Daniels in threatening form ahead of Ackerman Champs
Eastern Province rising star Jamie-Lee Daniels is a firm favourite going into the 34th Ackerman Championship this weekend after a commanding victory in the Boland Stroke Play Championship earlier this month.
The 15-year-old Uitenhage golfer underlined her growing stature when she held off challenges from Sammy Barber from Western Province and Gauteng’s Kaleigh Telfer to win at Arabella Golf Estate.
Daniels navigated the tough championship layout of the country’s fifth ranked golf course in rounds of 74 and 71 for a winning total of three-over-par 145.
She finished three strokes clear of Barber, who registered rounds of 73 and 75, and Telfer, who posted two 74s and seven shots ahead of Sonja Bland from Southern Cape, Gauteng junior Chiara Contomathios and Amy Henning from Western Province, who tied for fourth on 152.
Daniels followed her older sister Kim into the South African Golf Development Board’s programme in Eastern Province and quickly rose through their ranks.
By the age of 10, she won the Western Province Under-23 C Division, finished second at the Southern Cape Championships and Eastern Cape Championships and proved a handy pick for the Eastern Province Under-18 Squad at the Hexangular, where she won five of her six Match Play matches in the Senior Ladies Division.
Jamster, as she is affectionately called by her team mates, has proven an invaluable asset for Eastern Province in the premier national team events over the last two years. She showed with her performance in Boland that she is ready to become a strong contender on the women’s amateur golf circuit.
Daniels has consistently improved her status on Womens Golf South Africa’s Senior and Junior rankings and, following her emphatic victory a fortnight ago, rose to 27th in the Senior Rankings and 22nd in the Junior Rankings.
With Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Ivanna Samu and Boland Championship Match Play winner Contomathios in the field this weekend, Daniels knows she will face stiff competition at Clovelly Golf Club, but she is taking a positive attitude into the 54-hole championship.
“I feel like I turned a big corner with my first provincial victory this season,” Daniels said. “I believe in my ability to challenge and to win and I hope to build on this in the future.
“The field is very strong and it will definitely be another tough event. But you can only do your best and hopefully it will to carry me to another podium finish.”
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa