Lewthwaite & Meichtry surge at San Lameer

Ekurhuleni amateur Lejan Lewthwaite will have to stave off top ranked Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry to secure the Jackie Mercer Trophy at the SA Women’s Open on Tuesday.

Meichtry braved windy conditions to lift the Curro SA World International Junior and the Nomads SA WP Junior Championship titles earlier this season and could pose a serious threat to Lewthwaite’s title aspirations.

Lewthwaite from The Lake Club Benoni overturned three bogeys in the testing conditions on the Hibiscus Coast for a one over 73 and a share of second on seven over at San Lameer Country Club with Kim Williams.

The pair will start the final round eight strokes behind defending champion Lee-Anne Pace, who also coped admirably in the gusting wind to post a 72.

Meichtry signed for a 75 to vault to joint fifth with two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit, who shot 77.

Lewthwaite was pleased to challenge for the leading amateur honours in the company of two Sunshine Ladies Tour winners.

“I think it’s a huge privilege to be playing with Lee-Anne and Kim in the final round,” said the Wanna Be A Champion golfer.

“This is exactly what I came back to do, so I am really stoked. I had hoped to turn pro, but I didn’t apply in time, so I made winning the Jackie Mercer Trophy my goal.

“After I shot 78 in the first round, I knew I needed to dig in and go lower to give myself a chance, but I never expected to end up in the leading match.

“It’s going to be awesome to play with them and also to learn from them. Hopefully the wind will give us a little break so Kim and I can take a little run at Lee-Anne.”

Meichtry attended the KeNako Academy in George earlier this year and has returned to base herself full-time in George.

“I am attending Rundell College to finish my AS-Levels (matric equivalent) and then I will apply for a scholarship at the US colleges,” the 18-year-old said.

“At home, we go to school until 21 and I don’t want to wait so long to get the United States. And half the time the country is covered in snow, so it’s very difficult to practice. In George, I have my golf academy, my school and great golf courses.

“The competition on the South African women’s amateur circuit is strong and I can also play some Sunshine Ladies Tour events. It’s all about experience and improving, like learning to cope with this tough wind here this week.”

Meanwhile former number one amateur and reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion, Carrie Park from South Korea, returned a 74 to finish on four over.

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