24th November 2015 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Samu and Son sets sights on SA Womenâ€™s Open
Two of South Africaâ€™s brightest amateur talents – Ivanna Samu and Woo-Ju Son â€“ are heading to the Hibiscus Coast to join the battle for the Jackie Mercer Trophy in the 2015 South African Womenâ€™s Open.
Samu and Son will be among a cast of rising stars, primed to test themselves on golfâ€™s biggest stage at San Lameer Country Club from 29 November to 1 December.
â€œWhen I enter an event, I play to win, but I am also being realistic about my chances with the likes of Lee-Anne Pace, Nicole Garcia, Monique Smit, Nobuhle Dlamini, Melissa Eaton and Kim Williams in this yearâ€™s field,â€ said reigning Sanlam SA Womenâ€™s Stroke Play champion Samu.
â€œTo finish as the leading amateur in South Africaâ€™s flagship womenâ€™s golf championship has always been a huge goal for me. I am definitely going all out to win the Jackie Mercer Trophy.â€
Samu underlined her status as one of South Africaâ€™s future champions when she lifted the 2014 Sanlam SA Amateur Championship title at the age of 15.
Much was expected of the Ruimsig teenager, who duly delivered with a slew of provincial triumphs over the last 18 months and four fine victories in the 2015.
She followed podium finishes in the North West and Gauteng North Junior Championships with a three stroke victory in the SA Stroke Play in April and lifted the Nomads SA Girls Championship title in June.
Remarkably, over the course of nearly 20 starts, the 17-year-old protÃ©gÃ© only finished outside the top four twice.
The GFG Academy golfer carried this vein of form to a second and a fourth place on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and also made a considerable impression on the international stage.
In January, she helped South Africa to fourth in the prestigious Astor Trophy in Australia and was the banker for the home team in the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan in June.
Samu tied for 21 in the Annika Invitational Europe and became the first South African to reach the quarter-finals of the Girls’ British Open Amateur Championship in Scotland in August.
A month later, the Gauteng junior claimed a runner-up finish in the Girls Competition and finished ninth overall in the esteemed Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.
Samu represented South Africa in the highly acclaimed Spirit International in October and it was during the stint in Texas that she missed on her title defence in the Ackerman Championship.
This ultimately toppled her from the number one spot in the rankings she held for more than a year.
Son won the World Amateur Golf Audi Reunion in April, but although she never reached the winnerâ€™s circle at home, the 14-year-old Eagle Canyon golfer has had a similarly eye-catching year.
In addition to runner-up finishes in the recent Boland and Ekurhuleni Championships, Son also reeled in five third place finishes and six top fives to rise to fifth in the WGSA Senior Rankings.
The number one junior also led the amateurs in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Open in March.
â€œI think the competition between the amateurs in this yearâ€™s SA Womenâ€™s Open will be incredibly stiff, because Ivanna and I will be going toe-to-toe at San Lameer with a bunch of champions who broke through this year and who wonâ€™t back down an inch,â€ Son said.
Top ranked Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry, who won the Curro SA World International Junior and the Nomads SA WP Junior Championship, leads the list of champions that include , Ackerman Championship winner Danielle du Toit, Nomads SA Rose Bowl champion Chiara Contomathios and Lejan Lewthwaite, who lifted the Gauteng Stroke Play Championship title in August.
Photos: Ivanna Samu and Woo-Ju Son will lead the amateur challenge for the Jackie Mercer Trophy in the 2015 SA Womenâ€™s Open at San Lameer Country Club on the KwaZulu-Natalâ€™s Hibiscus Coast from 29 November to 1 December 2015; credit Justin Klusener.