SA pair primed for Albatross in India

Two of the country’s top junior golfers will be flying the flag for South Africa in the 5thAlbatross International Junior Golf Championship India, which tees off at the Jaypee Greens Golf Club in Delhi on Wednesday.

South Africa has enjoyed a strong performance in India since the country’s debut in 2010 and Boland’s Bianca Theron and Cara Gorlei from the Western Province are hoping to equal the success of Lara Weinstein and Izel Pieters, who won the team competition that year.

That year Weinstein also won the individual competition and Pieters finished third. Twelve months later, KwaZulu-Natal’s Michaela Fletcher took third in the individual competition.

Gorlei finished second in the individual competition last year, while compatriot Magda Kruger took third and the pair combined for a second place in the team competition.

This season, Gorlei racked up seven top five and 13 top 10 finishes on the junior circuit, as well as three top five and seven top 10s at senior level and a tie 10th at the RB German Junior in Germany.

The 17-year-old from Milnerton Golf Club is keen to finish the season with more success in India.

“I really enjoyed my first trip to India last year and I was happy to finish second, but this year Bianca and I are aiming for the top,” she said. “It would be a great result for South Africa if we could finish the season with two victories in the final international championship and we are going to give it every effort this week.”

Theron ascended to the number one spot in the junior rankings last year. The 17-year-old has kept her spot with four top five finishes, including a tie for third at the KeNako World Junior Championship. She also won the Southern Cape Championship and posted nine top five finishes to vault to sixth in the senior standings. Theron also represented South Africa on the international stage, and will be drawing on this experience to bring home to silverware.

“I think any opportunity to compete internationally is invaluable,” said Theron, who represented South African at the Annika Invitational or the Girls British Amateur. “I didn’t perform all that well, but I learned a lot about course management, focus and planning and will use that experience this week.”

Gorlei agreed, saying: “I definitely know what to expect this year in India in terms of the weather conditions, the course and the competition,” she said. “Mentally I am far better prepared for the challenge.”

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