KALEIGH IS NEW NO 1
Bryanston teenager finishes top of Women’s Golf SA rankings.
An exciting rivalry has developed between the top four players in women’s amateur golf which is set to continue into 2016.
Kaleigh Telfer, Ivanna Samu, Cara Gorlei and Carrie Park won 14 titles between them in 2015, and it was 17-year-old Telfer, from Bryanston Country Club, who took the No 1 position on the rankings at the end of the season, by 13 points from Samu.
The No 1 spot was up for grabs in the last week of the season. Telfer chose to play in the Mpumalanga Open at White River, while 17-year-old Samu (Ruimsig) contested the Women’s SA Open at San Lameer. The decision to miss the SA Open paid off for Telfer, as a third place finish was enough to edge her Gauteng teammate.
In 13 events, Telfer finished out of the top-10 just once. Her first of four victories in 2015 came at the Free State Champs in April. After travelling overseas three times to represent South Africa, she returned with renewed confidence after being exposed to international competition, and won three consecutive tournaments – the
Ekurheleni Southern Cape and Boland Opens – in August and September.
Telfer also teamed up twice with Samu for Gauteng. They led the province to its first Interprovincial victory in 10 years, and also claimed the 72-Hole Teams Champs.
“Playing overseas was an eye-opener for me and made me realise how good you have to be to be in contention over there,” said Telfer, who will complete her matric year in 2016 at Education Incorporated, a private school in Fourways. “I’ll play fewer events this year because of school work, concentrating on the national events and my goal of representing SA in the Espirito Santo Trophy at the World Amateur champs in September.” Telfer has been approached by several US colleges for a potential golf scholarship in 2017.
Samu had another impressive season, adding four wins in 2015 to the five she had in 2014. Three of her titles were notable ones – the SA Strokeplay at Glendower, the 72-Hole Teams Champs at East London (individual joint-winner with Eleonora Galletti), and SA Girls at Orkney – but she failed to win in the second half of the year.
Gorlei (Milnerton) also won four times, three of them being matchplay titles, while Park (Centurion), the No 1 ranked player in 2014, had three wins, including the SA Amateur to add to her 2014 SA Strokeplay success.
Benoni Lake golfer Lejan Lewthwaite, 24, claimed the Jackie Mercer Trophy in her last event as an amateur, when she finished second to Lee-Anne Pace in the Women’s SA Open at San Lameer. She will embark on a pro career in 2016.