Smit puts Smith under pressure SA Women’s Mid-Amateur

Vanessa Smith kept her overnight lead in the Championship Division at the South African Women’s Mid-Amateur Championship, but Liezl Smit from KwaZulu-Natal closed the gap in the second round at Irene Country Club on Tuesday.

The Western Province golfer held an eight shot lead after opening 74, but a costly 84 saw Smith finish on 14-over-par 158, with Smit from Prince’s Grant breathing down her neck.

“I played really solid golf over the front nine,” said Smit, who carded an 80 to finish just four strokes off the pace.

“I had two three-putt bogeys, and was two over at the turn, but then we were called off because of the lightning. We had a very long suspension and I think the break just upset my rhythm.

“The putter just didn’t want to cooperate over the back nine and I dropped too many shots when we got going again. I think it’s going to take a really solid final round to catch Vanessa. She had a bad day at the office, but she showed in the first round that she will be tough to beat.”

Jane Mackenzie said the hour and 45 minute delay was just what the doctor ordered.

The KwaZulu-Natal golfer fired a 79 to post the low round of the day to leapfrog defending champion Sonja Bland for third place on 164 with a 79.

“I was five over after nine holes, so the siren was a saving grace,” said Mackenzie.

“I am usually the strongest off the tee and my short game is poor, but today it was the complete reverse. I was chipping to save par on most of the holes and the putter really pulled me through.”

The former professional from Ladysmith thought she was well out of the race after a first round 85.

“I was six over after three holes after a triple, double and bogey,” Mackenzie said.

“I didn’t think I had a chance, but this round has given me reason to fight in the final round, because I’m only six off the pace.

“I really turned it around after the suspension. I felt far more relaxed and calm and it showed on the course. The biggest let-down was the par threes. I only parred one of the four, which was a real blow. But if I can put the driver and the short game together tomorrow, I might have a fighting chance.”

Southern Cape’s Bland returned an 85 to finish in fourth on 167.

In the B-Division for handicaps 10-18, overnight leader Erica Millican from KwaZulu-Natal retained control with an 87. The Gowrie Farm golfer leads on 175, four strokes clear of Renee Matthee from Reading, who returned rounds of 91 and 88.

Meanwhile Judy Katzenellenbogen pulled away from joint first round leader, Marelize Church, to take control of the C-Division for handicaps 19-24.

The Ruimsig golfer rallied with 30 points to finish on 57 points and leads by two points from Centurion’s Piret Vilborn and Theresa McCabe from Mooinooi, who posted 31 and 30 points respectively.

Click HERE for A-Division Scores

Click HERE for B-Division Scores

Click HERE for C-Division Scores

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.

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