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Golf | Amateur Golf

Jordan Rothman © Petri Oeschger / GolfRSA

Rothman slays Mistry at Women’s Amateur

Kajal Mistry’s dreams of a calendar double is over.

The Randpark junior hoped to lift both premier amateur titles this season, but her bid was crushed by petite Jordan Rothman who dispatched the country’s No 1 ranked golfer on day one of the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Championship at Stellenbosch Golf Club.

Having defeated Meagan Streicher from Boland 5 & 4 in Monday’s first round, the 14-year-old from Durbanville Golf Club showed some real heart in her match against Mistry in the afternoon.

“When I learned I was playing Kajal in the second round, I just felt pressure,” admitted Rothman. “I kept telling myself to play my own game, not to get desperate if I lost a hole and to take it a shot at a time. I felt that if I could keep the margin small, I would have a chance.”

She lost the fourth hole to Mistry, but it took just 10 holes for Rothman to take charge.

“I boxed a five-footer at 10 for birdie and two putted for par to win 11,” said Rothman. “Kajal lost her second shot in the water at 12 and I two-putted for par to win and go 3-up.”

The Women's Golf Western Province HPC Coaching Programme Squad player also lost 13, but won 14 to keep the advantage.

“Kajal rallied win 15 with a par and 16 with a birdie, but I just kept my head down and tried to shoot for fairways and greens over the last three holes,” said Rothman.

“We both hit our tee shots down the fairway at 17, and Kajal hit it close to the flag with her second. I told myself not to get fancy and I hit a good shot, but the ball pitched the green and spun off. I was only three feet off the green and putted up. The ball finished an inch from the hole and Kajal gave me the par. Then her birdie putt went right around the hole and lipped out, so we halved the hole.”

Rothman sealed the 2-up victory when she won the final hole with a birdie.

“My drive went down the middle, but Kajal went into the trees and she left her second short. There were so many people watching around the green and on the clubhouse veranda and my heart was in my mouth.

"I just told myself to get on the green and I hit a seven-iron dead-centre. I had made putts from everywhere all day, and all I had to do was two-putt from 30 feet. But those were the toughest two putts and I was so relieved when it was over. It was an honour to play against Kajal She had some really bad breaks, but she fought like a champion and never gave up.”

And Rothman was not the only junior to impress on day one.

Sixteen-year-old Crystal Beukes from Boland mowed down Ethel Ruthenburg from Southern Cape 8 & 7 and 15-year-old Kaylah Williams from Western Province beat Boland’s Nina Grey 2-up.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Symone Henriques and Chiara Contomathios both needed an extra hole, but the Gauteng pair also got the job done. Henriques eliminated Kelsey Nicholas and Contomathios downed Caro Els from Namibia.

Els’s compatriot, Jessica Dreesbeimdieke, is still in the running. The lanky Windhoek Country Club player handed Lizzie Currie a 5 & 4 drubbing to extend her stay in the Boland.

Larissa du Preez from Gauteng North and Katia Schaff from Western Province served up two more surprises. Du Preez beat Kansas State University’s Tash Carlsson 1-up win and Schaff dispatched reigning Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion Kaiyuree Moodley 4 & 2.

The rest of the tournament favourites – Cara Gorlei, Kaleigh Telfer, Danielle du Toit, Bianca Lohbauer, Zethu Myeki and Sarah Bouch – all advanced to round three.

Milnerton’s Gorlei, a third-year student at the University of Arkansas and the runner-up last year, jettisoned Elsune Roode from KwaZulu-Natal 6 & 4 and Lohbauer, on her summer break from Troy University, downed fellow Boland golfer Cassidy Williams 4 & 3.

Gauteng’s Telfer trounced local golfer Annalie Swanepoel 8 & 6 and Du Toit from Gauteng North routed Cara Ford from Gauteng 7 & 6.

Myeki and Bouch had to work a bit harder and won their respective matches against Gabrielle Venter from Free State and Bianca Wernich from Boland 1-up.

All the players but two in the Plate Division had a first-round bye. Monique Jansen beat Senayah Moodliar. Jansen 2 & 1 to advance to Tuesday’s second round.


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