21 August 2018 – Zethu Myeki will spearhead South Africa’s title defence in the prestigious All-Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) alongside new caps Casandra Hall and Lenanda van der Watt in Ghana at the end of August.
With the exception of 2006, South Africa has won every other edition of the highly-esteemed team championship, supported by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A), since its inception in 1992.
In 2016, Myeki became the first black female golfer from South Africa to wear the green and gold when she teamed up with Kaleigh Telfer and Ivanna Samu and delivered a winning performance in the biennial event in Tunisia. Womens Golf South Africa president Sally Greasley believes the GolfRSA Elite Squad member is well-equipped to guide Hall and Van der Watt to the winner’s circle at the Achimota Golf Club in Accra from 26-31 August.
“We have every confidence that this team will continue our proud history in this championship,” said Greasley.
“Casandra and Lenanda have both had outstanding seasons and Zethu’s game has gone from strength to strength following her transition to Ladies Golf Gauteng at the start of the season and has seen her rise to second in the Open Amateur rankings.
“Zethu gained a lot of experience in her participation in the AACT in Tunisia and with her contribution to South Africa’s sixth consecutive victory in the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy (RAACT) in Lesotho last year. As the most senior player, she has the know-how guide Casandra and Lenanda in what we believe will be a very challenging championship this year.
“There is a huge demand for international competition in Africa and the AACT is a very popular tournament, because most of the African nations don’t get the chance to travel to Europe or America often due to budget constraints.
“This championship brings together the best amateur golfers throughout Africa and our team will definitely face some stiff competition, but they are well-prepared for the challenge ahead.”
Myeki is ready to assume the leadership role, but points out that victory will be a team effort.
“We have all worked incredibly hard and we are very proud to represent South Africa,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member.
“I learned in Tunisia and Lesotho that we have to for each other; it’s not a one-man show and that is why I have every faith that we can defend the title. We have all represented our provinces with pride and now we are taking it to the highest level. We will work hard to bring the trophy home.”
Hall broke into the top three in the Open Amateur rankings in a stand-out season, sparked by her national breakthrough in the Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship in April.
The in-form Ekurhuleni golfer won the Limpopo Open in June, was a runner-up in the Free State Championship and reached the semi-final in the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur last month and has only finished outside the top 10 once in 12 starts.
“I am very honoured and very proud to represent South African and to have the chance to give back to the game,” said the Ebotse golfer.
“Many of the teams that we will play against have never travelled outside Africa. This championship offers us a chance compete, but also to impart skills and knowledge to those who want to learn.”
Van der Watt will also be taking a good dose of confidence to Ghana.
The Akasia golfer led Gauteng North to victory in the SA Women’s 72-Hole Championship in May and followed top four finishes in June and July with back-to-back victories in the SA Long Drive Championship this August.
“I had two goals at the start of the season – to defend the SA Long Drive title and to earn national colours. It was a really proud moment for me when I was selected to represent South Africa in the AACT,” said Van der Walt.
“I revel in competition and I love team events, so I can’t wait to get to Ghana. We want to make everyone proud who put their faith in us and bring the trophy home for a 13th time.”
The participating teams this year include the host nation, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigera, Senekal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Each team will consist of three players and the best two scores per round count towards the daily team score in the 54-hole stroke play championship.
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.