SA sweeps to 12th AACT victory
South Africa’s top trio Ivanna Samu, Kaleigh Telfer and Zethu Myeki collected an unprecedented 12th victory for the country in the 13th edition of the All-Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) in Hammemet, Tunisia on Friday.
After braving wet weather on the second day of the biennial showpiece, the international field were tested by very windy conditions on the final day at the La Floret course.
SA number one ranked Samu showed some great skills to fire a superb three-under-par 69 and Telfer returned a 76 for a final round 145. Myeki posted a non-counting 83.
The South African team triumphed on 10 over par 442, finished 28 shots clear of Morocco while the host country took third on 485.
Samu was delighted to finish the final round in red numbers after posting earlier rounds of 74 and 75.
“I struggled with my game over the first two days,” said the 17-year-old Ruimsig junior, who edged out Telfer for the Individual honours on two over 218.
“I battled off the tees and I had a lot of tree trouble. My short game really saved me over the first two rounds and I just told myself to stay patient and to try to limit the mistakes. I found a few more fairways in the final round and picked up a couple of birdies, but I gave two shots back with double bogey at the 10th when I hit my second in the bushes.
“The wind was really pumping down the stretch and I was really pleased to recover the two shots with the eagle at 12 and to finish with a birdie.”
Telfer led the South African team on day one with a solid one under 71, but also had some trouble off the tee in the next two rounds.
“I was able to make a few putts in the first round, but I struggled off the tee in the pouring rain on day two,” Telfer said. “I shot a good 77 considering all the places I put myself. The wind really pumped in the final round and I battled with the putter. I had four three-putts, which really fuelled my frustration and I signed off with a disappointing 76.
“It was such an honour for all of us to have competed in the AACT and to have the experience of playing against other African countries. Well done to Ivanna for winning the Individual Competition and thank you to Womens Golf South Africa for giving me this opportunity to gain invaluable experience.
Myeki said her by her delight at the opportunity to compete on an international platform wiped out her disappointment on her debut performance in the green and gold.
“It was such an honour for me to be selected to represent South Africa,” said the Border amateur.
“Although I didn’t play as well as I had hoped, I did make some birdies and a couple of great up-and-downs to save par. I enjoyed every minute of this experience and I am really thankful that Womens Golf South Africa gave me the opportunity to be part of the team.
“It was an awesome experience to play in the AACT and to meet so many great golfers from other countries and I wouldn’t exchange the experience for anything. Well done to Ivanna and Kaleigh for flying the flag for South Africa and for guiding me. In any sport, you have your good days and the bad ones. You have to accept the bad ones, go back to the drawing board and practice. I am going to take all the experience I gained here home with me and get working.”
Womens Golf South Africa President Karen Olivant said the team are a credit to South African women’s golf.
“I am very proud of the team’s achievement,” Olivant said.
“They were wonderful ambassadors for South Africa, they behaved impeccably and played really well considering the weather, which was really not very kind. The Le Foret Course is a very tight layout and there were some very tough pin placements to navigate in the strong wind, especially on the fourth, a short hole. The pin was in a really crazy place on a slope and with the wind blowing like it was, I saw some really high numbers at this hole and I couldn’t believe how easy Zethu made it look when she sunk a very long putt for birdie.
“Ivanna shot the low round of the tournament in brutal conditions to win the Individual Competition combined beautifully with Kaleigh for our 12th victory in this prestigious championship. This win should now qualify South Africa to nominate a team of juniors for the Toyota World Cup in Japan in June.”
FINAL TEAM LEADERBOARD
442 South Africa 145 152 145
470 Morocco 154 157 159
485 Tunisia 162 159 164
500 Zimbabwe 165 159 176
502 Kenya 165 169 168
514 Zambia 162 172 180
517 Uganda 169 172 176
522 Senegal 172 170 180
524 Nigeria 171 174 179
525 Ivory Coast 170 179 176
528 Gabon 180 172 179
550 Ghana 181 179 190
571 Botswana 188 192 191
650 Burkina Faso 203 222 225
660 Togo 201 227 222
732 Mali 240 259 233
FINAL INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD (Top 10)
218 Ivanna Samu (RSA) 74 75 69
224 Kaleigh Telfer (RSA) 71 77 76
236 Ines Laklalech (MAR) 78 80 78
237 Kensa Ladhari (TUN) 81 76 80 80
241 Houria El Abbadi (MAR) 83 77 81
242 Batsirai Tilowakuti (ZIM) 81 78 83
243 Lina Belmati (MAR) 76 80 87
244 Zethu Myeki (RSA) 80 81 83
246 Anita Uwadia (NIG) 85 77 84
248 Celestine Nawa (ZAM) 79 82 87
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the South African Golf Association.