Gauteng ready to impress at Royal Cape

Gauteng North has reigned supreme in the Pick n Pay SA Women’s Inter-Provincial for seven successive years, but their dominance is under serious threat in the 54th edition, which tees off at Royal Cape Golf Club on Tuesday.

The defending champions will field two teams in the A-Section challenge for the Jean Tindall Memorial Trophy, but only Eugenie Clack, Magda Kruger and reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play champion Carrie Park from last year’s victorious team will be action this year.

Marne Clack, promoted from last year’s B-team, Danielle du Toit and Ruzanne van der Walt will fill the void left by long-time anchors, Kim Williams and Nobuhle Dlamini, who joined the pro circuit this year.

The B-team will feature Adele Beytell, Crystal Cooper, Liedeke de Klerk, Carmia van Wyk and juniors Larissa du Preez and Mercedes Kreissel.

Gauteng North showed their vulnerability at the 72-Hole Team Championship in May, when KwaZulu-Natal thwarted their fifth successive Swiss Trophy title bid at Mossel Bay Golf Club.

Now Gauteng hopes to follow suit in the country’s most prestigious team championship next week.

The A-team includes no less than three winners this season.

Ivanna Samu was promoted from last year’s B-team following a superb season during which she won the Pam Golding Properties WP, the Gauteng 54-Hole and the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championships.

The 15-year-old Ruimsig golfer is the second ranked player on the WGSA Junior Rankings and comes into the Inter-Provincial in hot form after lifting her fourth title at the Ackerman Championship on Sunday.

Eleonora Galletti, a bronze medallist at the Africa Youth Games in Botswana, won the Nomads Gauteng Stroke Play in July, while Kaleigh Telfer claimed podium finishes in the Curro SA World Juniors International in March and the Gauteng Junior Championship last month.

Shawnelle de Lange, Lauren Bekker and Natasha Carlsson complete the line-up.

De Lange ranks eighth on Womens Golf South Africa’s senior rankings. The 17-year-old Goldfields player, who also competed in the Africa Youth Games, has racked up 13 top 10 finishes this season, including a runner-up finish at the Ekurhuleni 54-hole Stroke Play Championship.

Bryanston’s Carlsson was also on the team that captured the coveted B-Section promotion in 2013.

The country’s number nine has netted seven top 10 finishes this season, including a fourth place finish at Clovelly at the weekend.

Bekker, at 24 the most senior and experienced player in the team, will captain the side.

The B-team features 13-year-old Woo-Ju Son, who defeated Jamie-Lee Daniels in her final match at Port Elizabeth Golf Club to seal the promotion for Gauteng B and lines up again with captain Jacqui Akers.

The debutants include Chiara Contomathios, Ethel Ruthenburg and 13-year-olds Symone Henriques and Kajal Mistry.

Gauteng Ladies Golf president Gill van der Meulen said both teams are ready for the challenge.

“Both teams have done a lot of work in preparation and the players are highly motivated,” she said.

“They are very determined to deliver a podium finish. Irrespective of the result, the Inter-Provincial has a way of lifting everyone’s games a couple of levels once the provincial rivalries ignite.

“The tournament represents a fantastic learning curve for all the players, especially for the juniors.”

Gauteng and Gauteng North will be competing against Boland, Ekurhuleni, KwaZulu-Natal and hosts, Western Province, in the A-Section while the B-Section will be contested between Border, Eastern Province, Free State & Northern Cape, North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Southern Cape and Western Province B.

Written and released on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa by Lali Stander.

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