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Connie Chen lifts the SA Girls’ Trophy

17 year old Waterkloof junior Connie Chen lifted the 54 hole 2010 Nomads SA Girl’s Championship trophy with a great seven-under-par 209 at Orkney Golf Club last weekend. Her rounds of 71, 67, 71 took her two strokes clear of Namibian Bonnita Bredenhann in a titanic battle over the last round when, after nine holes, Bonnita was -6 to Connie’s -4.

Bonnita’s drop at 10 and Connie’s birdie at 11 put them level but with her confidence growing, Connie birdied 15 and 18 to seal the win and the title.

Kempton Park’s Talia Nel finished in third position after dropping three shots on the outward nine, but came back in spectacular fashion with an eagle and two birdies to card 73 and a total of 221 (74, 74, 73). Triple title holder Bertine Strauss who shifted her focus this year to obtaining a top matric pass, started the event with an indifferent 79, but her two level par 72s put her tied in fourth place with the under 16 winner Lara Weinstein on 223 (78, 71, 74). The runner-up in the under 16 championship was Rose Bowl winner Izel Pieters on 229 (79, 73, 77).

OTHER DIVISIONS

The 10 to 18 handicap B division was won by 14-year old Uitenhage player Imkeleen Meyer who only started golf a year ago, on 243 (83, 77, 83) three strokes ahead of Namibian Maryke Short on 246 (82, 80, 84). This division was extended to 54 holes this year for the first time.

The 19 to 33 handicapped players competed in an individual stableford competition over 36 holes and Luche Klassen from Border won the Bronze division on 84 points with Free State’s Chanté van Zyl was victorious in the Copper division with 81 points.

RECORD ENTRY

The record entry of 154 players included girls from all corners of the country as well as Namibia and Botswana, aged between eight and eighteen. Usually played in June, because of the cost of airfares during the Soccer World Cup, this popular championship was moved to the Freedom Day weekend in April for 2010.

A four-tee start at 6.40am in a light drizzle enabled the field to be in 11.45 and after a prize-giving attended by 180 players and parents, the girls were on their busses by 2pm in time to connect to 6pm flights home and school the following day.

NOMADS

The event was sponsored again by that special group of men, The Nomads, enabling Women’s Golf South Africa to cover the costs of transport, accommodation, meals and playing fees for all players. Players confirm that this is their favourite event where they initiate friendships with other girls from all over the country. This is evident when they get together at other national and provincial tournaments and they all support each other, despite being competitors on the course.

Nomads National Chairman, at his first function since his induction last week, presented the prizes and he was accompanied by National Secretary Les Floyd who attended his fourth Nomads SA Girls prize-giving.

THE DUKE OF YORK JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

The winner, Connie Chen will travel with the SAJGF Boys’ champion to the Duke of York junior championship to be played at Royal St Georges Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent from 14 to September this year.

Photos of the winners:

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