Big wins for Bertine at Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur

Bertine Strauss had one question she was asking of herself when she teed it up in this week’s Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship. And two big wins on Monday gave her the answer.

Strauss is back in the country during a break in the American college golf circuit, and testing herself against the strongest Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur field in recent years is exactly the way the hard-working Strauss likes to spend her holidays.

The North West golfer pulled off two big victories at Ruimsig Country Club on Monday, beating Sharon Schutte 9&8 in the first round of this championship, and then Carmia van Wyk 7&5 in the second round.

Granted, the early matches are not the toughest opposition she will face this week. But as Strauss pointed out, being able to not just play to the strengths of your opponent, but well above that in match play is what was most satisfying.

“I wanted to see whether what I’ve been doing in America is working. In match play you sometimes just play to the strengths of the other person, so it was nice for me to keep making birdies when my opponents weren’t playing that well, and to still get a few good rounds in and keep the momentum going,” said Strauss.

Her wins were echoed by most of the big names on day one. Carrie Park, Lara Weinstein, Ivanna Samu and Michaela Fletcher all went through as well.

But Western Province star Cara Gorlei was knocked out in the first round. Gorlei, ranked second in the country and in the midst of a solid season with three wins and nine top-10s, was beaten 2&1 by Krugersdorp’s Ethel Ruthenberg. “I couldn’t make a putt. I had about six three putts out there,” Gorlei said.

Magda Kruger also made an early exit from the championship division with her 3&2 defeat by Zayb Fredericks in the second round. Kaleigh Telfer didn’t get past the second round when she was beaten on the 21st hole by Kirsten Campbell. And promising junior Catherine Lau went out in the first round, losing on the 19th hole to Lindi Coetzee.

But the dream of a double is still alive for Park. The Gauteng North golfer won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship in April. After a first round walkover when her opponent failed to arrive, Park beat Crystal Copper 6&5 in the second round.

“I’m trying not to think too much about the double. I’ve never done as well as I would like in the match play, so I’m just focused on playing my game and not focusing too much on my opponent’s game,” she said. She faces Ruthenberg in the third round.

And Eleanora Galletti, winner of the 36-hole stroke play seeding tournament on Sunday, enjoyed a first-round bye and then beat Jacqui Akers 2&1 in the second round.

Written and released by Michael Vlismas Media on behalf of Sanlam and Womens Golf South Africa.

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