Weinstein beats Williams for Gauteng North glory

Lara Weinstein accomplished what she set out to do when the defeated Kim Williams in a thrilling final to clinch the Gauteng North Womens Open title at Centurion Country Club on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golfer won the closely fought contest with a regulation par after Williams paid the price of a wayward tee shot at the last hole.

Weinstein has enjoyed a solid season with a slew of top 10 finishes, including a second place finish in the Sanlam SA Stroke Play Championship in April. She also won the Border Ladies Golf Championship in February and the KeNako World Junior Championship at Kingswood a month later.

The victory bodes well for Weinstein ahead of the Sanlam SA Amateur Match Play Championship, which tees off at Milnerton Golf Club in the Western Cape from 7-10 July.

“I haven’t played much match play this season due to school commitments, so I was really looking for a positive result this week to give me a little confidence for next week,” the delighted winner said.

Weinstein navigated her way past Mae Cornforth, Carrie Park and Ekurhuleni’s Nicole Garcia, who claimed the Stroke Play qualifier with a seven shot victory on Monday, on her way to the final.

She defeated Cornforth 1-up, eliminated Park 3&1 and dispatched Garcia 1-up.

In turn, Williams had an easy 4&2 win against Francesca Cuturi, downed Crystal Cooper 2&1 and knocked out local favourite Magda Kruger 2&1 to set up the match against Weinstein.

All square through nine holes, Weinstein went 2-up with birdies at the 10th and 12th holes, but Williams levelled the score when she won the 13th and 14th holes.

Weinstein took the 15th with a birdie but the former SA number one responded with one of her own at the 16th to level the score again. The pair halved the 17th hole, but Weinstein clinched the victory with a regulation par at the final hole after Williams pulled her tee shot, put her second in a bunker and failed to up-and-down for par.

“It certainly feels good to win again, but you can’t afford to get complacent,” Weinstein warned. “Match play is such an unpredictable game that you have to stay on your toes all the time. You have to be really sharp, so I’m taking this week as a good omen because I really had to fight for my victories.”

Adele Beytell on the B-Division title after defeating Mercedes Kreissel 2-up.

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