Mighty Meichtry goes wire-to-wire in Cape Town

Azelia Meichtry from Switzerland thwarted a brave bid from Gauteng’s Kaleigh Telfer to lift the Nomads WGWP Junior Championship title at Durbanville Golf Club on Sunday.

Just four days after Meichtry arrived in South Africa, the 17-year-old Swiss amateur claimed a sensational wire-to-wire triumph in the Championship division on four-over-par 220.

Meichtry carded a final round 74 to beat the South African by four strokes for the Nomads Trophy.

With a strong wind gusting in Cape Town, the Swiss teenager proved too good for those giving chase in the first round.

She carded an even-par 72 to open up a seven shot lead on Gauteng’s Woo-Ju Son on Saturday and protected her lead with a second round 74.

Meichtry parred her way through the first eight holes in the final round, and followed back-to-back bogeys with a birdie at the par-five 11th. She followed a bogey at 13 with a pair of birdies and dropped shots at the 16th and 17th before closing with a par.

Meichtry was ecstatic to savour success in her first competitive outing in South Africa.

“I’m really, really pleased to have started like this, because my aim in coming to South Africa was to test myself against the local players and to gain more experience in the conditions here,” Meichtry said.

“I think the wind was a real factor in the first round, but I managed to put myself in a good position for the tournament with the 72. Kaleigh gave me a nice push down the back nine in the final round and that kept me on my toes.”

The victory bodes well for Meichtry, who tied for eighth at the Summer Youth Olympics in Beijing last year. She joined the KeNako Academy in George and will stay in South Africa until the Curro SA World Junior Championships at Durbanville Golf Club in March.

“I really enjoyed competing against the South Africans,” she said. “Hopefully I will get the chance to play in a few more events, but that will depend on the schedule at the KeNako Academy.

“This is a great start to the season and I will be playing in March and I look forward to starting in more of the local tournaments.”

Telfer was tied for second with fellow Gauteng golfer Shawnelle de Lange after the first round, but battled her swing through the first 45 holes.
“Something clicked down the back nine and I boxed three birdies on the trot from the 13th to close the gap on Azelia,” the Bryanston golfer said. “I just started hitting the ball a lot better, especially my irons, but the putter wasn’t cooperating over the first couple of holes.

“It was great for us to have Azelia and the girls from Reunion in the field this year. It always lifts your game when you are competing against international players. Azelia played incredibly well in the wind in the first round and I learned a lot from watching how she managed herself in that wind.”

Son from Eagle Canyon took third on 229, De Lange finished fourth on 234 and Manon Lasalarie from Golf du Bassin Bleu in Reunion claimed fifth on 239.

“Women’s Golf Western Province and the players are really very appreciative to Nomads WP for continuing their association with the Junior Championship,” said WGWP president, Sarah Braude.

“The support from Nomads is invaluable, especially since it provides the juniors the opportunity to compete and grow their tournament experience.

“We were very pleased to have international competitors, together with the many players from across the country and our WP Junior Squad players, competing in the Championship. The competition amongst the players was very high and the juniors can only benefit from this.”

Zimbabwe’s Danielle Bekker won the Sally Little Trophy in the 36-hole B-Division.

The Chapman junior carded round of 83 and 87 to finish on 170, four strokes clear of Laylaah Abrahams from Rondebosch. Royal Cape’s Kayla Paulsen took third on 179.
Jessica Carrie Green from Clovelly won the 36-hole C-Division with rounds of 96 and 80.

Kayla Ann Eckles from Mowbray lifted the D-Division title with 38 pts in the 18-hole Stableford competition.

In the WP Closed, Aaliyah Abrahams from Rondebosch lifted the Prentice Cup for Best Gross 54 Holes, for handicaps 9 & Under.

Kayla Paulsen from Royal Cape won the Goldsbury & Stewart Under 16 Stroke Play title.

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

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