14 October 2017 – Defending champion Kaylah Williams will lead a strong field of local and national players into battle in the prestigious Ackerman Championship at Atlantic Beach Country Club this weekend.
Twelve months ago, the Fairmont High School learner eclipsed the A-Division field at Clovelly to lift the Gus Ackerman Trophy, while Iman Adams from Royal Cape won the B-Division and Glenda Muller completed a clean sweep for Western Province with her C-Division triumph.
The provincial breakthrough sparked a superb run for Williams.
The WGWP Junior Development Programme member finished the season with a tie for fifth in the KwaZulu-Natal Junior Championship and kicked off 2017 on a promising note with another top finish in the Nomads Western Province Junior Championship.
Over the last four months she produced a run of superb performances to blast into the top 10 of both the senior and junior rankings, including a tie for second in the Boland Ladies Amateur last month.
At the end of September, Williams showed maturity beyond her 15 years to lead Western Province to victory in the South African Women’s Inter-Provincial.
She is definitely one of the favourites for 37th edition of the longest running women’s amateur event in Western Province, but certainly not the only one eyeing the prize.
Mistry and the country’s top junior Woo-Ju Son will also be in the mix in the 54-hole stroke play championship at
the Bloubergstrand Links.
Son from Country Club Johannesburg has dominated the amateur circuit this season with eight victories, while Mistry is targeting another visit to the winner’s circle after her recent success in the Boland Ladies Amateur.
And history could favour the GolfRSA Elite Squad player from Randpark.
Between 2012 and 2014, three former number one ranked players – Nobuhle Dlamini, Carrie Park and Ivanna Samu – all etched their names on the trophy of this esteemed championship.
The national challenge is further strengthened by Zethu Myeki from Border, Ekurhuleni’s Sarah Bouch and reigning Ekurhuleni Ladies Open champion Caitlyn Macnab, Bianca Wernich from Boland, Ethel Ruthenberg from Southern Cape and Gauteng trio Symone Henriques, Kelsey Nicholas and 2017 Nomads SA Rose Bowl champion Kaiyuree Moodley.
Western Province has a strong cast of rising stars who could produce fireworks, though.
The rest of the victorious Western Province IPT team – Katia Schaff, Vicki Traut, Zayb Fredericks, Ashleigh Mills and Jordan Rothman – will also be in action. Mills, a two-time ladies club champion at Atlantic Beach and the 2017 Western Province Champion of Champions, has the home course advantage, while giant-killer Rothman has been in threatening form.
The 15-year-old from Durbanville Golf Club hit the golfing radar when she knocked out Mistry at the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur and more recently, she was the top scorer in the SA Women’s IPT 36-hole Seeding Qualifier at Mossel Bay Golf Club.
Other players on the local watch list are sisters Aaliyah and Laylaah Abrahams, Odette Booysen, La-Eeqah Adams, Amanda Ogden, Candice Woodbrige from Atlantic Beach and two-time SA Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Vanessa Smit.
Adams will debut in the A-Division this year, while Muller will be challenging for the Raymond Ackerman Trophy in the B-Division this year, leaving Tarryn Borsutsky from Boland as a firm favourite to gun for glory in the C-Division. Having won the Western Province Mid-Amateur C-Division in July, the Boland golfer will be keen to add Jonathan Ackerman Trophy to her trophy haul.
Live scoring links to all three divisions are available on www.westernprovincegolf.co.za.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.