Telfer closes in on Samu with Ekurhuleni triumph
As the 2015 season enters the home straight, the battle for the top spot in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings is heating up after Kaleigh Telfer narrowed the gap on current number one Ivanna Samu on Sunday.
Telfer reduced Samu’s lead to less than two points after claiming a runaway victory in the Ekurhuleni Championship at Benoni Country Club.
Telfer started to chase down Samu with her first provincial victory in the Free State and Northern Cape Championship title in April. The most recent podium finish follows hot on the heels of her second visit to the winner’s circle at the Southern Cape Championship last month.
The 17-year-old Bryanston golfer carded successive rounds of 73 to take control of the championship and boxed birdie putts at 13 and 18 in the final round for a two-under-par 70.
She finished eight strokes clear of fellow Gauteng junior Woo-Ju Son on even-par 216.
Son shared the first round lead with Telfer, but stumbled with a second 79. The 14-year-old Eagle Canyon golfer rallied with a 72 in the final round to take second on 224.
Thirteen-year-old Symone Henriques from Glenvista closed with a 71 to vault to third on 227, while Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation’s Zethu Myeki finished a further stroke adrift. The Border Championship winner secured a fourth successive top four finish with rounds of 79, 73 and 76.
Telfer’s latest victory pushed her to 128.5 points, just 1.75 points behind Samu.
“It really is getting exciting at the top and with Ivanna and Kaleigh both competing in the Boland Championship this weekend, the anticipation keeps building,” said Womens Golf South Africa president Karen Olivant.”
“Ivanna and Kaleigh have represented the country at several international events this year. They bring out the best in each other and teamed up beautifully to fly the flag for South Africa.
“This friendly rivalry is wonderful for the younger generation. Some years ago, we had a similar situation with Kim Williams and Nobuhle Dlamini, who inspired Ivanna and Kaleigh.
“Now they are carrying the torch for the younger players.
“We are already seeing juniors like Woo Ju, Symone, Danielle du Toit, Chiara Contomathios and Caitlyn Macnab starting to make their mark on the senior circuit, too.”
Samu began the 2015 season fourth in the rankings and Telfer was ranked ninth.
She moved to third when Monja Richards turned pro and closed ranks on number one Carrie Park with a third place finish in the Border Championship.
The 16-year-old Ruimsig golfer took the top spot in February and protected her lead with victories in the North West Championship and Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship, as well as runner-up finishes in the Free State and Northern Cape, Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur and Southern Cape Championships.
Meanwhile Telfer also rose in the rankings and took the number two spot with a series of top five finishes before her breakthrough at Schoemans Park Golf Club.
EKURHULENI CHAMPIONHIP RESULT – TOP 10
216 Kaleigh Telfer 73 73 70
224 Woo-Ju Son 73 79 72
227 Symone Henriques 79 77 71
228 Zethu Myeki 79 73 76
229 Casandra Hall 78 77 74
230 Kelsey Nicholas 79 77 74; Caitlyn Macnab 77 81 72
233 Chiara Contomathios 77 81 75; Lejan Lewthwaite 79 78 76
234 Zelda Smook 79 75 80
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Womens Golf South Africa.