Confident Dlamini ready for Sanlam SA Amateur battle

Nobuhle Dlamini emerged from Milnerton Golf Club’s Sunday afternoon mist with a two-stroke victory in the stroke play tournament that was no more than a warm-up for her attempt at the double in this week’s Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Championship.

The 36-hole stroke play serves as a seeding tournament for the main match play championship from Monday to Wednesday.

And Dlamini reinforced her status as favourite with her rounds of 75 and 68 for a total of one over par 143.

Kim Williams finished second on three over par with rounds of 74 and 71, while Michaela Fletcher was third on four over with rounds of 75 and 71.

The tougher morning conditions saw Dlamini three off the shared lead of Ji Sun Kang, Vanessa Smith and Lara Weinstein after their rounds of one-over-par 72.

But more control with her driver and a calmer afternoon saw Dlamini finish with an impressive 68 in which she birdied two of her last three holes.

“That 68 gives me a lot of confidence going into the match play,” said Dlamini, who earlier this year won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship by 12 strokes in Pretoria to set up her run at the double. “I hit my driver better in the second round, and on the back nine in particular I putted really well.”

Behind her, Williams knows all about the pressure Dlamini carries into this week. Williams was the last player to win the double in the same year in 2010.

“All the pressure is on her this week to do the double. But Nobuhle is playing such great golf at the moment that she’ll be hard to beat.”

Sunday also delivered a shot of confidence for Fletcher, who lost in the final of this championship last year.

“This was my first time playing Milnerton. It’s not an easy course, but it’s the kind of course I like. I came second last year so obviously this championship means a lot to me and I want to go one better this year.”

Copy and photograph courtesy of Michael Vlismas, Michael Vlismas Media.

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