Home celebrations for Cornforth

Mae Cornforth gave the local crowds plenty to cheer about when she stormed to victory in the North West Championship at Goldfields West Golf Club on Monday.

Cornforth carded rounds of 71, 76 and 69 to triumph on three-under-par 216, four shots ahead of Ekurhuleni’s Sarah Bouch five clear of Gauteng North’s Magda Kruger.

The 18-year-old Potchefstroom golfer took the first round lead at the classical Bob Grimsdell-designed layout ahead of Monja Richards from Mpumalanga, who opened with a 72.

When Cornforth surrendered her advantage in the second round and slipped to third, Richards took control with a 73, while Bouch doubled up on 73s to edge into second.

However, Cornforth has enjoyed a very successful run this season and pulled on all her resources to vault past the opposition in the final round.

In early February, Cornforth reached the final of the Eastern Province Match Play and tied for fifth in the Stroke Play Championship. A few weeks later, she took sixth at the Border Championship.

Boosted by these performances and drawing on her recent good fortune on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, Cornforth decided on a game plan for the final round.

“I really wanted to win at home and I knew I needed a game plan,” Cornforth said.

“I didn’t have any kind of plan at the Eastern Province and Border Championships, so I thought about how I played the Sunshine Ladies Tour events.

“I tied for 10th at Lost City and at Glendower, I finished 16th and I outplayed a lot of professionals. I realised that in those events I played tee to green and limited my bogeys. I didn’t take unnecessary chances and I controlled my game better.

“So that is what my game plan was for the final day…solid striking from tee to green, and limiting my mistakes. I needed birdies and I needed to finish well below par, because that’s how the players like Ashleigh (Simon), Tandi (von Ruben) and Kim (Williams) play.”

Although Cornforth dropped four shots, she rallied with eight birdies to hit the magic number.

“The key was that I made a birdie for every bogey on my card,” Cornforth said. “I didn’t do that in the Eastern Province or Border Championships, but once I got it going, I knew I could win.”

Cornforth erased a bogey at the second with birdie at the third, cancelled a bogey at four with a birdie at five, and converted bogeys at 11 and 13 with birdies at 12 and 17.

“I was really pleased to birdie the 18th, too, because the moment I realised that I was winning, I duffed my second after a perfect drive down the fairway,” Cornforth admitted. “I chipped it well past the hole, but boxed a 10 meter putt for birdie. That was undoubtedly my best putt of the day.”

Kruger carded rounds of 75, 75 and 71 to take third place on two over 219, with Richards slipping to fourth on 222 after a closing 77.

In the B-Division, 12-handicapper Kaiyuree Moodley carded successive rounds of 82 to finish six strokes ahead of Lynette Pretorius on 142. Pretorius, who plays off an 11 handicap, returned rounds of 84 and 86.


216 Mae Cornforth 71-76-69
220 Sarah Bouch 73-73-74
221 Magda Kruger 75-75-71
222 Monja Richard 72-73-77
226 Eugenie Clack 74-75-77
231 Michaela Fletcher 82-75-74
232 Danielle du Toit 77-77-78
235 Michelle Swanepoel 80-75-80
237 Crystal Cooper 77-82-78
240 Natasha Carlsson 85-76-79; Carmia van Wyk 82-81-77

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