FIRST SA TITLE FOR MISTRY
Third youngest champion
Randpark’s Kajal Mistry lived up to her No 1 WGSA ranking by winning the Sanlam SA Women’s Strokeplay title at theWanderers.At 16 years and 189 days she became the third youngest champion, the youngest still being Ashleigh Simon, 14 when she first triumphed at the Strand in 2004.After leading by five shots going into the third and final round, Mistry (69-69-74=212) came under pressure from her two 16-yearold playing partners. She edged home by one shot from Glenvista’s Symone Henriques, who closed with a 70, while Woo-Ju Sun (CCJ) had a 72 to take third place on 215.
Mistry is the fourth straight teenage champion, following Kaleigh Telfer (17) in 2016, Ivanna Samu (16) in 2015, and Carrie Park (18) in 2014.
“It was tough enough playing against two of my closest friends, but then my putter went cold on me,” said Mistry. “I was missing bread and butter putts. That’s nerves for you.Winning this title has been on my bucket list.The closer we got to 18, the more pressure I felt. Winning feels like I’ve conquered Kilimanjaro. I want to thank my coach Dar ren Witter.”
It was her first win since the Mpumalanga title in November, and first in her home province. Mistry only rose to prominence in the second half of last year, winning three late tournaments, and replacing Samu as No 1 when she turned pro.