England’s Kiran Matharu was the only player without a bogey on the card at Rondebosch Golf Club on Thursday and co-led the first round of the SA Women’s Masters on three under par.
The 27 year old pencilled in three birdies during her round of 69 to share the lead with Korea’s Carrie Park and locals Nicole Garcia and Ashleigh Buhai.
‘I’m really enjoying it, it’s a bit windier than I expected, but nice to be in the hunt,’ explains Matharu. ‘My last tournament I didn’t play well in the first round, so it was satisfying to give myself a chance this week.’
She won on the Ladies European Tour at 18 years old, but her rise to stardom was interrupted by a hip injury that lasted nine years. On Thursday she was back in action at Rondebosch Golf Club, where she kept bogeys off the card in spite of the overcast and windy conditions.
‘It was quite surprising, the weather today, I wasn’t expecting the rain in the morning. I didn’t have an umbrella, nothing, but it did stop and then the wind got up. It was tough, but I managed my shots quite well,’ she said afterwards.
Matharu had a splendid day with her flat stick.
‘I only had 27 putts and holed quite a few par saves, which was good. That’s how I didn’t drop a shot,’ she said. ‘The highlight was at the 13th. I hit it into the trees, had no shot, then went into a sand trap and had a 45-foot bunker shot, which is the hardest in golf. I hit it to about six foot and that was the best save I made.’
Matharu plays lots of golf in Scotland, where the conditions are similar to what she experienced in Cape Town on Thursday. She was excited about the prospect of gritty golf in the coming two rounds of this week’s R500,000 tournament.
‘There’s a lot of chances,’ she said in her Leeds accent. ‘I actually missed two four-foot putts for birdie today, so I could have been a lot better. I seem to be managing the wind quite well, so I’m happy for it to keep blowing over the next two days.’