CAPE TOWN, 23 August 2019 – South Africa’s number one ranked Caitlyn Macnab will lead a youthful Protea team in the 2019 Astor Trophy at Royal Colwood Golf Club in Canada from 28 August to 1 September.
The Serengeti golfer will line up alongside fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad members Kaylah Williams from Durbanville Golf Club, Ebotse’s Kiera Floyd and Auburn University stand-out Kaleigh Telfer from Bryanston Country Club in the quadrennial championship against Canada, Australia, Great Britain and Ireland and New Zealand.
“I believe we have a good balance of youth and experience for the battle ahead,” said Womens Golf South Africa President Sally Greasley.
“Kaleigh is 21, Cat and Kaylah are 17 and Kiera is 14, so the team is relatively young. However, all four players have played and performed at international level for a few years now.
“Caitlyn and Kiera represented South Africa in the All-Africa Junior Golf Challenge and Toyota Junior Golf World Cup this year and played together in the R&A Girls Amateur Championship in Scotland this month.
“Kaleigh has been representing the country on the international stage since the Youth Olympics in 2014. She played with Caitlyn in the World Amateur Team Championship in Ireland last year, contested the first Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April and has been competing at the top level on the US collegiate circuit with great success.
“Kaylah made her international debut in the Junior Open and represented South Africa in the All India Ladies Amateur last year. Last month she competed in the Annika Invitational Europe and the Stenson Sunesson Junior Challenge, where she finished an impressive seventh. Our players certainly won’t feel daunted by the competition.
“All the countries have squad systems and the teams are all notably younger this year. We continue to strive for good results, but there is a greater emphasis on development opportunities for the players. We are all excited to give our most promising young talents the chance to compete against the best and gain valuable experience to further their careers.”
Since the R&A Girls Amateur, Macnab and Floyd have played a few rounds of golf as they made their way to London with Greasley. They met up with Williams at Heathrow and arrived in Canada on Thursday night, with Telfer flying up from Alabama on Friday evening.
Formerly known as the Commonwealth Women’s Championship, the round robin event was first hosted in 1959 on the Old Course at St. Andrews. The tournament name was changed to the Astor Trophy when Ireland was added to the event in 2007.
Since its inception, Great Britain and Ireland have won the Astor Trophy eight times, defending champions Australia have won five times and Canada is a two-time winner.
South Africa’s best performances were third place finishes in 2007 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington, and in 2011 at Fairhaven Golf Club in England. In the 2015 edition at The Grange Golf Club in Australia, Lora Assad, Michaela Fletcher, Bertine Strauss, Ivanna Samu and Eleonora Galletti combined for fifth overall.
The format for each round is foursomes and singles and all the countries face each other once over five rounds.
“In the past, teams comprised of five players with one player sitting out the foursomes in each round, but a decision was made to reduce the teams to four players each from 2019,” said Greasley. “We hope to play practice rounds on Saturday and Sunday before the official practice round on Monday. It will be good to shake off any jetlag and test our pairings for the tournament.”
The Proteas will face Australia in round one, Great Britain and Ireland second, New Zealand in the third round, Canada fourth and have a bye on the final day.
The host nation will be represented by Mary Parsons, Noémie Paré, Emily Zhu and Brooke Rivers while the Australians are also fielding a young side that features US college-based golfers Kirsty Hodgkins, Stacey White, Emily Mahar and Amelia Grohn.
English trio Lily May Humphreys, Emily Toy and Alice Hewson and Olivia Mehaffey from Ireland are teeing it up for Great Britain and Ireland and Wenyung Keh, Carmen Lim and Amelia Garvey debut for New Zealand alongside Julianne Alvarez, making her third Astor Trophy appearance.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.