SA team geared for AACT defence in Kenya

Magda Kruger, Michaela Fletcher and Cara Gorlei will line up in South Africa’s title defence at the prestigious All-Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) at Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi, Kenya from 10-12 June.

The prestigious biennial event is supported by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A) and this year’s edition marks the second time that the AACT will also carry World Amateur Golf ranking points.

South Africa has dominated the winner’s circle since the inception of this championship in 1992, with the exception of 1996, when Egypt lifted the title at the Ikoyi Golf Club in Nigeria.

Pretoria’s Kruger is ranked second and Fletcher from Maritzburg is third on the current WGSA senior rankings, while Gorlei from Milnerton ranks second on the junior and sixth in the senior standings.

“I believe we have chosen the strongest team possible to drive our title defence in Kenya,” said Womens Golf South Africa president, Karen Olivant, who will accompany the team to Nairobi.

“Magda, Michaela and Cara have all claimed individual victories this season and they are quite determined to uphold South Africa’s proud tradition in the event.

“However, the AACT brings together the best amateur golfers throughout Africa and the team will definitely face some stiff competition.

The AACT has enjoyed consistent growth since it launched with 12 countries represented at the first event. This year’s edition has drawn entries from 17 countries, and the South African trio will line up against the host nation and teams from Botswana, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Kenya will be hoping for a home victory from Naomi Wafula, the current Africa Junior champion and Kenya’s amateur stroke play champion, Josephine Ainley and Christina Engell Anderson.

The Zimbabwean team will be anchored by the experienced Loice Chingono, and Zambia is sending the formidable Dawa sisters, Melissa and Tina, who performed well against Magda and Michaela during the Zambia Ladies Open at Ndola Golf Club in March.

“We know very little about the northern Africa countries, because we seldom compete against them,” Olivant said. “Quite often it is the unknown entities that throw up the surprises.

“It is a popular tournament, because most of the African nations don’t get the chance to travel to Europe or America often due to budget constraints.

“The tournament offers the top players the chance to compete at international level and gain some much-needed competitive experience. The teams always show great enthusiasm throughout the tournament and the standard of golf has definitely improved in the last couple of editions of the AACT.”

The format will be similar to the World Amateur Team Championship with the best two scores per round to count towards the daily team score in the 54-hole stroke play format.

Photo – Magda Kruger; credit WGSA
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.

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