Swazi amateurs geared to dethrone SA at All-Africa

Four of South Africa’s top amateur golfers will chase the country’s fourth successive title in the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy (RAACT), which tees off at Centurion Country Club in Pretoria from 14-16 May.

Lara Weinstein, Bianca Theron, Sylvia Masango and Magda Kruger will be flying the flag for South Africa in the prestigious biennial team event that has drawn entries from Swaziland, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana.

Since the inaugural event in Botswana in 2007, four South African teams have lifted the beautiful Floating Trophy, designed and made by world renowned silversmith Patrick Mavros from Zimbabwe.

SA captain Weinstein said the team is determined to continue the tradition.

“This is a team event, so there are no individual heroes this week,” Weinstein said. “We will play for each other and play to post the best score every day over the four rounds of tournament.

“South Africa has a proud history in this event and we are committed to defend the title and continue the tradition.”

Each team will field four players, one of which must be a junior or development player. However, the format will be two scores to count and the South Africans could be up against with a familiar face in the Swaziland line-up.

World number three Nobuhle Dlamini, who leads the Womens Golf South Africa rankings, will be lining up alongside her sister Goodness, as well as Phumile Zwane and Theresa Fawcett for Swaziland.

The reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play champion has enjoyed a tremendous season so far this year with seven tournament victories and she is relishing the chance to challenge for the title.

“African nations don’t often get the chance to travel to Europe or America due to budget constraints and that is why the RAACT is such a great event,” Dlamini said.

“This tournament offers the top players of these African countries the chance to compete at international level and gain some much-needed competitive experience. Since I live, study and play in South Africa, so it is an incredible honour for me to be teeing it up for my country.

“Hopefully my team mates and I combine well and we can give the SA girls a run for their money.”

Dlamini said that the team event is a great way to meet the players from the other countries.

“The competitive experience is good for all the players, but off the course, we also forge new friendships. We are all staying at the HPC at Tuks University and we should have a lot of fun.

“That is off the course, though. Once we step onto the course, it’s every team for themselves; we are all playing for victory and I hope to help give Swaziland their first win in this event.”

The RAACT for Southern Africa was launched in 2007 and hosted at the Phakalane Golf Estate in Botswana. South Africa claimed the glory in the inaugural first event and remains undefeated after visiting the Nkonyeni Course in Swaziland in 2007 and Royal Harare in Zimbabwe in 2011.

Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy events are held biennially in West Africa, Southern Africa, North Africa and East/Central Africa and are financially supported by the Royal and Ancient of St Andrews (R&A).

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