Cornforth beats Kruger at Boland Champs

Birdie machine Mae Cornforth defeated top SA junior Magda Kruger to lift the Boland Championship Match Play title in a testing battle at Somerset West Golf Club on Wednesday.

The Potchefstroom teenager wielded a hot putter as she navigated her way past Elzanne Kent, Carrie Park and Nicole Garcia to book her berth in the final against Kruger.

Conrforth beat Free State’s Kent 2&1, defeated Park from Gauteng North 1-up and reeled in five birdies against Ekurhuleni’s Garcia in the semi-final to win 2-up. Meanwhile Gauteng North’s Kruger downed local hope Maggie Minnie 3&2, handed Gauteng’s Shawnelle de Lange an 8&7 drubbing and thrashed Maggie du Toit from Southern Cape 6&5 to reach the final.

Kruger birdied the first hole to take early control in the final and extended her lead with a second birdie at the sixth. Cornforth birdied the eighth hole, but lost the ninth to turn 2-down.

However, the 18-year-old North West star rallied over the back nine to clinch victory.

She squared the match with birdies at the 10th and 12th holes and pulled ahead with another pair at the 13th and 14th holes. The pair halved the next two holes, and Cornforth wrapped up a 2&1 win at the 17th for her first provincial win this season.

“I’ve had some good finishes this season and it’s fantastic to finally convert for a win,” said a delighted Cornforth. “It’s always hard to win away from home, but the tournament was really well organised and that took a lot of the pressure off.

“Madga is one of the best golfers in the country, so I knew I was in for a very tough match. She made me work very hard for the victory, and I am proud that I could pull it off.”

Cornforth and Kruger will have a brief respite before they go head-to-head again in the Ackerman Championship at Rondebosch Golf Club this weekend.

The Tuks Sport High matriculant hopes to carry her winning form into the 33rd edition of the prestigious tournament, sponsored by the Ackerman family and Pick n Pay.

“The Ackerman is a very popular tournament on our annual calendar,” Cornforth said. “It’s like the SA Stroke Play or Match Play; it’s one of those titles every player wants to have on her list of victories.

“I’m going to enjoy my win in Somerset West, but once we get going on Saturday, I will focus on the job at hand. But I will take a lot of confidence into the Ackerman Championship.”

Meanwhile respective B- and C-Division Stroke Play champions Linky Malan and Amore Steyn went two-for-two in the Match Play.

Malan from Paarl Golf Club beat Iman Adams from the Western Province 1-up, while 13-year-old Steyn from Kuilsriver’s Steyn defeated Tarryn Borsutzky from Devonvale 6&5.

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