• Mistry moves well clear

    Kajal Mistry
    Mistry is well clear

    Kajal Mistry has given herself every chance to claim a second victory in the South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship by snatching up pole position on moving day.

    A bogey-free five-under 67 was a real statement of intent from the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member, and as the dust settled at Woodhill Residential Estate and Country Club on Monday, the former champion finished well ahead of the chasing pack.

    Mistry leads the field on seven-under 137, and just as she did in 2017 at The Wanderers Golf Club, she has opened up a yawning gap on the chasing pack.

    Fellow GolfRSA national squad member Symone Henriques reeled in a pair of birdies at 12 and 13 and had another brace of gains at 16 and 17. A great approach into the closing hole to set up a final birdie saw her match Mistry’s low round of the day, but she will start the final round four shots off the pace.

    ‘It feels like someone has hit the repeat button,’ said Henriques.

    ‘Two years ago, Kajal took a five-shot lead into the final round, but Woo-Jo [Son] and I chased hard and we almost caught her. It’s a big ask at this tough course, but I’m going to be positive and give it my best shot. Again.

    ‘My ball-striking today was on song and I putted really well, so hopefully I can keep the momentum going to make it an interesting final round.’

    Joint overnight leader Caitlyn Macnab battled a balky putter and carded 74. The country’s No 1-ranked amateur will start the last round on level-par in joint third with Boland rising star Megan Streicher, who birdied the final hole for a round of 73.

    Mistry burst from the blocks with back-to-back birdies at the 10th and 11th holes and notched up further gains at 14 and 17 to turn four-under.

    ‘The tee shot on the first hole was straight into the sun, so I couldn’t see where I hit it, but my Reece [Hackney], my caddie, assured me we were fine,’ said Mistry.

    ‘It ended up being just on the right side of the fairway.

    ‘I had 82 metres to the flag and I hit a nice knock-down sand-wedge to give. The par-five didn’t treat me too well in the first round, but today it went a bit better. I hit a 3-iron in, but finished just short of the green and I hit a really bad chip… almost duffed it, but at least it ran up a bit and I sunk a three-metre putt for the birdie.

    ‘After the turn, it was all about staying patient on the back nine. You want to protect your score after doing all the hard work, so I just hit fairways and greens and made some pars to keep the round going. At the fifth, my tee shot went a little bit left.

    ‘The fairway is so narrow, though, it didn’t matter too much. It ran through the rough and I had a really good lie. I hit 5-iron to the green and I hit it close. I had about four metres for eagle. I got a good read off Caitlyn’s eagle putt, but I just took too much break. It was nice to tap in for birdie, though.’

    Two years ago, Mistry had to clamp down on the nerves over the closing stretch at the Wanderers to beat Henriques and Son for the biggest win of her career.

    During her recent stint on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the former No 1 amateur showed big match temperament beyond her years. Not only did she enjoy two runner-up finishes and two top 10s, but she finished the season fourth overall on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

    ‘I definitely learned a lot from playing against the pros, and especially how to keep strong mentally and to stay in the moment,’ she said.

    ‘I think it’s going to be a great final round. Symone and I are best friends and we know each other really well. We know how to play for each other and we know when to put the friendship aside. You can’t control what the other players do, so my strategy will be very simple. I’ll only be thinking about the next shot until the last putt drops.’

    Second-round scores – A division

    137 Kajal Mistry 70 67

    141 Symone Henriques 74 67

    144 Megan Streicher 71 73; Caitlyn Macnab 70 74

    146 Kaiyuree Moodley 74 72; Kiera Floyd 73 73

    148 Kaylah Williams 76 72

    149 Stephanie Barbaglia 76 73; Zethu Myeki 76 73

    150 Samantha Whateley 79 71; Jordan Rothman 79 71; Gabrelle Venter 77 73; Liezl Smit 76 74; Larissa du Preez 73 77

    153 Nina Grey 74 79

    155 Emily Jones ZIM 81 74; Annalie Swanepoel 76 79; Zane Naude 76 79; Nadia van der Westhuizen 75 80

    156 Kera Healey 78 78

    157 Marine Legentil 76 81; Danielle Bekker 76 81

    158 Sandra Winter 81 77; Kaylan Boshof 78 80

    159 Bobbi Brown 79 80; Heidi van der Berg 79 80; Eleonora Galletti 78 81; Demi Flanagan 78 81

    160 Vicki Traut 81 79

    161 Alisa Rich 84 77

    162 Kim de Klerk 83 79

    163 Eva Magala UGA 84 79; Kyra van Kan 83 80

    164 Isabella van Rooyen 86 78; Tebogo Lefifi 82 82

    165 Nicola Schoeman 83 82; Bronwyn Leigh Doeg 80 85

    167 Teagan Lubbe 85 82; Lizzie Currie 85 82; Lauren Clough 81 86

    168 Holly Lau 82 86; Lynne Behagg 81 87

    169 Petrone Rudolph 85 84; Senayah Moodliar 79 90

    170 Odette Booysen 86 84; Shani Brynard 83 87

    171 Megan Kraft 85 86; Ineke Brynard 83 88

    173 Anika Smit 87 86

    176 Charlene Oosthuizen 87 89; Pheletso Mota 86 90

    178 Melani Grobler 92 86

    179 Elizabeth Lightley 95 84

    181 Jessica Meyer 87 94

    182 Ellandri van Heerden 94 88

    183 Gloria Mbaguta UGA 89 94; Millie Dondashe 88 95

    189 Rouchelle Eksteen 98 91

    193 Gizelle van der Westhuizen 98 95

    WD Lize-Mari Prinsloo 93 WD

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