Mistry makes magnificent move at SA Stroke Play

South Africa’s top ranked Kajal Mistry holds all the cards after she opened up a yawning gap on the chasing pack in the second round of the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship on Monday.

Mistry shared the overnight lead at three under after opening with a 69 at the Wanderers Golf Club, but she underlined her status as Womens Golf South Africa’s 2015/2016 Player of the Year when she pulled five strokes clear on the field.

The 16-year-old from Randpark Golf Club will sleep on a five stroke cushion after a second 69 moved her to six-under-par 138 in the premier international championship.

Symone Henriques from Gauteng matched Mistry’s low round of the day to grab a share of second at one under 143 with joint overnight leaders Danielle du Toit from Gauteng North and Gauteng’s Woo-Ju Son, who both returned rounds of 74.

Defending champion Kaleigh Tefer from Gauteng slipped to fifth at one over after carding 73, while South Africa’s number two ranked Zethu Myeki from Border fired a two under 70 to finish a further stroke back.

Eleonora Galletti and Kelsey Nicholas from Gauteng, Bianca Wernich from Boland and Gauteng North’s Larissa du Preez round out the top 10 in the championship division at three over.

Mistry picked up her first birdie at 11, but gave the shot back at 13. She knocked in another birdie putt at the short 17th, but bogeyed 18 to turn level par.

“I hit hybrid off the tee at 13 and finished in the tall trees,” she explained. “I was forced to punch out and I still had 230 metres to the pin. I managed to miss all five bunkers on the right and hit a decent chip, but the greens are so fast downhill and the ball spun off. I ended up chipping and putting for bogey.

“At 18, I hit my tee shot in the trees left and had to punch out again. I hit 64 metres to the pin and I hit it straight at the flag at the back of the green, but my ball caught the slope and rolled off. Another day, another bogey at 18.

“The course was playing quite a bit longer. I had a gap-wedge into the fifth on Sunday, but I had to take five-iron in today. I boxed a long putt for birdie putt and that gave me a nice boost for the rest of the back nine. I laid up at seven and holed a nice birdie putt to go five under and hit a grip-down gap-wedge to three feet at nine and made that putt as well, to finish at six under.

Luzan Esterhuizen from King Williamstown increased her overnight lead in the B-Division to three strokes over Senayah Moodliar from Umhlali Country Club. The Border golfer signed for 85 in the second round to move to 24 over, while the KZN junior returned an 86.

Mistry rose to number one in the junior and senior rankings in the latter half of 2016 having scored a five victories and four months into the 2017 season, she is yet to surrender her top spots. After two rounds at the Wanderers, the Gauteng junior is on the cusp of making SA women’s amateur history by adding her name to an illustrious list of past champions that includes past Gauteng amateurs Ashleigh Simon, Ivanna Samu and Telfer.

“Of course I’ve dreamt about winning the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play, but we still have 18 holes to go,” Mistry said.

“I reset and restart after each round, so I’m not thinking about winning just yet. I’ll tackle the final round as I do any other round – hole-by-hole and shot-for-shot. I won’t relax just because I have a five stroke lead. Any of the players behind me can catch fire, so I have to stay in the zone.”

A-Division Scores – Round 2 (top 20)
138 Kajal Mistry 69 69
143 Symone Henriques 74 69; Woo-Ju Son 69 74; Danielle du Toit 69 74
145 Kaleigh Telfer 72 73
146 Zethu Myeki 76 70
147 Kelsey Nicholas 73 74; Larissa du Preez 73 74; Bianca Wernich 72 75; Eleonora Galletti 72 75
148 Kiera Floyd 74 74
149 Laila Hrindova 76 73; Caitlyn Macnab 74 75; Catherine Lau 72 77
150 Shawnelle De Lange 75 75; Kaiyuree Moodley 74 76; Sarah Bouch 74 76
151 Chiara Contomathios 77 74; Chloe Royston 74 77; Casandra Hall 74 77

B-Division Scores – Round 2 (top 10)
168 Luzan Esterhuizen 83 85
171 Senayah Moodliar 85 86
175 Marine Legentil 88 87; Genee Marais 88 87
178 Sinead Rice 86 92
179 Natalie Singer 87 92; Phindo Mohlala 85 94
184 Kim Turgut 91 93; Isabel Verwey 88 96
187 Dejone’ Stemmett 89 98

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.

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