KZN crowned 72-Hole Team Champs

KwaZulu-Natal thwarted Gauteng North’s bid for a fifth successive 72-Hole Teams Championship title in the Swiss Trophy, while Southern Cape A clinched promotion in the Challenge Trophy at Mossel Bay Golf Club on Wednesday.

Gauteng North A took the first round lead on 146, but KZN A overhauled the defending champions with back-to-back rounds of 149 on day two.

Taking a five shot lead over Western Province A into the final round, Michaela Fletcher and Tiffany Avern-Taplin held off a spirited challenge from Cara Gorlei and Kelly Erasmus to claim a three-shot victory for KZN on 603.

Avern-Taplin kept KZN A in the driver’s seat with an 81 and Fletcher returned a 76 for a final round 157. It was the coastal team’s first victory in the prestigious team competition in 12 years.

“We had to work very hard and we are absolutely thrilled to be the champions,” said Avern-Taplin.

“I’ve represented KZN for 11 years, and this is the first time I am on a winning team, so you can imagine my own delight. Our manager, Judy Paterson, was also on a winning team in 1985, so we are really going to celebrate this victory.

“We are especially pleased to have won this for our former president, Karen Olivant, who has taken the helm at Womens Golf South Africa and we would like to dedicate this victory to her.”

Avern-Taplin had high praise for Fletcher, whose rounds of 72, 74, 77 and 76 were pivotal to the team’s success, and the third member of the side, Lizzie Currie.

“Michaela has already proven herself a tough competitor with three match play victories this year and she was an absolute rock this week,” Avern-Taplin said. “We couldn’t have done this without her commitment and determination.

“Lizzie (Currie) may not have contributed to our scores, but we could not have done without her positive attitude. She kept Michaela and I motivated and encouraged and was the secret weapon to our success.”

Meanwhile Gorlei carded a 77 and Erasmus posted a 78 for WP A, who took second on 606.

Reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Park edged out Fletcher by one shot for the individual title with rounds of 72, 75, 74 and 77. Park combined with Eugenie Clark, who returned an 80 to secure third place for the defending champions on 610.

603 – KwaZulu-Natal A 148 149 149 157
606 – Western Province A 148 151 152 155
610 – Gauteng North A 146 154 153 157
611 – Gauteng A 150 156 148 157
621 – Boland A 153 156 149 163
629 – Mpumalanga 161 153 155 160
632 – Gauteng North C 158 157 152 165
642 – Gauteng North B 153 166 164 159
644 – North West A 163 156 160 165
650 – Western Province B 163 159 159 169
658 – Gauteng B 159 165 166 168
667 – Ekurhuleni A 168 168 157 174

PHOTO CAPTION: The victorious KwaZulu-Natal A team, winners of the 72-Hole Teams Championship at Mossel Bay Golf Club; credit SCWGA.
From left to right: Michaela Fletcher, Tiffany Avern-Taplin, Lizzie Currie with Mayor of Mossel Bay, Alder Lady Marie Ferreira

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

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