Gorlei wins dramatic Nomads SA Girls tussle

Western Province junior Cara Gorlei became the first play-off champion of the Nomads SA Girls Championship since 1976 when she ended a three-player shootout at the fourth extra hole, while 13-year-old Kajyuree Moodley from Gauteng prevailed for a wire-to-wire B-Section victory at Orkney Golf Club on Tuesday.

Gorlei lagged five shots off the pace after a costly second round 80, while defending champion Ji Sun Kang from Western Province started the final round two behind overnight leader, Ivanna Samu.

However, 18-year-old Gorlei reproduced the form that carried her to the first round lead and set the clubhouse target at eight-over-par 224 with a three birdie, three bogey even-par 72.

Samu from Gauteng fought valiantly to reverse the damage of two doubles and a triple bogey and forced the play-off with a 77, and Kang made it three for extra time with a 75.

It took two visits to the 17th and 18th holes before stalemate was broken by Gorlei, who sunk a nervy five meter putt with a birdie at the par-four closing hole to triumph.

Ironically, the winner was oblivious of her victory until the excited crowd burst into applause.

“The play-off was unbelievably tight, because we all hit such great shots, straight down the middle on every hole,” Gorlei said. “We parred the 17th, parred the 18th and bogeyed the 17th.

“The first time, I hit my approach in exactly the same spot at the 18th, but I took too much and missed the putt. The second time I had exactly the same line – one ball right – so I hit it a little softer.

“It didn’t look like it was going to get to the hole, so I turned around and closed my eyes. It was only when the crowd started cheering that I took a peek and saw the ball had crawled in the hole.”

It has certainly been a watershed season for the Milnerton golfer.

Gorlei followed three consecutive second place finishes early in the season with a podium finish at the prestigious Nomads SA Rose Bowl Girls Championship in April.

After a runner-up finish in last year’s event, the country’s number two ranked junior was simply ecstatic to own the junior “double”.

“It took six tries before I got to lift this trophy,” the delighted winner gushed. “I can’t actually believe I’ve done it. Wow, two huge boxes ticked this year.”

And the victory that keeps on giving. Gorlei’s victory has earned her a spot in the internationally acclaimed Duke of York Young Champions Trophy later this year.

“It has been on my bucket list forever and now I finally get to go to Scotland,” she said. “I’ll have to ask Ji Sun a million questions, because I really want my trip to the Duke of York to be the most memorable yet.

“For now, this is just unbelievable. I am just going to enjoy this moment for a few weeks.”

Moodley was equally impressive in the B-Division for 10 – 18 handicaps and remained unchallenged over 54 holes.

The Gauteng golfer’s final round 82 for a winning total of 24-over-par 240 handed her a five stroke victory over Zilke Bal from Boland.

Pheletso Mtembu from the Central Gauteng chapter of the South African Golf Development Board (SADGA) won the C-Division on 75 points after rounds of 36 and 39, while Naeemah Adams took the D-Division title with a total of 73 points after carding rounds of 33 and 40.


224 Cara Gorlei 72 80 72*
224 Ji Sun Kang 74 75 75; Ivanna Samu 75 72 77
229 Catherine Lau 78 75 76; Carrie Park 76 76 77; Bianca$ Theron 76 74 79
230 Frankie Bosman 75 80 75; Danielle du Toit 76 75 79
233 Bianca Lohbauer 79 80 74; Chiara Contomathios 78 74 81
*Won at fourth play-off hole

240 Kaiyuree Moodley 81 77 82
245 Zilke Bal 84 80 81
256 Aaliyah Abrahams 88 85 83
259 Danel Bieldt 84 85 90
260 Nadia Van der Westhuizen 83 89 88
262 Cara Ford 94 90 78; Elsune Roode 88 86 88
263 Danielle Bekker ZIM 88 87 88; Noluthando Mdanda 88 86 89
264 Jo-Lindie Richter 88 92 84; Mieke Van den Bosch 89 88 87

75 – Pheletso Mtembu 36 39
73 – Naeemah Adams 33 40
72 – Mandie Badenhorst 41 31
70 – Amore Steyn 31 39
69 – Luzan Esterhuizen 31 38

76 – Lene Kruger 41 35
68 – Danelle van der Westhuizen 35 33
64 – Simone Petersen 33 31
62 – Lerieze De Lange 29 33
61 – Sylken November 25 36 Daniel Greyvenstein 32 29

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

Posted in