Chen wins at Houghton

SA Junior Champion Connie Chen continued her run of victories when she won the 36 hole Nomads Gauteng Stroke Play Championships at the newly redesigned Houghton Golf Club this week. Her score of 149 (75, 74|) was two strokes ahead of SA Champion Kim Williams 151 (75, 76) and another junior, Lara Weinstein, also having a great year, was a stroke back on 152 (72,80).

Connie’s victories this year include the SA 72 Hole Stroke Play Championship, 54 hole SA Girls Championship, Gauteng North Junior Championship, North West Championship, KwaZulu Natal Senior and Junior Stroke Play Championship, Gauteng North Stroke Play and Match Play Championships and now the Gauteng Stroke Play Championship.

The new Jack Nicklaus designed Signature course, proved to be an extremely tough setup for the competitors. The course was lengthened by 431 metres and although some of the top players still found the course quite short, the greens were not easy.

Ladies Golf Gauteng President Les Rule reports, “According to many players, there were elephants buried under the greens and one A Division player said that even though you were on the green in regulation, you weren’t guaranteed a two putt, more likely a three putt. Kim Williams said that even though the course was still relatively short, the greens were the course’s defence and extremely challenging. The results show this with only four of the South African top golfers shooting sub 80’s in the first round and only six of them shooting sub 80’s in the second round.”

Despite the cold and windy conditions, all enjoyed a great tournament. The field of 98 teed off in temperatures of three degrees both mornings with day two being much colder due to the wind chill factor.

Houghton Golf Club and Richard Kaplan were great hosts and Les and her committee look forward to holding a tournament there again in the near future.

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