last two days had a lot to do with the bunched leaderboard.

    ‘The last two years here was really windy, so it’s very different this year. The course is in great shape and it’s like any other LPGA or LET tournament, so really good. This is my first time being in this position, where I am a couple of shots ahead of everyone going into the final round. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what happens.’

    MacDonald was just as happy to be in contention.

    ‘I’m very happy with my performance today. I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances. I’m very happy going into the final round, given how I played today. The greens were a little slower in the morning, but when it started to heat up they sped up significantly. You could notice the difference and that was something I had to be mindful of during the round.’

    English rookie Hewson, making her LET debut in Cape Town, was thrilled with back-to-back 70s and the chance to emulate last year’s rookie winner Diksha Dagar from India. “I’m really happy with how I played today. I putted really well, which I think is really important out here.

    ‘I also drove the ball well. I just need to work on my irons. It was nice to get off to a good start with three birdies in a row from my second hole. It’s very exciting to be here and finally get going. This is living the dream, really. It’s a beautiful place to be. Yesterday we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins and maybe tomorrow we will go to Table Mountain.’

    Colombotto Rosso, who dug deep for a 71, made some incredible par saving putts.

    ‘I enjoyed the round a lot. I rolled in some incredible putts, from 10 or 15 metres, which I didn’t expect and I was having a lot of fun. I’m trying to take the best out of every round. Chipping in this kikuyu grass is a bit challenging for me, so I’m really proud that I made some birdies when I needed to. I was a little angry with the bogey on 16, so it was good that I birdied 18. It was a good comeback.’

    The final round tees off at 08h30 on Sunday morning from both tees.

    The final putts are expected to drop around 15h00 and the 2020 champion will be crowned on the 18th green. In addition to lifting the spectacular trophy, the winner also receives a two year exemption on the LET until the end of 2021, a place in the Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open and the lion’s share of the 200,000 prize fund.

    Moodley will be standing next to the champion, receiving the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur. 

    Round Two Scores

    137 – Olivia Cowan (GER) 69 68

    140 – Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso (ITA) 69 71, Kelsey Macdonald (SCO) 70 70, Alice Hewson (ENG) 70 70

    141 – Emma Nilsson (SWE) 69 72, Monique Smit 70 71

    142 – Valdis Thora Jonsdottir (ISL) 72 70, Meghan MacLaren (ENG) 73 69

    143 – Maha Haddioui (MAR) 72 71, Manon De Roey (BEL) 75 68, Emily Pedersen (DEN) 73 70, Julia Engstrom (SWE) 71 72, Ashleigh Buhai 70 73

    144 – Maria Hernandez (ESP) 73 71, Jane Turner (SCO) 74 70, Agathe Sauzon (FRA) 72 72, Mireia Prat (ESP) 71 73, Manon Gidali (FRA) 72 72, Lee-Anne Pace 71 73

    145 – Rachel Rossel (SUI) 70 75, Hannah McCook (SCO) 73 72, Eun-Jung Ji (ESP) 73 72, Laura Fuenfstueck (GER) 70 75

    146 – Patricia Sanz Barrio (ESP) 73 73, Johanna Gustavsson (SWE) 73 73, Tiia Koivisto (FIN) 72 74, Sian Evans (ENG) 73 73, Anna Magnusson (SWE) 75 71, Annelie Sjoholm (SWE) 73 73

    147 – Camille Chevalier (FRA) 72 75, Karoline Lund (NOR) 77 70, Lina Boqvist (SWE) 72 75, Laura Gomez Ruiz (ESP) 77 70, Sarah Schober (AUT) 73 74, Lejan Lewthwaite 73 74, Mimmi Bergman (SWE) 72 75

    148 – Casandra Hall 72 76, Charlotte Thompson (ENG) 75 73, Leonie Harm (GER) 74 74, Tvesa Malik (IND) 73 75, Morgane Metraux (SUI) 73 75, Becky Brewerton (WAL) 76 72

    149 – Maria Beautell (ESP) 73 76, Kim Williams 73 76, Carmen Alonso (ESP) 75 74, Valentine Derrey (FRA) 75 74, Georgina Blackman (ENG) 78 71, Michele Thomson (SCO) 72 77, Sideri Vanova (CZE) 72 77, Alison Muirhead (SCO) 76 73, Christina Gloor (SUI) 74 75, Kaiyuree Moodley AMA 74 75, Astrid Vayson De Pradenne (FRA) 76 73, Stacy Bregman 74 75, Karolin Lampert (GER) 78 71, Nicole Garcia 69 80, Carolin Kauffmann (GER) 73 76

    150 – Magdalena Simmermacher (ARG) 71 79, Caroline Rominger (SUI) 78 72, Linda Wessberg (SWE) 74 76, Elia Folch (ESP) 76 74, Maiken Bing Paulsen (NOR) 73 77, Chloe Williams (WAL) 76 74, Cara Gorlei 75 75, Hayley Davis (ENG) 78 72, Ivanna Samu 78 72, Sarina Schmidt (GER) 74 76, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 75 75, Leticia Ras-Anderica (GER) 73 77, Inci Mehmet (ENG) 75 75, Isabelle Boineau (FRA) 72 78

    Missed the cut:-

    151 – Rachael Goodall (ENG) 76 75, Eleanor Givens (ENG) 76 75, Cloe Frankish (ENG) 74 77, Kaylah Williams AMA 75 76, Tara Griebenow 80 71, Megan Streicher AMA 78 73, Isabella Deilert (SWE) 76 75, Gudrun Bjorgvinsdottir (ISL) 80 71

    152 – Gabrielle Macdonald (SCO) 76 76, Florentyna Parker (ENG) 73 79, Marta Martin (ESP) 80 72, Noemi Jimenez Martin (ESP) 75 77, Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 77 75, Pasqualle Coffa (NED) 70 82, Emilie Borggen (SWE) 78 74, Linette Holmslykke (DEN) 74 78, Sophie Keech (ENG) 76 76, Madelene Stavnar (NOR) 71 81, Jessica Dreesbeimdieke (NAM) 74 78

    153 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 74 79, Tandi McCallum 80 73, Dulcie Sverdloff (ENG) 76 77, Rachel Drummond (ENG) 77 76, Filippa Moork (SWE) 76 77, Rosie Davies (ENG) 75 78, Elina Nummenpaa (FIN) 74 79

    154 – Emie Peronnin (FRA) 81 73, Carly Booth (SCO) 76 78, Sanna Nuutinen (FIN) 76 78, Line Toft Hansen (DEN) 77 77

    155 – Laura Murray (SCO) 80 75, Jenny Haglund (SWE) 79 76, Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 80 75, Justine Dreher (FRA) 75 80, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 77 78, Franziska Friedrich (GER) 80 75

    156 – Lauren Taylor (ENG) 81 75, Yolanda Duma 77 79, Gabriella Cowley (ENG) 76 80, Karina Kukkonen (FIN) 77 79, Emilie Piquot (FRA) 80 76, Kim Metraux (SUI) 76 80, Diksha Dagar (IND) 75 81

    157 – Stina Resen (NOR) 76 81, Michaela Fletcher 76 81

    159 – Zethu Myeki 79 80, Lindi Coetzee 84 75, Emma Grechi (FRA) 80 79

    160 – Kyle Roig (PUR) 76 84, My Leander (SWE) 75 85, Sharmila Nicollet (IND) 76 84

    161 – Marion Duvernay (FRA) 84 77, Shawnelle de Lange 78 83, Clara Pietri (SUI) 77 84

    162 – Kelsey Nicholas 82 80

    163 – Bobbi Brown AMA 79 84

    164 – Georgia Oboh (NGA) 79 85

    165 – Brittney-Fay Berger 78 87

    167 – Bianca Wernich AMA 81 86

    172 – Siviwe Duma 87 85, Lara Weinstein 87 85

    Photo: Shaun Roy/Sunshine Ladies Tour/Gallo Images

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