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JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s number one senior Kajal Mistry and top-ranked junior Woo-Ju Son will lead Gauteng into battle as the Lions hunt a hat-trick of SA Women’s Inter-Provincial titles at Mossel Bay Golf Club this week.
The format for the championship from will be foursomes and singles running from Wednesday to Friday.
Gauteng powered their way to successive victories in the country’s premier women’s amateur golf team competition at Umhlali Country Club last year, having ended a nine-year winning drought with a winning performance in 2015 at Centurion Country Club.
The defending champions have doubled up their chances to lift the Jean Tindall Trophy for a third successive year by fielding two A-Division teams in Tuesday’s seeding round.
Mistry and Son return for duty alongside Symone Henriques, Chiara Contomathios and Eleonora Galletti, while 2017 Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion Kaiyuree Moodley, who served two years on the B-team, completes the lineup.
The B-team, led by Lynette Fourie, features Cara Ford, Kera Healy, Marine Legentil, Kelsey Nicholas and Samantha Whateley.
The other six teams contesting the A-Division will have been hugely encouraged by KwaZulu-Natal, who thwarted Gauteng’s bid for a hat-trick in the 72-Hole Teams Championship at the Polokwane Golf Club in May.
Lynne Behagg will lead Boland into battle alongside Cassidy Williams, Nadia van der Westhuizen, and new caps Megan O’Grady, Bianca Wernich and Megan Streicher.
South Africa’s number three-ranked Zethu Myeki will captain the Border team, featuring Millie Zim-Dondashe, Demi Flanagan and new caps Ciara Koekemoer, Luzan Esterhuizen and Elaine Walker.
Lenanda van der Watt, Larissa du Preez and Lindi Coetzee will be back in action for Gauteng North A, while Adele Beytell and Cleo Jordaan – who won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur B-division title in July – have been promoted from the B-team. Frankie Bosman completes the A-team lineup.
Western Province will once again field Zayb Fredericks, Ashleigh Mills, Katia Schaff and Kaylah Williams, while Vicki Traut makes her debut alongside Jordan Rothman, who impressed when she downed Mistry in the second round of the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship.
Schaff topped the amateur leaderboard twice on the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour and 15-year-old Williams recently vaulted to 10th in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings with top 10 finishes in her last five starts, including a tie for second in the Boland Ladies Amateur at Hermanus Golf Club a week ago.
Gauteng’s biggest threat, however, could come from Ekurhuleni and Southern Cape.
Sarah Bouch, Casandra Hall, Teagan Lubbe, Caitlyn MacNab and Carmen Taljaard all return for duty while 12-year-old Kiera Floyd makes her debut for Ekurhuleni in the A-Section.
Bouch, Hall and Macnab chased Kwazulu-Natal all the way to the finish line in the 72-Hole Teams Championship, while Floyd and Taljaard shared in Ekurhuleni’s runner-up finish in the B-division at Polokwane Golf Club.
Last year’s B-Section winning quartet – 2016 SA Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Sandra Winter, Sonja Bland, Ethel Ruthenberg and Azelia Meichtry – are back in action for Southern Cape and will be looking to make the most of their home course advantage in their debut in the A-Division alongside Desiree Geldenhuys and new cap Jodie Duminy.
The B-Division contests will feature Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Gauteng North B and Western Province B.
Following the 36-hole seeding round, the top four teams from the A-Division will face off for the Jean Tindall Trophy in the top draw and the top four teams in the B-Division will fight it out for the Nolan Karb Trophy. The balance will be seeded in the bottom draw of each division.
The format for the championship will be foursomes and singles.