Gorlei puts SA on attack at AACT

Cara Gorlei was the only player to dip below par on a tough scoring day at the All-Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT), and her superb effort not only launched South Africa’s title defence, but lifted the team within striking distance of first round leaders Kenya on Tuesday.

The South Africans combined for a four-over-par 145 at Muthaiga Golf Club to finish just one stroke shy of the host nation.

Gorlei was the picture of consistency as she navigated her way around the challenging layout.

The 17-year-old Western Province player erased an early bogey at the par-three second with birdie at the par-five fourth and parred her way to the turn.

She drained another birdie putt at the par-five 10th and reeled in seven pars on her way to a superb one-under-par 70 that gave South Africa’s title defence a much-needed early boost.

“I played solid golf, but although I was patient over the putter, I am disappointed that I didn’t find the bottom of the cup a few more times,” Milnerton’s Gorlei said. “I’m looking forward to the second round as I’m drawn with Josephine Ainley, who was Kenya’s leading player. It should be a great round.”

Meanwhile Gauteng North’s Magda Kruger returned a 76 and Michaela Fletcher from KwaZulu-Natal carded a non-counting 79.

The defending champions finished 10 strokes clear of Tanzania and Zambia in joint third.

Uganda is fifth on 158, Zimbabwe sixth on 163 and Egypt – the only country to have claimed victory in the prestigious biennial championship since 1992 – is seventh place on 24 over 166.

Gorlei leads the Individual Competition by two strokes from Ainley and is three strokes ahead of Naomi Wafula, whose 73 helped Kenya into pole position.

Team Result – Round 1
145 (+3) Kenya
146 (+4) South Africa
156 (+14) Tanzania; Zambia
158 (+16) Uganda
163 (+21) Zimbabwe
166 (+24) Egypt
176 (+34) Botswana
181 (+39) Nigeria
183 (+41) Cameroon
185 (+43) Ghana
187 (+45) Tunisia
201 (+59) Gabon
208 (+66) Sierra Leone
209 (+67) Malawi
214 (+72) Togo
216 (+74) Rwanda

Leading Individual Scores – Round 1
1 Cara Gorlei (RSA) 70
2 Josephine Ainley (KEN) 72
3 Naomi Wafula (KEN) 73
4 Flavia Namakula (UGA) 74
5 Magda Kruger (RSA) 76
T6 Angel Eaton (TNZ) 77; Christina Engell Andersen (KEN) 77; Devanshi Naik (ZAM) 77; Soraya Scarello (EGY) 77
T10 Madina Iddy (TNZ) 79; Melissa Nawa (ZAM) 79; Michaela Fletcher (RSA) 79; Yollander Mubaiwa (ZIM) 79

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

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