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International experience inspires Telfer in George

KaleighTelferTrophyGEORGE, 24 August 2015 – Fresh from competing in back-to-back international championships in Sweden and Scotland, Kaleigh Telfer was untouchable as she carved out a 10 stroke victory in the Southern Cape Championship at George Golf Club on Sunday.

The 17-year-old Bryanston golfer opened with a six under 66 to pull two strokes clear of top ranked Ivanna Samu and fellow Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Zethu Myeki.

She stretched her lead to seven strokes with a second round 67, which included a career-first albatross at the par-five second, and closed with a 70 to seal her second provincial triumph this season on a winning total of 13-under-par 203.

Telfer’s victory vaulted her to second in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings and she credited the recent international trip for her success.

“It is going to sound really weird when I say this, but my mind-set was still in Europe,” Telfer said.

“The standard of the players who competed in the Annika Invitation Europe and the Girl’s British Open Amateur Championship was incredible high. You really had to step up your game to have any chance and I was still competing against them in my head when I teed off in George.”

Telfer finished joint 37th in Sweden and tied for fourth in the 36-Hole Stroke Play Qualifier to reach the Match Play stage of Girl’s British Open Amateur Championship in Scotland. She was eliminated in the second round, while Samu reached the semi-final at West Kilbride Golf Club.

“Ivanna and I gained an incredible amount of experience from the trip,” said Telfer.

“You get used to playing a certain game here at home, but even as early as the first round of the Annika Invitational Europe, we had to dig deeper. You are completely out of comfort zone, facing fierce competition on courses that are nothing like what we are used to.

“We had to think out of box to succeed and find reserves we didn’t even know we had. We are both greatly indebted to Womens Golf South Africa for giving us the opportunity to compete in these world-class events. I think the pressure to perform brought out the best in us.”

Reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Samu, who also played bridesmaid to Telfer at the Free State and Northern Cape Open in April, protected her number one spot with another runner-up finish. She carded rounds of 68, 72 and 73 to finish on three under 213.

Myeki from Border climbed to fifth in the rankings with a third place finish in the recent Gauteng Stroke Play Championship. The West Bank golfer further closed the gap on fourth ranked Carrie Park with third overall on three over after rounds of 68, 68 and 73.

Southern Cape Ladies Golf president Laetitia Higgs was delighted with the turnout in this year’s event, supported by the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport.

“We were really pleased that the field for this year’s championship was double the size of the field in 2014,” Higgs said.

“We had a total of 86 entries, with five of the top 10 ranked amateurs in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings and six of the top 10 juniors among the 41 players that contested the A-Division.

“The B- and C-Divisions drew 29 and 16 entries respectively and the strength and size of this year’s field bodes well for our vision to grow the Southern Cape Championship into one of the premier provincial championships on the Womens Golf South Africa calendar.”
Valda Ford from Ruimsig Country Club carded rounds of 83 and 81 to lift the B-Division title on 164.

Liezel Heyns (86-85) from Ekurhuleni took second on 171, edging out Odette Booysen (88-84) from Western Province and Gauteng’s Michelle Witts-Hewinson (85 87) for second.

Local favourite Denise Danks scored a popular C-Division victory at her home course with rounds of 34 and 32, while former SA Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Sonja Bland took the Closed Championship title with rounds of 79, 81 and 75.

PHOTO 1 – 2015 Southern Cape Open Championship winner Kaleigh Telfer; credit Pieter Els.

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