Williams, Verwey thriller expected at Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur

Report from Lali Stander

RUSTENBURG (14 April 2011) – Defending champion Kim Williams ousted Nicole Becker 5 and 4 and Iliska Verwey hammered Talia Nel 8 and 6 to set up a much anticipated semi-final clash at the Sanlam Women’s SA Amateur Championship at Rustenburg Golf Club this afternoon.

Verwey dominated her quarter-final against Becker with a feast of birdies.

“I think I was still smarting yesterday about tying for fourth in the Stroke Play, so my game wasn’t too impressive in the first two rounds,” said Verwey. “Today I was in the right frame of mind and my energy felt right again.”

Although the country’s number two ranked player led the first round in the Stroke Play championship and shared the lead in the second with Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, Verwey could not match the final round four-under-par 68 Williams produced to win the title for a second successive year.

“I had the chance to win but I let it slip,” she said. “It took a while to get myself back in the right head space and put it behind me. This morning I played the way I like to; it’s nice to have my game back.”

Meanwhile Williams battled to get ahead in her match against Becker.

She won the first and fifth holes, but Becker cut her lead to one when she birdied the sixth. But once the country’s number one got it back to two up through seven, there was no stopping her.

“You can’t let Kim get her nose in front, because she becomes unstoppable,” said the ousted Becker.

Dlamini also had a tough time eliminating Lejan Lewthwaite 2 and 1.

The 2009 Match Play champion blamed a cold putter, saying at least she managed to limit the damage to just one three-putt.

“Lejan was a tough competitor, though” said Dlamini. “She never let up.”

Local favourite Strauss dismissed Henrietta Frylink at the 16th hole, but was also made to work hard for her 3 and 2 victory.

The former SA number one was three-up through seven holes, but lost the next two holes when Frylinck birdied the eighth and parred the ninth.

“I birdied 10 and 12, got it back to three-up, but Henrietta kept up the pressure,” explained Strauss. “She also birdied the 13th to win the hole, but I holed a great putt on 13 for birdie to get ahead again. It was very up and down, but I expected that from her.”

The B-Division competition for the SALGU Bowl has come down to three hens and a chick.

Forty-somethings Valda Ford and Wilna Bredenhann will meet in the one semi-final while Welma Dippenaar will face 10-year-old Woo-Ju Son.

On Tuesday, the young golf prodigy already outplayed her peers and players four times her age to win the Stroke Play Championship by four shots. She continued her winning march in the match play tournament, downing Noeline de Ridder in the first round and knocking out Bridget Rodrigues in the second.

But Rustenburg Golf Club Ladies captain Dippenaar said she wouldn’t mind losing to Son in this afternoon’s semi-final.

“This girl is something else and she is going to go very far,” said Dippenaar. “So, I wouldn’t mind losing to Woo. One day I’ll be able to say I lost against South Africa’s own Michelle Wie when she was just a two bricks tall.”

And in the Plate Division for the 16 players knocked out in the first round of match play, Sune de Plooy will meet Simone Burger in the first semi-final, while Tiffany Avern-Taplin goes up against Michelle Leight.

QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS: A-Division (handicaps 1-9)

Kim Williams def Nicole Becker 5/4

Iliska Verwey def Talia Nel 8/6

Nobuhle Dlamini def Lejan Lewthwaite 2/1

Bertine Strauss def Henrietta Frylinck 3/2

QUARTER FINAL RESULTS: B-Division (handicaps 10-18)

Woo-Ju Son def Bridget Rodrigues 4/3

Thelma Dippenaar def Kim de Klerk 3/1

Valda Ford def Shawnelle de Lange 2/1

Wilna Dippenaar def Chiara Contomathios 4/3

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