South Africa’s Kaleigh Telfer and Kajal Mistry have reflected on a superb week at the US Women’s Amateur Championship, where Telfer made it all the way to the quarter-finals.
The pair led the South African charge at the 120th edition of one of the biggest women’s amateur events in the world.
The 24th-seeded Telfer comfortably cleared the first hurdle of matchplay, ousting Talia Campbell from New York 6 & 5, to make the top 32 before producing a remarkable comeback against Virginia Tech’s Emily Mahar, where she sealed victory with a par on the 20th hole.
In a close round-of-16 encounter, Telfer and Rachel Kuehn were tied through the first 10 holes, but the South African reeled in a trio of birdies on the 11th, 12th and 14th holes to defeat the eighth-seeded American 2 & 1 for a quarter-final spot.
She would, however, lose to world No 9 Rose Zhang 2 & 1 in a tightly-contested matchup on Saturday.
Near perfection from @GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kaleigh Telfer – like this 7-iron from 163 yards on the 14th…
The @AuburnWGolf player defeats 8th seed American Rachel Kuehn 2 & 1 …
That’s the TOP 8 in the #USWomensAm at Woodmont CC ??????
? @usga#girlpower pic.twitter.com/30sTesaz3j
— GolfRSA (@GolfRSA) August 7, 2020
‘It was my first tournament back, so I honestly wasn’t expecting much,’ Telfer said.
‘I’m really proud of myself that I made it that far and obviously a little disappointed. I didn’t play my best golf, but I am still proud that I made it to the quarter-finals in my first US Women’s Amateur appearance. And it was just really great to get back out on the course.’
The 19-year-old Mistry opened with an expensive 81 in the strokeplay qualifier, but in a stunning comeback she fired a three-under-par 69 in the final round to match the lowest round of the day.
This left her with a chance to fight for a spot in a 15-strong playoff.
Mistry claimed the first of six spots on offer with a birdie at her first playoff hole.
Unfortunately she faced defending champion Gabriella Ruffles in what was always going to be a tough first-round clash. Mistry was one up after the first eight holes, but the Australian world No 16 took control and won the match 3 & 2.
‘It was a great experience and I’m really grateful for the chance to tee it up in such an amazing event,’ said the former SA No 1.
‘It was awesome to get back on the course in a competitive setting again and I’ll be able to draw a lot on the experiences of this week going forward.’
Photo by Chris Keane/USGA