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15th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bold move lands Mistry share of Dimension Data lead

Former GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry from Randpark birdied the final hole at George Golf Club to grab a share of the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Thinus Maritz.

15 February 2019 – Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry stole the headlines on Friday after she birdied the closing hole at George Golf Club to tie Marion Duvernay from France for the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge lead on Friday.

Recent Serengeti Team Championship winner Duvernay’s sub-par 71 went uncontested for most of the opening round, triggering hopes of a French double on South African soil. But the 18-year-old Mistry – playing in the final group – hit two great shots at the final hole and boxed a five-foot putt to force her way to the top of the leaderboard.

“I took driver off the tee and left myself 131 metres to the pin middle back,” said the former GolfRSA Elite Squad member who cancelled bogeys at seven and eight with birdies at nine and 13.

“I don’t how it happens, but somehow is always above your feet at this golf course. I had to take that in account and, coming from altitude in Johannesburg, I had do recalculate the distance. I played it about 140-ish and I wanted to leave myself with an uphill putt, so I hit a full 8-iron in. It landed pin-high left and as soon as I saw the line, I knew I could sink it.”

South Africa’s former number one amateur matriculated from Crawford College Lonehill last year and is heading to the University of Arkansas on a golf scholarship in August.

“Golf had to take a back seat last year, so it’s great to be out here, competing again,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I got the rust off with a top 20 in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open and I played nice, steady golf today. I hit 10 fairways and 13 greens today, but I was never in any real trouble. No bushes and no lost balls, just a steady round. I have to admit it’s great to be in the hunt again.”

Marion Duvernay from France shares the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Tyrone Winfield

By contrast, the French golfer handed in a rather colourful card that featured six birdies.

“I made some great birdies over the first nine holes, and had only the one bogey, but I had a bit of a bogey run coming back,” said Duvernay, who turned three-under.

“I dropped 12 and 13, finally birdied a par five (14) and made a double at 15. I missed the green and had to chip from thick rough, but I only moved the ball a metre with my first chip. I gave the second one a good whack and two-putted. I was very happy with the birdie at 17 to get back in red numbers.”

Duvernay showed her mettle in team events when she partnered compatriot Flora Peuch to victory at Serengeti Estates last week. The Evian Resort golfer dovetailed to perfection with amateur Joanne Govender for a six-under-66 that netted the pair a share the lead in the Betterball competition.

“When I hit the bogey train, Joanne really pulled us through,” said Duvernay. “She made three birdies in a row from 12 to keep the momentum going. And we had a lot of laughs. It’s such a fun format.”

Niinja Liias from Finland finished level-par to tuck in just behind the leading pair, avoiding the crush at one over par.

Lejan Lewthwaite and Bertine Faber both carded rounds of 73 to lead the local challenge and were joined by French pair Emilie Piquot and Anne-Lise Caudal, English campaigner Rachael Goodall and rookie Sophie Lamb, also from England.

South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Brittney-Fay Berger completed the top 10 on two over alongside Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.ng or copying it.


6th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

French Flair seals success at Serengeti Teams

6 February 2019 – Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch became the first French winners on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a wire-to-wire performance in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on Wednesday.

The French pair posted rounds of 46 and 38 for a total of 85 points to win the first golf team event with a three-point margin at Serengeti Estates.

Duvernay and Peuch made a fast start to the tournament as they burned up the front nine of the Jack Nicklaus signature course on day one. They fired five birdies and surged into the lead with an eagle from Duvernay at the par five eighth. Another eagle from the Evian Resort golfer and further brace of birdies earned them a three-point lead over English pair Kiran Matharu and Ellie Givens.

South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and partner Lauren Taylor from England finished a further shot adrift.

Admittedly, the French duo couldn’t replicate their first round fireworks on the last day, but they staved off the chasing pack with birdies at three, five, eight, 11 and 15.

“Things went a bit south for us at 16,” said Peuch, a third season Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner.

“Marion hit her drive in the bush and of course, I followed her. We had to make a recovery, but it’s a pretty long par five. She went for the green from 235 metres, but didn’t make it. She had to take a penalty drop after going in the water, so I laid up and chipped in.

“Then I three-putted and Marion didn’t make her bogey putt either, so we had to take a zero for the double bogey. We took it on the chin and just tried to play the last two holes in pars and make no more mistakes.”

Peuch made sure of a par at 17 and Duvernay, whose approach pitched on the lower tier of the huge green, lagged her birdie putt to two inches from the hole. She tapped in for par to seal the win.

“We are so excited about this win,” gushed Duvernay, who made her debut on the South African circuit with a top eight finish in last week’s Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open.

“When the team event was added to the schedule, we entered immediately. We played a lot of team golf as amateurs, but there are just a few team events on the pro circuit. It was a great tournament on a fantastic golf course and we are thrilled to own our first Sunshine Ladies Tour trophies.

“The vibe was fantastic and it was a great way for us foreigners to meet the South Africans and other internationals. We saw a lot of high fives and hugging and laughing going on. Flora and I are travelling together for the full nine weeks, so this was a very good test for our friendship, too.

“Flora has told me that the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am is another great event, but the courses are quite tough. This has been a really good warm-up for George and hopefully one of us can keep the winning streak going.”

Samu and Taylor shared second on 83 points with Shawnelle de Lange and Pasqualle Coffa.

Rookies Catherine LauGeorgia Oboh from Nigeria tied for third on 82 with Givens and Matharu, as well as Tandi McCallum and Kim Williams from South Africa.

South Africa’s De Lange and Coffa from the Netherlands fired a staggering nine birdies on the last day to take the low round honours with 45 points. “I met Shawnelle last week at Irene and we clicked straight-away,” said Coffa. “We decided to pair up for the team event and we really dovetailed well, especially in the final round.

“For every birdie I sunk, she answered with one. I struggled a bit last week and shot 80 in the final round at Irene, but this tournament gave me a chance to hit more free and to fire at the pins. I feel much more confident for George Golf Club and Fancourt next week.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Ebotse Links and Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay Golf Club posted rounds of 39 and 41 to take the Amateur honours with a top 10 finish on 80 points.

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


5th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Fire and Ice lead Serengeti Team Champs

5 February 2019 – Golf may not be the most popular sport in France, yet French golf fans flocked to the Le Golf National for the Ryder Cup last year and it’s the French who led the revolution as team golf made its first appearance on the Sunshine Ladies Tour on Tuesday.

Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch were untouchable in the opening round of the inaugural R100 000 Serengeti Team Championship.

French pair Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch led the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Serengeti Team Championship with 46 points at Serengeti Estates; credit Tyrone Winfield / Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Taking advantage of the Betterball format, the French duo racked up no less than seven birdies and fired two eagles at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Serengeti Estates.

A total score of 46 points propelled Duvernay and Peuch to the top of the leaderboard and they will start Wednesday’s final round with a 3-point cushion.

English pair  Ellie Givens and former Tshwane Ladies Open champion Kiran Matharu edged out South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Lauren Taylor from England by 1 point for second, while another French national – two-time Ladies European Tour winner Anne-Lise Caudal – and her South African partner Bertine Faber collaborated for 41 points to finish fourth.

 

The class of 2019 also impressed in their second start on the local circuit.

Johannesburg rookies Chiara Contomathios and Kelsey Nicholas combined for 40 points, as did first-timers Brittney Fay-Berger from KwaZulu-Natal and Benoni golfer Casandra Hall, who were flawless around the championship layout.

Former Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Tandi Mc Callum and Kim Williams made it a three-way tie for fifth when they rallied with five birdies over their last nine holes.

The early clubhouse target belonged to amateur pair Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay and GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Benoni, who also fired the opening salvo. They were overhauled by Contomathios and Nicholas until the French pair hit their stride.

“Marion and I both played our own games, but we always had each other’s backs. We dovetailed incredibly well,” said Golf De Valescure’s Peuch. “I contributed birdies at three, seven and 15 and I hit it to six feet at the eighth to have an eagle chance, but she denied me…her putter was on fire”

Duvernay birdied two and five, but left her approach into the par five well short of the pin.

“I had 25-foot left for eagle, but Flora was close, so I guided the ball towards the cup,” said the Evian Resort golfer. “And it dropped. That’s the beauty of this format.”

The French woman notched two more gains at nine and 11 and pencilled a second three on their card with an eagle at the par five 15th, followed with another birdie at 16.

“It’s a great golf course and you can score well if you hit it in the right spots,” said Duvernay. “We both hit it great from tee to green and we made the most of our chances. We had only the one bogey. We didn’t really look at our score, but I had a feeling that we were doing well.”

Winning the tandem won’t earn them Investec Property Order of Merit points, but the French pair are still going all out for glory.

“We are playing for the trophy, the honour and the prize money,” said Peuch. “We love coming here.

“It’s a great tour. It is very well run, and we are treated really well by the players, the staff and the South Africans. It will be a great honour for us to go home as Sunshine Ladies Tour winners.”

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