Top contenders shine at Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur
Report from Lali Stander
RUSTENBURG, North West (13 April 2011) – Victories came in all shapes and sizes on the first day of Match Play at the Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur.
Anything goes in this format, but whether it was an easy time for Kim Williams and Nobuhle Dlamini, a tough grind for for Bertine Strauss, Iliska Verwey and Nicole Bekker or overtime for Henrietta Frylinck, the top contenders rose to the challenge.
Dlamini, the 2009 Match Play champion in 2009, maintained her status as one of the favourites in the Match Play Championship.
The Swazi golfer knocked out Michaela Fletcher 6 and 5 and beat Lara Weinstein by the same margin. “I went two or three up early in both matches,” she said. “That always helps, but I was also putting much better today.”
The 19-year-old Pretoria University student took control early on in both matches. “I was five up both times, so I didn’t have that much pressure on me. I just needed to get it done.”
But Dlamini admitted she struggled to get over her disappointing form in the Stroke Play tournament.
“I was really disappointed with a tie for fourth. I had the chance to challenge and I blew it. But winning the match play again will definitely make up for it.”
Twenty-four hours after she successfully reclaimed her Stroke Play title, Williams got her title defence on track with a 5 and 4 win over Kippie Zayb. “I wasn’t all that confident this morning,” said Williams. “I wasn’t in a match play frame of mind yet and it took me a couple of holes to get there.
And there was nothing wrong with the mental side when the country’s number one player sent last year’s finalist, Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia, packing with a 3 and 2 win in the second round.
“From now on it’s all business,” said Williams, who will face Gauteng golfer, Nicole Bekker, in the quarter-final.
Bekker took care of business against Elru Botha at the 14th hole, but had to grind out a victory against Emma-Jo de Bruyn after she lost the first two holes.
“It was a really tough match against Emma,” she said. “I got the match squared by the fourth, went one up at the fifth after a birdie and went back to all square after a bogey at the seventh.”
That set the mood for the rest of the round.
“Up again after birdie at the 12th; all square after a drop at 14th; the whole round was like a roller-coaster,” said Becker, who finally downed Du Bruyn with a birdie at 17 and par at 18.
South Africa’s number two Verwey dispatched Simone Burger 3 and 2 and routed 2009 Stroke Play champion Yvette du Plessis by the same number. “I guess it’s my number for the week,” she joked.
Former SA number one Strauss had a tougher time to disperse of Carrie Park than knocking out Bianca Theron 6 and 5 in the second round. “I was four under for the first round, but I only managed to win the match at the 16th,” said the local favourite. “That’s match play for you.”
And golf prodigy Woo-Ju Son also continued to steam along.
The 10-year-old was three-up through the turn and won the last five holes to hand Noeline de Ridder a 7 and 5 hiding. She immediately headed to the putting green to prepare for her second round bout with Bridget Rodrigues, who beat Michelle Swanepoel 5 and 4.
“I won with pars and bogeys; that was the story today,” said Son, who won the B-Division Stroke Play Championship by six strokes on Tuesday. “The chipping was better today, but I struggled again on the greens.”
SECOND ROUND SCORES: A-Division
Kim Williams def Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 3/2
Nicole Becker def Emma-Jo de Bruyn 1-Up
Talia Nel def Nicole Loesch 2/1
Iliska Verwey def Yvette du Plessis 3/2
Nobuhle Dlamini def Lara Weinstein 6/5
Lejan Lewthwaite def Lauren Bekker 1-Up
Henrietta Frylinck def Alana van Greuning 20th
Bertine Strauss def Bianca Theron 6/5
FIRST ROUND SCORES: A-Division
Kim Williams def Kippie Zayd 5/4
Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) def Vanessa Smith 20th
Nicole Becker def Elru Botha 5/4
Emma-Jo de Bruyn def Sune du Plooy 2-Up
Talia Nel def Larissa Ras (Ras withdrew)
Nicole Loesch def Nicole Garcia 1-Up
Yvette du Plessis def Claire Minter (ZIM) 1-Up
Iliska Verwey def Simone Burger 3/2
Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) def Michaela Fletcher 6/5
Lara Weinstein def Kelly Erasmus 6/5
Lejan Lewthwaite def Angel Eaton (TAN) 6/5
Lauren Bekker def Tiffany Avern-Taplin 1-Up
Henrietta Frylinck def Tanica van As 6/5
Alana van Greuning def Rushda Mallick 1-Up
Bianca Theron def Michelle Leigh 21st
Bertine Strauss def Carrie Park 3/2
FIRST ROUND SCORES: B-Division
Woo-Ju Son def Noeline de Ridder 7/5
Bridget Rodrigues def Michelle Swanepoel 5/4
Thelma Dippenaar def Miche de Pradines 6/5
Kim de Klerk def Christelle Delport 3/1
Shawnelle de Lange def Danielle du Toit 7/5
Valda Ford def Hentie Clack 1-Up
Chiara Contomathios def Francesca Cuturi 2-Up
Wilna Bredenhann def Sabrina Schneider 2-Up