Telfer does the double in Nelson Mandela Bay
Kaleigh Telfer captured a double victory in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality Eastern Province Championships when she lifted both the Stroke Play and Match Play titles at Humewood Golf Club.
The 18-year-old from Bryanston edged out Zethu Myeki from Border in a play-off for the Stroke Play title on Sunday and two days later, she collected the Match Play trophy after eliminating Tara Griebenow from Western Province in the final.
Telfer added her name to a very exclusive list of one, as the only other player to claim the double in this prestigious event was former number one ranked Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland, who did it twice in 2012 and 2013.
While the GolfRSA Elite Squad player still has some way to go to close the gap on Kajal Mistry to take back the number one spot in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings, the double triumph in Port Elizabeth has Telfer brimming with confidence.
“I’m really, really pleased with this performance,” she said.
“It was so tough last year to juggle golf with my final year of high school and the golf definitely suffered. The last three days at Humewood has been hugely encouraging. There is always room for improvement, but the progress is all positive and it’s exciting to be in this mode again.”
Myeki fired a four-under-par 70 to take a one shot lead over Telfer in the first round of the Stroke Play Championship, but the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation members were tied at five under 143 after Telfer posted a 72 and Myeki returned a 73 in the final round. Telfer tapped in for par at the first play-off hole to clinch victory.
She had a first round bye in the Match Play Championship on Monday morning and defeated Minette Olivier from Eastern Province 3 & 1 in round two. Laila Hrindova from Slovakia proved a tough competitor in the semi-final, but Telfer prevailed 2 & 1 to reach the final.
Meanwhile Griebenow defeated Swiss amateur Ladina Semadeni 1-up in round one and eliminated Myeki at the 21st hole in the second round. She faced three-time Border Match Play champion Demi Flanagan in the semi-final and won the match 4 & 3.
Telfer and Griebenow were all-square through the first five holes, but Telfer took the lead with an eagle at the sixth after Griebenow’s approach plugged just under the lip of the greenside bunker. Birdies at seven and 13 kept Telfer in front and she wrapped up the title with a 6 & 4 result.
Telfer will be joining fellow Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation member Jovan Rebula on a golf scholarship at Auburn University in Alabama around June and she hopes to add to her haul in the time she had left.
“I’m not sure yet if I’ll be playing the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic at Glendower next week, but my next start on the amateur circuit will be the Curro Junior International in early March,” said the reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play champion.
“This is the last year that I qualify for the Curro. Who knows, I might just win it again. After all that studying last year, it’s just great to have that freedom to compete again and I want to make the most of my time left in South Africa.”
Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of Golf RSA, a SAGA and WGSA Not-For-Profit company.