Park claims Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur glory
Gauteng North’s Carrie Park claimed the biggest victory of her amateur career when she won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Stellenbosch Golf Club on Tuesday.
Park, the Women’s Golf South Africa (WGSA) Player of the Year, closed with a 71 to finish on four-over-par 220 and one shot clear of KwaZulu-Natal’s Michaela Fletcher.
Fletcher was one shot ahead of Park playing the par-four 18th, but three-putted the last. Playing behind her, the 17-year-old Park made the only significant putt she had all day when she holed a 10-footer for birdie on the par-four 16th. She then parred her final two holes for the win.
Fletcher took second place on five over with a 71 while Ji Sun Kang finished third on six over with a final round of 74.
The tournament was still wide open going into the final round, with Park one shot off the joint lead of Ji Sun Kang and Magda Kruger.
A bogey at the first was hardly the start Park wanted, but she regrouped while those around her began to falter. “I just focused on making pars and then waiting for the birdies to come,” she said.
Kang dropped four shots in her opening four holes on her way to a 74, while Kruger bogeyed the first two holes on her way to a 77.
Park picked up her first birdie at the sixth, but the critical putt came on 16. “The birdie on 16 really swung it for me,” said Park.
“This means a lot to me because I’m in matric and I didn’t prepare as well as I would’ve liked for this tournament. I wasn’t hitting the ball well so had to rely on my confidence to know I was good enough, and I just had to play my own game.”
Park was only aware of Fletcher’s bogey while standing on the 18th fairway and with a one-shot lead.
“I was mentally pretty strong and didn’t feel any pressure until the 18th. I knew I was only one shot ahead, and that second shot on 18 was quite intimidating with the water in front of the green. But it worked out well in the end,” she said.
The B Division was won by George golfer Charnay Williams with rounds of 81, 85 and 81 for a total of 31-over-par 247 and an eight-stroke victory.
“It means a lot to me to win this because it was my birthday on Friday, so this is a great way to celebrate,” said the 17-year-old.
Written by Michael Vlismas.