Sweet Seventh for South Africa in Eswatini

South Africa trio Larissa du Preez (Gauteng North), Zethu Myeki (Gauteng) and Sarah Bouch (Ekurhuleni) went wire-to-wire at the Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate in Eswatini to lift the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy for a seventh successive time; credit GolfRSA.

4 April 2019 – Zethu Myeki, Sarah Bouch and Larissa du Preez dovetailed brilliantly over 54 holes to capture South Africa’s seventh successive Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy victory with a wire-to-wire performance in Eswatini.

GolfRSA Elite Squad members Myeki and Bouch combined for an eight-over 150 in Thursday’s final round at the Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate to seal a successful title defence in the prestigious team event with a winning total of 434.

Meanwhile Petrone Rudolph, Theresa Fawcett, Nokuthula Dlamini and Connie Mundell gave the local crowd plenty to cheer about.

The Eswatini team posted rounds of 163, 167 and 166 for a tournament total of 496 to finish in second, beating Zimbabwe by eight shots.

On a tough scoring day, Myeki was three over after the first five holes and made a bogey start to the back nine, but she rallied with a birdie par three 11th and picked up another shot at par five 14th. Two more bogeys at 15 and 17 saw her clock in with a four-over-par 75.

“I wasn’t great off the tee today, and dropped shots at one, three and five,” said the Randpark golfer.

“I steadied the ship with pars at six and seven and made a great par on the eighth. I hit my tee shot down the middle and took 8-iron for my approach from 144 metres. I came up short of the green, but chipped it to two metres and holed the putt.

“At the short hole (11), I hit pitching-wedge from 128 to three metres and made the putt. I pushed my tee shot right at 12, but made a great par save after punching out. The birdie at 14 was awesome. I had 213 metres to the flag and hit 5-wood in. The ball perched on the edge of the green and I two-putted for birdie from about 17 metres out.

“It was not an easy day, but I kept grinding and I’m happy with the score I achieved. I am so proud to share this moment with Sarah for a second time and with Larissa. We are over the moon.”

South Africa trio Larissa du Preez (Gauteng North), Zethu Myeki (Gauteng) and Sarah Bouch (Ekurhuleni) went wire-to-wire at the Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate in Eswatini to lift the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy for a seventh successive time; credit GolfRSA.

Bouch, who celebrated South Africa’s sixth victory with Myeki in Lesotho two years ago, was just as thrilled to help South Africa to victory.

The Benoni Country Club golfer had a lone bogey at the par three seventh, but started the back nine with a double at 10 and bogey at 11. She stemmed the bleeding with birdies at 13 and 14, but gave back the gains with a double at the par three 17th for a round of 75.

“I drove the ball really nicely, putted extremely well, but it was a very hot and windy day, which made club selection quite difficult,” Bouch said. “I made a few good up-and-down par saves, but the wrong club selection at the seventh cost me a shot.

“At 13, I drove it next to the green and made the up-and-down for birdie. The next hole was playing straight down wind and downhill. I finished just short of the green, but once again, hit a great chip and made the birdie putt. Unfortunately the doubles cost me but overall, I’m really happy with my game… onwards and upwards from here.”

New cap Du Preez helped to boost South Africa into a favourable position with earlier rounds of 71 and 73. The Silver Lakes golfer returned a non-counting 79 in the final round.

“I didn’t hit many fairways and that made the approach shots all the more difficult,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I four-putted for bogey at five and I was quite upset with my silly mistake. From there on I struggled for pars, but I made a good birdie on seven and 10.

“I battled on the greens coming home and that costs me a few shots, especially the doubles at 16 and 17. I am grateful to GolfRSA and Womens Golf South Africa (WGSA) for the opportunity to represent South Africa with Sarah and Zethu. This has been a fantastic experience.”

Womens Golf South Africa Vice-President Sarah Braude (left) celebrates South Africa’s seventh successive victory in the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy with Team South Africa’s Larissa du Preez (Gauteng North), Zethu Myeki (Gauteng) and Sarah Bouch (Ekurhuleni) at the Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate in Eswatini; credit GolfRSA.

WGSA Vice President Sarah Braude lauded Eswatini Ladies Golf Union and Nkonyeni Lodge and Golf Estate for hosting an exceptional event.

“The tournament hosts Eswatini, headed up by President Theresa Fawcett, who also competed, has been amazing and their dedicated team of volunteers have presented a superb Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy.

“We also applaud general manager Frans Strauss and his team for presenting us a course in true championship status.

“I am very proud of Team South Africa on defending the title. Zethu, Sarah and Larissa performed with pride, both on and off the golf course, and this victory means so much to them. We are also very proud of Zethu, who won the Individual Competition and set a new course record with her three-under-par 68 in round two. We leave having rekindled friendships and having made many new friends in women’s amateur golf in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

 Team Competition Final Result
434 South Africa 143 141 150
496 Eswatini 163 167 166
504 Zimbabwe 169 169 166
523 Namibia 179 173 171
570 Botswana 193 189 188
657 Lesotho 221 223 213
710 Angola 248 233 229

Individual Scores Round 2 (top 10)
218 Zethu Myeki RSA 75 68 75
223 Sarah Bouch RSA 72 76 75; Larissa du Preez RSA 71 73 79
240 Petrone Rudolph SWZ 78 81 81
250 Margret Nyamukondiwa ZIM 83 84 83
254 Wilna Bredenhann NAM 86 84 84
256 Theresa Fawcett SWZ 85 86 85
257 Yolander Mubayiwa ZIM 86 88 83
261 Aulua Alfazema ZIM 88 86 87181
269 Adri Pienaar NAM 93 89 87

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.