The GolfRSA Protea team halved their opening match against defending champion Australia at the 2019 Astor Trophy in Canada; credit GolfRSA

VICTORIA, Canada (29 August 2019) – Kaleigh Telfer and Kiera Floyd proved a formidable force on the opening day of the Astor Trophy as they racked up three wins for the GolfRSA Proteas at Royal Colwood Golf Club.

Auburn University student Telfer and 14-year-old Floyd routed their Australian opponents 4 & 3 to win South Africa’s first foursomes match 4 & 3 and the GolfRSA Elite Squad pair carried their dominance into the afternoon singles session on Wednesday.

“We knew we needed to get as many points off the defending champions as possible and we were delighted to tie Australia 3-all. We are off to a great start,” said Womens Golf South Africa President Sally Greasley.

“The dew in the morning was tough to deal with, because it was almost impossible to play a decent shot out of the thick rough. We noted the severe slopes on many of the greens in the practice rounds and with the greens running more than 11 on the stimp metre, you have to land your approach shots below the flag on many of the holes. If you were above the pin, the slightest tap could send the ball careening past the hole.

“Kaleigh and Kiera went off first and they played great percentage golf to put Amelia Mehmet-Grohn and Kirsty Hodgkins on the back foot early on.”

The pair won the first hole with a par and kept the advantage going with a string of pars.

“Kiera and I dovetailed really well and we were 3-up through 12,” Telfer said. “We lost the 13th with a bogey, but we eagled the par five 14th. We won the game when they bogeyed 15.

“I got off to a really good start in the singles and I was 3-up after six holes, but then my driver went a bit all over the show. I battled with some wayward drives on the back nine, but I scrambled well hold on to the lead and won the game 2&1 on the 17th hole.

“It was really great to get points for the team on day one. We’ve started our campaign on a positive note and it’s a nice boost for the rest of the week.”

Floyd was in imperious form and never gave her opponent a look in.

“Kiera’s solid driving and pin-seeking approaches gave her plenty birdie chances. She turned 5-up and birdied 10 and 11 to go 7-up on Emily Mahar. The pair halved the 12th hole and Kiera enjoyed a really well-deserved 7 & 6 win.” Greasley said.

South Africa’s number one ranked Caitlyn Macnab and reigning Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion Kaylah Williams put up a brave fight, but Kirsty Hodgkins and Stacey White came up trumps in the foursomes and singles.

“Kaylah also battled with her swing, with the result that her tentative drives and approach shots left her vulnerable. She has an amazing fighting spirit, though, and she hung in there to take the game to the 17th hole before she lost 3 & 1.

“Caitlyn had a tough game against a very competitive opponent, but she held her head high until the 15th hole, where an unexpected three-putt unnerved her. Unable to get herself back into the game, she also lost 3 & 1 on 17.

“Whilst we were all disappointed not to have taken all the points against Australia, we are happy with the start we made. Great Britain and Ireland had a first round bye, so they will be keen to get their campaign underway and we are excited to face them today.”

New Zealand won 5 of their 6 games against the host nation to take the lead on 1 point.

LINK TO SCORING (click on TEAM to see the individual results): https://golfcanada.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/rcga19/event/rcga19816/contest/13/leaderboard.htm

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.