Back-to-back wins for Garcia at Gauteng Championship
Ekurhuleni’s Nicole Garcia fired a course record 66 in the final round of the Gauteng 54-Hole Championship at Randpark Golf Club to claim her second successive title on Monday.
The Ebotse Golf and Country Club golfer edged out reigning Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Nobuhle Dlamini by three shots on a winning total of five-under-par 211.
Her victory followed just a week after she defeated Gina Switala from Gauteng North for the Free State & Northern Cape Championship title at Clarens Golf Estate.
Gracia navigated the challenging par-72, 5,928m layout of the Firethorn course in four-under-par 68 in the opening round to take a commanding four shot lead over defending champion Kim Williams, Dlamini and top junior Bianca Theron.
However, Dlamini hit the front with a second round 71 after the first round pacesetter signed off on a disappointing 77. Trailing by three shots, Garcia turned in 35 after birdies at the first and third and a bogey at the par-four ninth to close the gap on Dlamini.
The 22-year-old turned up the pressure over the back nine with birdies at the 10th, 12th, 14th and 15th. After a bogey at the 16th, she closed with another brace of birdies to complete the loop in 31 strokes.
Dlamini closed with another 71 to finish in second, while Boland junior Theron carded rounds added rounds of 74 and 73 to her opening 72 to finish in third, one stroke ahead of Williams (72-72-73).
Bankenveld Golf Estate’s Chanelle Botha won the B-Division by eight shots from Kim de Klerk and Lynette Pretorius. The 11-handicap player from Bankerveld Golf Estate carded two rounds of 81 for a winning score of 162.
Nineteen players advanced to the Match Play which is being played at Randpark over the next two days.
TOP FIVE LEADERBOARD
211 – Nicole Garcia (Ebotse) 68, 77,66
214 – Nobuhle Dlamini (Centurion) 72, 71, 71
219 – Bianca Theron (Devonvale) 72, 74, 73
220 – Kim Williams (The Els Club Copperleaf) 72, 75, 73
221 – Magda Kruger (Centurion) 76, 75, 70