Samu rises to occasion at Glendower

Half-a-dozen birdies helped Ivanna Samu into pole position in the Sanlam SA Amateur Stroke Play Championship at Glendower Golf Club on Monday.

The country’s top ranked amateur started the second round four off the pace, but overhauled overhaul overnight leader Bianca Lohbauer with a superb two-under-par 70.

The 16-year-old Samu finished at three over 147 and leads Boland’s Lohbauer, who returned a 77, by three strokes.

Defending champion Carrie Park from Gauteng signed for a 75 to finish a further stroke adrift, while Western Province’s Cara Gorlei – a three-time winner this season – carded a 75 to finish at nine over.

Bianca Theron from Boland and reigning Border Ladies champion Zethu Myeki share fifth on 11 over after respective rounds of 76 and 77.

Samu was pleased to break par after a disappointing 77 in the first round.

“I was really unhappy with the inconsistency in the first round,” said the reigning Sanlam SA Amateur champion.

“My scorecard looked like a colouring book with two triple bogeys, a double bogey, three bogeys and six birdies. I am really pleased that I managed to limit my mistakes today.

“Carrie, Bianca and Cara are strong contenders, but we all had some rough times out there. I was surprised to find that I am leading by three strokes, but you can’t get too comfortable, because you lose that advantage very quickly at this course.

“I’ve done what I hoped to do and given myself a chance to challenge for the title after that opening round. It’s just great to have a chance and that’s all I aimed to do.”

Ivanna had two pairs of birdies on the front nine before a quartet of bogeys between the seventh and 13th holes at Glendower Golf Club wiped out her advantage. She rallied with birdies at 15 and 16 to close with a two-under-par 70. We asked Ivanna to take us through the highs and lows of her round:

HOLE 1 (par-4; 398m)
It was really misty when we started. I hit my second long, and wasn’t too confident with the chip, but it came out beautifully and went straight in the hole. It was a miracle chip, but it started me off nicely with a birdie.

HOLE 2 (par-5; 133m)
I hit a hybrid from 200m into the green and just left it short right, just off the green. Two-putted for my birdie.

HOLE 5 (par-4; 389m)
I drove my tee shot left of the fairway, hit a soft seven-iron into the green and holed a 1.5m putt for birdie.

HOLE 6 (par-3; 145m)
I almost holed out here! I hit a soft seven-iron again and it pitched and rolled to three inches. Tap-in for birdie.

HOLE 7 (par4; 329m)
First time I left a tee-shot in the fairway and I finish with a bogey. I clipped a tree with my second and left the approach short of the green and then my par-putt lipped out on the high side.

HOLE 10 (par-4; 329m)
Oh, bad three-putt. I rushed my first putt well past the hole and missed the return.

HOLE 12 (par-4; 345m)
I clipped another tree with my approach, left it short and I didn’t up and down from the back of the green. It’s a very hard and fast green and I only two meters to the front to work with.

HOLE 13 (par-5; 440m)
I hit the approach so far right that I didn’t even realise there a hazard. I got a drop, though, probably on the only piece of grass in the area. With hardly any green to work with, I managed to hit it on and two-putt for a good bogey.

HOLE 15 (par-5; 415m)
I hit driver and a soft four-iron just short of the green and committed to the chip and it came out just as planned. Left myself with a tap-in birdie.

HOLE 16 (par-4; 293m)
I hit three-wood off the tee and left myself 87 meters into the pin. I hit a nice lob-wedge to two meters, and made the putt for birdie.

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