Easy start for Dlamini in Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur

South African number one Nobuhle Dlamini led the favourites into the third round of the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Championship at Milnerton Golf Club on Monday.

After a first round bye, Dlamini enjoyed a comfortable 7&5 win over Durban golfer Claudia Redinger.

She was followed into the third round by the country’s number two ranked player, Kim Williams, who in contrast had to work for her 6&4 victory over Sylvia Masango.

And on a perfect day on the links there were also good wins for Lara Weinstein, Nicole Garcia, Magda Kruger and Michaela Fletcher. Bianca Theron, however, was beaten 3&1 by Ruzanne van der Walt in the first upset of the championship.

Dlamini was hardly tested in her match against Redinger, despite her own uncertainties at the start of the match.

“I felt a bit of pressure in the beginning because I’ve never seen her play before and I don’t know what kind of player she is. So I had to start well,” she said of her par and then chip-in for birdie on the second to immediately put the pressure on her opponent. Her only loose shot of the day was a drive that finished close to out-of-bounds on the 12th. “Other than that my game was solid and I’m happy with my start.”

Dlamini will face Magda Kruger in the third round after Kruger achieved an impressive 3&1 victory over Monja Richards.

Kruger should be Dlamini’s first real challenge thus far, with the Gauteng North golfer making it all the way to the semi-finals in this championship last year.

Williams also had a first-round bye before facing Masango, and quickly found herself under pressure at All Square through eight holes.

With Williams facing a four-footer to win the third hole, Masango holed a 20-footer to take the half and signal her intent in this match.

“I realised then she was not going to let me win this one easily,” said Williams. “I was getting a bit worried because I think I was a bit too calm in the beginning. So I quickly snapped out of it and just started playing percentage golf, and she started making mistakes.”

After the eighth, Williams parred the next four holes as Masango dropped on each, and she eventually clinched a 6&4 victory.

“It was a good wake-up call that anybody can beat you in match play,” said Williams, who faces Zayb Kippie in the third round.

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

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