Mighty Meichtry looking to extend purple patch

Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry will be looking add to her growing list of victories on the Womens Golf South Africa circuit in this weekend’s Border Championship following her rare ‘double’ triumph in the Eastern Province Championship this month.

The top ranked Swiss amateur became the first golfer to emulate former WGSA number one Nobuhle Dlamini to win both the Stroke Play and Match Play Championships at Port Elizabeth Golf Club last week.

Big-hitting Dlamini from Swaziland achieved this rare feat twice, in 2013 and 2014.

In her first visit to South Africa, Meichtry captured the 2015Nomads WGWP Junior Championship in January and won the Girls Division of the Global Junior Golf Tour’s Curro South Africa Juniors International in March.

She edged out Zethu Myeki from Border by three strokes to win the Stroke Play Championship on even-par 144 and claimed her fourth title on South African soil when she defeated Myeki 4 & 3 in the Match Play Championship final.

“I really enjoyed competing on the WGSA circuit last year, so I came back to complete my matric year at the KeNako Academy in George,” the Sierre golfer said.

“It’s a great academy and my game has come on in leaps and bounds. The standard of women’s amateur golf here is really high and we also play a wide variety of golf courses that test every aspect of your game.”

Meichtry hopes to continue her purple patch in her first visit to East London Golf Club, but believes defending champion Myeki will be tough to beat at her home course.

“Zethu pushed really hard in the Stroke Play, so I knew I had to start fast to gain the early advantage,” Meichtry said.

“I took the early lead with a birdie at the first hole in the final, but Zethu immediately squared the match at the second hole. I birdied five and six to go 2-up and I was 3-up when we turned after another birdie at eight.

“We halved 10, 11 and 12, but Zethu birdied 13 to close the gap. I putted really well on the last day won the match with birdies at 14 and 15, but Zethu showed a lot of guts. She won’t go down without a fight in East London.”

Although Meichtry won’t have to contend with South Africa’s top ranked Kaleigh Telfer, who is competing in the Annika Invitational in the United States, she will also have to resist former number one Ivanna Samu, current number six Danielle du Toit, as well as the number one ranked junior Woo-Ju Son.

Samu finished fifth in the Eastern Province Stroke Play and enjoyed a great run on the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour to win the Leading Amateur in four consecutive events.

Reigning Ackerman Championship champion Du Toit also showed some great form on Sunday with a tie for third in the Gauteng North Junior Championship at Waterkloof Country Club.

“The field is shaping up for a really exciting tournament,” Meichtry said.

“I have been told that the course is very challenging, especially the first hole, and that it is really demanding when the wind blows. I’ve heard that the layout is very tight and that you need to be very accurate off the tees to have any chance of setting up birdied opportunities. I am really excited to see the course for myself and I look forward to my first visit to East London Golf Club.”

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