Schaff leads local challenge at WP Women’s Amateur

Clovelly Country Club’s Katia Shaff hopes to replicate the winning performance that landed her leading amateur honours in the SA Women’s Masters earlier this season when she leads the local challenge in the Western Province Women’s Amateur Championship at Rondebosch Golf Club today.

Shaff opened with a disappointing 81 in the second Sunshine Ladies Tour event, but the 21-year-old rallied with successive rounds of 73 to become the first recipient of the Sally Little Trophy with a winning score of 227.

Two months later the Austrian-born Shaff is hoping for more success at the well-known Cape Town layout and she will have a strong contingent of Western Province players in support who are equally keen to keep the Stroke Play trophy at home.

Other rising stars to watch include local favourites Aaliyah Abrahams and Gaby Gramm, Ashleigh Mills from Atlantic Beach, Kaylah Williams from Bellville Golf Club, Royal Cape’s Zayb Fredericks and La-Eeqah Adams, Jordan Rothman from Durbanville, Sarah Osborn from Westlake and Jessica Green from Clovelly Country Club.

But the Western Province contingent could face serious competition from in-form Kajal Mistry, Chiara Contomathios, Zethu Myeki and Woo-Ju Son.

Mistry from Randpark topped the junior and senior rankings at the end of last season and has not relinquished the reigns.

The Randpark golfer won the Liberty Gauteng North Junior Girls Championship title and protected her senior ranking with a succession of four top five finishes, including second in the North West Open and fourth in the KwaZulu-Natal Championship last weekend.

Contomathios from Wanderers led the amateur standings twice on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the former Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion converted that building form into her first success on the senior circuit when she edged out a charging Myeki for the KwaZulu-Natal Championship title last week.

Border’s Myeki – who ranks second in the senior standings – produced a blistering seven-under-par 64 in the final round at Kloof Country Club to rocket into second place. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation player will be looking to ride a rich vein of form to victory in the Stroke Play competition before she takes up her defence in Match Play stage of the championship.

Son, however, could prove the player to beat.

The petite Country Club Johannesburg player lifted the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the SA Women’s Open and has been cleaning up on the junior circuit, bagging three trophies in the first three months of the season.

And Son celebrated two of those in the Mother City.

She won her second event – the Nomads Western Province Junior Championship at Kuils River Golf Club – in January and successfully defended her title in the Curro SA Juniors International at Durbanville Golf Club with a play-off victory a mere two weeks ago.

The Stroke Play title in the Championship Division (handicaps 9 and better) will be decided over 36 holes on Sunday, the Silver B-Division for handicaps 10 – 18 will also play 36 holes and the Bronze Division for handicaps 19 – 30 will be decided over 18 hole of stroke play.

The top eight players from all divisions will qualify for the Match Play stage on Monday, 20 March.

The top eight players in the Championship Division will contest for the title, while the next eight qualifiers will compete in the Flight Match Play.

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