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25th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Williams wielding winning formula at Wild Coast

25 February 2019 – If recent performances are anything to go by, Kim Williams will be one of the favourites in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, which tees off at the Wild Coast Country Club on Tuesday.

Third on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after a fourth place finish at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am two weeks ago, and a third place at the South African Women’s Masters last week, means Williams be hoping to ride her wave of form into the winners circle.

In fact, Sunday’s winner at San Lameer Country Club Leján Lewthwaite had finished third and second this season before breaking through for her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win. The Investec golfer, who shot to number one in the rankings, is not in the line-up this week, though.

Lewthwaite departed the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Monday to make her 2019 debut on the Ladies European Tour in Australia.

Williams, meanwhile, rose to fifth in the standings and hopes that its third time lucky for her this week.

“I just need to keep doing what I have been doing the last two weeks and hopefully make a few putts,” said the Centurion Country Club golfer.

Williams grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead with Sweden’s Sofie Bringner at San Lameer. She stayed ahead of the field for most of the round, despite triple bogeys at the par three fourth and 16th holes. Those two holes cost her six shots, yet Williams ended just two shots outside the play-off for the title.

“I just need to stay patient, because these things happen. It wasn’t bad shots, but I still ended up with a triple on both par threes. I just need to stick with the processes. Hopefully I keep knocking on the door, meaning the victory is around the corner,” Williams said.

With a short turnaround between tournaments of three days, Williams took time to relax between events to keep herself fresh for another title challenge.

“I just took Sunday off, went down to the beach and relaxed. Hopefully nothing has changed from last week,” she said. “The last couple weeks I’ve been hitting my irons really nicely, so if that keeps up I’ve got a really good chance this week.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad golfer Kajal Mistry, coming off a top five finish at Fancourt and a play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters on Sunday, is looking for another hot finish in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club; Justin Klusener.

Lewthwaite beat young GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry on the first play-off hole by holing a monster 35-foot putt to seal victory.  The play-off with the 18-year-old Ernie Els and Foundation member drew praise from Williams, who was paired with the youngster in the final round.

“She is an amazing golfer and she has a very big future,” Williams said. “Although Kajal still has a lot to learn, she already has a fantastic game, a great temperament for the big moments and her course management is coming along great.”

Although she is not eligible for earnings, Mistry’s top four finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge and play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters effectively moved her to third in the Investec Order of Merit. She hopes to take the lessons learned last week to produce another top finish.

“I learned that sometimes things don’t go your way and to exercise loads of patience,” said the Randpark Golf Club player.

“That’s just the way it is. I tried my best and had a lot of fun being in contention. I haven’t done that in a while, even on the amateur circuit so it was fun.

“At the start of the day I was three back. When I lead by three shots on the amateur circuit, I know it’s nothing. One hole can change your situation quite quickly. I stick it out for the whole 18. There was never a point where I thought I couldn’t do it at San Lameer. I kept my head high the whole time.”

Mistry last played the Wild Coast Country Club at age 10, nearly eight years ago.

“I last played here when I was 10 years old. This was the course where I put my first score into the handicap system. I think I shot about 110,” she laughed. “I have good memories from here, as I’ve also stayed here on holiday.”

Not to be discounted though this week will be defending champion Nobuhle Dlamini.

The Glendower Golf Club player broke through at this event last year for her maiden victory on tour. The 27-year-old has since won twice more and rocketed to second in the Investec Property Order of Merit after her third success at Fancourt. She has also spoken of her desire for a strong title defence, and will likely factor strongly this week.

Another good bet could be Gleneagles golfer Hannah McCook. Making her professional debut last week, the 25-year-old Scot contended strongly throughout the week before finally finishing an impressive tied third alongside Williams on one-over.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.

22nd February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Williams takes route 66 to join Bringner at the top

22 February 2019 – Kim Williams scorched her way around a breathless San Lameer Country Club with a superb six-under 66 to join Sweden’s Sofie Bringner in the lead on three-under overall after two rounds of the South African Women’s Masters on Friday.

In contrast to the first round where heavy winds swirled about for the entire day, hot and calm conditions greeted the players on day two.

The Centurion Country Club golfer made best use of the easier conditions to find 17 greens in regulation, and made eight birdies and just two bogeys as a result.

“It was a nice round, the last week I felt like my game was heading in the right direction. And for everything to work out today was nice,” said three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Williams.

“My putter is starting to warm-up. I’ve been struggling with that since the beginning of the season. I made a few clutch putts, nice par-saves and then towards the end the birdie putts started dropping. My putting was definitely key today.

“Yesterday was really tough with the wind swirling quite a lot, so club selection was quite tough. I was happy with my score after yesterday. Yesterday I didn’t make a birdie, today I think I had eight birdies. The key is when you’re making drops, is to be able to come back.”

Williams led for most of the final round at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge last week in George, before she was ultimately overtaken by Nobuhle Dlamini who ended with a two-stroke victory.

There will definitely be a hint of unfinished business for Williams, hoping to put that disappointment behind her.

“The last two holes today were pretty key. I saw four-under was the lead, so I knew if I had a strong finish I would have a better chance tomorrow,” Williams said. “I’m excited. I was in contention last week as well. I just hope I can keep it together and have a round like I had today.”

Overnight leader Bringner had led for most of the day, at one stage by three with an opening nine that included five birdies, and just two bogeys.

One of the key holes for The Hills Golf Club member was the par five eighth. There she was just short of the putting surface in two, but a poor chip from 30 metres left her with a monster putt over a steep ridge.

The hot-putter worked once more as the ball raced up the slope before taking a final left turn into the hole. “It was a good day on the course, and the first nine was very good. The putter was really hot today,” Bringner said.

“The putt on eight was about 20 metres, and very difficult with lots of slope and I just gave it a good roll and it went in.”

Just three shots behind the leaders were amateur Kajal Mistry (75 69), who tied for fifth with Williams at Fancourt, and last Sunday’s champion Nobuhle Dlamini (74 70).

Randpark’s Mistry produced an impressive three-under round which featured an eagle two at the par four sixth, which sent one interested spectator mad – her father Nilesh Mistry.

“I hit every fairway today and if I missed a green I was just in the first cut. So it was a stress free-round except for two three-putts I had,” said the 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite squad member. “I eagled number six. I hit three-wood off the tee and had 95 to the flag, so I hit a little knockdown gap wedge. It took two hops and dropped. My dad made a lot of noise with his screaming and clapping.”

Kiran Matharu from England, another former Sunshine Ladies Tour champion, is a further shot adrift after rounds of 73 and 72.

Scotland’s Hannah McCook and GolfRSA Elite Squad player Symone Henriques started the second round one off the overnight pace. McCook posted 74 to finish on two-over and Henriques returned a 75 to tie for seventh on three-over 147.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.

22nd February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Williams wings her way to the front at San Lameer

Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams was in familiar territory after a four-under-par 68 earned her the first round lead in the SA Women’s Masters on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Williams eclipsed fine efforts from Norway’s Mariell Bruun, Laura Fuenstueck of Germany, Jamila Jaxaliyeva from Kazakhstan and compatriot Lora Assad as she raced to a two-shot lead at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

Williams teaches full-time at Centurion Country Club and a below par start to the 2018 season was expected after 12 months away from competitive golf, but the former number one ranked amateur signalled a return to form with a top five finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am last Sunday.

With the greens receptive after 40mm of rain overnight and the weather sunny and warm, Williams made the most of an early start to fire at the flags. She racked up four birdies in her outward loop and she wasn’t the only one cashing in.

Nineteen players in the field of 78 dipped below par through the first nine holes, however, a strong Westerly wind put the brakes on the birdie fest and a big dent in the red numbers.

“The wind came up quite suddenly and club selection was extremely tough, because it gusted and swirled,” said Williams

“It was tough to play the two-to-three club wind and keep a clean card. I parred the first six holes, had a soft drop at seven and then nearly holed out at the ninth. The hole was playing 145 metres downhill with the wind helping from behind.

“I hit a soft 7-iron and it pitched right in front of the flag and rolled up to tap-in distance. It was really nice to finish with a bonus birdie. I knew I could do well coming into the week after I found some really good form last week. Now it’s just a matter of keeping that form going.”

Ladies European Tour Access Series player Bruun made a solid start with a tie for 14th in the Joburg Ladies Open and sealed a joint 16th finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open. She contracted food poisoning during the Dimension Data Pro-Am, but rallied with a final round 74 at the Outeniqua course to close out a top 10 finish.

The Norwegian was feeling confident after stepping off the San Lameer course in joint second.

“I had three birdies and just one bogey and I never missed a fairway. Compared to some of the other courses, this one only measures 5 644 metres (6 171 yards),” said the 23-year-old from Larvik. “I really love this course, because it suits my game. It has a lot of trouble, but I hit it straight and I have a good short game. I rolled it nicely on the greens and hopefully I can warm up the putter some more on Friday.”

Second-season professional Ivanna Samu held a share of the lead after she eagled the par four 12th and birdied 13, but the 19-year-old dropped 14 and finished with a triple bogey seven for a 71.

“I hit my tee shot right and then took on a shot I shouldn’t have,” said Samu. “I should have punched out to the fairway, but I had a clean shot to the green and went for it. As I came through the shot, the wind came up strong and I watched as my ball drifted out of bounds. I live and learn and I’ll come back fighting again tomorrow.”

The chase for the leading amateur prize – the Jackie Mercer Trophy – got off to a fast start.

Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad members Shannon McWilliam and Gemma Batty carded rounds of 71, while 2017 champion Woo-Ju Son finished a further shot back alongside fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad member Zethu Myeki and Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry.

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Written by and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.