FIRST SA TI­TLE FOR MISTRY

Third youngest cham­pion

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Play Your Best -

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.

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