Kang feels pressure at Nomads SA Girls defence

Ji Sun Kang claimed a magnificent four shot wire-to-wire victory at Orkney Golf Club last year, but the defending champion could have her job cut out to claim successive Nomads SA Girls Championship titles when the prestigious junior event tees off on Sunday.

The Western Province golfer is going up against a strong line-up of top ranked juniors who will also be gunning for the coveted title and the ultimate prize it carries, the chance to tee it up in the international Duke of York Young Champions Trophy later this year.

Chief among Kang’s opponents are Carrie Park, Cara Gorlei and Kaleigh Telfer.

Respectively ranked first, second and third in the WGSA Junior rankings, the trio have collectively dominated the junior season to date.

Park from Irene reeled in victories at the Border, KwaZulu-Natal and Ekurhuleni Women’s Golf Junior Open Championships and backed up her position with two runner-up and six top five finishes.

Milnerton’s Gorlei kicked off the season with three consecutive second place finishes before she claimed the Nomads SA Rose Bowl Girls Championship in April.

The runner-up last year, Gorlei consolidated her second place ranking with an impressive seven top five finishes since January.

Meanwhile Telfer from Bryanston ended 2013 with back-to-back victories and carried her form to victory at the Curro SA World Juniors International in March. Telfer also notched 10 top five finishes in 15 starts this season, including four third place finishes.

Fourth-ranked Kang has also enjoyed a successful season.

The Western Province number one was forced to play a limited schedule in preparation of her imminent departure to the United States to take up a golf scholarship at the Daytona State College. However, she claimed the season-opening Boland Junior Championship and notched second place finishes at the Pam Golding Properties WP Championship and the SA Rose Bowl.

A member of the Western Province Junior Squad since 2010, Kang and Gorlei head up a 23-strong contingent from the province in this year’s championship.

She wants to perform well in front of her peers.

“All the juniors here this week are part of WGWP Junior Development Programme and they look up to myself and Cara,” Kang said.

“This will be my final appearance on the WGSA circuit before I leave for the United States. I know I have a target on my back, but I would love to win for these girls, because it will inspire them to stay in the programme and to continue to improve.

“I would also love to win for Womens Golf Western Province, to thank them for all the opportunities and support they have given me. And I would like to win for myself, so I can go out on top.”

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

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