Gauteng primed for 72-Hole title defence

Gauteng have doubled their chances for back-to-back titles in the 72 Hole Team Championship with two strong teams taking aim in the Swiss Team Trophy division at Middelburg Country Club from 22 – 25 May.

The country’s top ranked pair Kaleigh Telfer and Ivanna Samu and number one junior Woo-Ju Son will line up for Gauteng A, while Eleonora Galletti will partner Kajal Mistry and Chiara Contomathios in the Gauteng B.

Gauteng Ladies Golf president Antoinette le Roes is confident that the two teams will rise to the challenge.

“It took Gauteng 10 years to win the 72-Hole Teams Championship again and seven months ago we won the 55th SA Women’s Inter-Provincial title, ending a nine-year winning drought for Gauteng,” said Le Roes.

“Pulling off both victories was a massive achievement for these young players and it is all the motivation they need to fire them up for our title defence in Middelburg.

“Although we lost our captain Tash Carlsson, five of the six players from that victorious team are back for the 72-Hole Teams Championship. I have no doubt that it is going to take a momentous effort from the other teams to throw them off course.

“We are under no illusions that we will have a tough week, but I believe their confidence and experience, combined with Kaleigh and Kajal’s leadership as the respective captains of the A- and B-teams, will see them to the finish line in this year’s competition.”

Gauteng A and B will take up their title defence in the Swiss Team Trophy against Border, Boland, KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Southern Cape, an A and B side from Western Province and three teams from Gauteng North.

Although Gauteng certainly has a very strong chance on paper, Le Roes is not underestimating the opposition.

“I believe Gauteng North, KwaZulu-Natal and Border will pose a very strong challenge,” she said. “We beat Gauteng North in both team events last year and the fact that our B-teams also beat their A-teams in the two team championships will really fire them up to take us down a peg.

“Michaela Fletcher led KwaZulu-Natal to victory in 2014, but missed 2014 due to her obligations at the University of Memphis. But this year Michaela is home on a break this year and this should worry the rest of the A-Division line-up.

“She is a very experienced contender and college golf would have only strengthened her game. Add to the mix Brittney-Fay Berger and Lizzie Currie, who have both been in great form lately, and KZN is definitely a team to watch out for.”

Le Roes also believes SA number four Zethu Myeki, Demi Flanagan and Siviwe Duma from Border could throw up some big surprises.

“I don’t think we can underestimate Border just because this is their debut in the Swiss Team Trophy,” said Le Roes.

“This team showed with their back-to-back victories in the SA Women’s Inter-Provincial B-Section and at the Challenge Trophy last year that they are very dangerous. In all three events, they rallied from early losses to win and that speaks volumes about their passion, determination and fighting spirit. It would be a mistake to see Border as the underdogs in this year’s championship.”

Gauteng will also field a C-team to contest in the Challenge Trophy Division.

Kaiyuree Moodley, Shawnelle de Lange and Symone Henriques, who was recently named Womens Golf South Africa’s Junior Paaaalayer for 2015, will challenge for the title against Boland, Eastern Province, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng North, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Western Province, two teams from Ekurhuleni and debutants Northern Cape.

PHOTO – Defending champions Gauteng will field three teams at the 72-Hole Teams Championship at Middelburg Golf Club from 22 – 25 May 2016; credit LGG.
Left to right: Kaiyuree Moodley, Kajal Mistry, Chiara Contomathios, Symone Henriques, Eleonora Galletti, Kaleigh Telfer, Ivanna Samu and Woo-Ju Son (absent – Shawnelle de Lange).

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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