Giantkiller VD Walt shakes up Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur

Pretoria’s Ruzanne van der Walt thought she was headed home from the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship on Tuesday. Instead, she beat two of the top-ranked players in South Africa to make it through to the semi-finals at Ruimsig Country Club.

The 20-year-old first beat Michael Fletcher 1Up in the morning’s third round, and then beat Carrie Park 2&1 in the afternoon’s quarterfinals to exceed her expectations for one of South Africa’s premier amateur tournaments.

“I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’ve got to pinch myself. I thought I’d maybe slide through to the quarters and then go home. I never thought I’d be able to beat two of the top-ranked players on the same day,” said Van Der Walt.

The other upset of the day saw Eleanora Galletti, who on Sunday won the stroke play seeding tournament by two strokes, beat another top-ranked player in Lara Weinstein 3&2 in the quarterfinals.

In the other quarterfinals, Lora Assad beat Bertine Strauss 1Up, and Ivanna Samu beat Eugenie Clack 4&2.

But Van Der Walt caught everybody by surprise with her victories. Against Fletcher, they were All Square playing the par-five 18th and Van Der Walt holed a tricky downhill 10-foot putt for birdie and the win.

Then against Park, she turned 3Up but Park fought back to 1Down through 11. They halved the next five holes, and then Van Der Walt won with a par on the par-three 17th as Park missed her four-foot putt.

“My game just clicked today. I’m so happy because I’ve been practising hard for this. I’ve never gone this far in this championship. I’m just going to keep backing myself and keep fighting out there,” said Van Der Walt.

Galletti was just as delighted with her progress into the semi-finals. Playing against Weinstein, the petite Johannesburg golfer won the second hole and never relinquished her advantage, eventually sealing the match with a par on the par-four 16th.

“Lara was incredibly tough to play against. She’s a top-ranked player and I’m very happy with how consistent my game was against her. I feel like I’m getting better and better against the top players,” she said.

Galletti will play Assad in Wednesday’s first semi-final, followed by Samu against Van Der Walt. The final will be played on Wednesday afternoon.

In the Plate division, Jhanelle Strydom will play Jamie-Lee Daniels in Wednesday’s first semi-final, followed by Stephanie Perkins against Cara Gorlei.

Written by Michael Vlismas on behalf of Sanlam and Womens Golf South Africa.

Posted in