SA makes fine start in AACT defence

Ivanna Samu and Kaleigh Telfer got South Africa’s title defence in the 13th All-Africa Challenge Trophy underway with a solid opening round , while Zethu Myeki overcame a nervy start in her first international appearance to grab a share of seventh in the individual standings at Golf Citrus in Hammemet, Tunisia on Wednesday.

Samu and Telfer combined for an opening one-over-par 145 at the La Foret course to open up a nine shot lead on Morocco, while the host nation is joint third with Zambia on 162.

Kenya, the silver medallists in 2014, tied for fifth with Zimbabwe on 165.

SA number two ranked Telfer from Bryanston navigated the tight 5,235 metre layout in one under 71 and top ranked Samu from Ruimsig returned a 74.

The South African pair are first and second respectively in the individual competition and Samu leads by two shots from Lina Belmati from Morocco.

Her team-mate Ines Laklalech and Viviane Kouame from the Ivory Coast share fourth after a pair of 78s, while Zambia’s Celestine Nawa slipped into sixth place with a 79.

East London’s Myeki – South Africa’s number three ranked amateur – opened with an 80 to join Mary Karano from Kenya in seventh.

Womens Golf South Africa President Karen Olivant said the trio are savouring every moment of their debut in the prestigious biennial championship.

“The weather has been surprisingly chilly since we arrived in Hammamet on Sunday,” Olivant said. “We were very pleased to learn that Bukino Fassi and Mali are making their first appearance in the event, taking the total to 17 countries competing this year.

“Ivanna, Kaleigh and Zethu enjoyed the opportunity to play two practice rounds ahead of the championship to really come to terms with the course. The layout is quite undulating and the fairways are lined with pine trees. There are several blind holes, and the tight fairways, water hazards and bunkers present a lot of challenges.

“The competition is high this year, with a lot of juniors coming through the ranks, but the players have made a great start for us as we chase down our 12th title in this championship,”

145 South Africa 74-75-76
154 Morocco 76 78
162 Tunisia 81 81; Zambia 79 83
165 Zimbabwe 81 84; Kenya 80 85
169 Uganda 83 86
170 Ivory Coast 78 92
171 Nigeria 85 86
172 Senegal 85 87
180 Gabon 85 95
181 Ghana 88 93
188 Botswana 93 95
201 Togo 95 106
203 Burkina Faso 98 105
240 Mali 119 121

71 Kaleigh Telfer (RSA)
74 Ivanna Samu (RSA)
76 Lina Belmati (MAR)
78 Ines Laklalech (MAR); Viviane Kouame (CIV)
79 Celestine Nawa (ZAM)
80 Zethu Myeki (RSA); Mary Karano (KEN)
81 Hedia Mansouri (TUN); Batsirai Tilowakuti (ZIM); Kensa Ladhari (TUN)

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.

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