Déjà vu as Gorlei exits Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur

For the second year in succession, Ethel Ruthenberg has shattered Cara Gorlei’s Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship dreams.

The 22-year-old Ruthenberg beat Gorlei 1Up in Monday’s second round at Kloof Country Club. Ruthenberg beat Gorlei in the first round last year.

South African number one Ivanna Samu was tested a bit more than she would’ve liked in her 2Up victory over Chante van Zyl.

Gauteng North’s Carrie Park claimed a comfortable 7&5 win over KwaZulu-Natal’s Courtenay James. Kloof’s local hope Brittney-Fay Berger beat Jane MacKenzie 2&1, and Michaela Fletcher, back from an impressive debut season at the University of Memphis, was beaten 3&2 by Jacqui Akers. Both Woo-Ju Son and Eleonora Galletti also went through to Tuesday’s third round.

The loss to Ruthenberg was a tremendous blow for the 19-year-old Gorlei, a decorated amateur who won the 36-hole stroke play seeding tournament for this event on Sunday and was hoping for a big week in a year in which she’s been in great form, particularly in match play.

This will also be her last tournament before she takes up a golf scholarship at Arkansas University next month.

But Ruthenberg was once again a difficult hurdle for her to overcome. On a bitterly cold day, Ruthenberg beat Aaliyah Abrahams 1Up in the morning while Gorlei was one of the top 12 players from the seeding round who enjoyed a first-round bye.

“It was unbelievable. Cara brings out the best golf in me. She didn’t play her best today and gave me a few holes, but I took the opportunities and built on them,” said the Krugersdorp golfer.

Ruthenberg was somewhat surprised by her victory, particularly because she has little time to practice in between doing odd jobs to fund her golf.

“I haven’t had a good year because I don’t practice as often as I should. I only started playing four years ago and I’ve had to work in between.

“I know that I can play good golf, and I knew I had to be at my best against Carla. I have to believe in myself even more when I play the top players. Cara is such a brave player and I fed off that.”

The turning point for Ruthenberg came at the par-three sixth hole. She was 1Down and then hit a great five iron that hit the pin. She made birdie from there and the match was All Square.

“That gave me the confidence to know I could win this,” she said.

Ruthenberg will play Shawnelle de Lange in Tuesday’s third round. Park faces Lejan Lewthwaite, while Samu is up against Woo-Ju Son.

Click HERE to view all the results and third round tee-times

Written by Michael Vlismas on behalf of Sanlam.

Posted in