South Africa’s number one amateur Nobuhle Dlamini was in ascendency once again at the Gauteng 54-Hole Championship Match Play title at Randpark Golf Club on Wednesday.
Just two days after a runner-up finish in the Stroke Play division behind Ekurhuleni’s Nicole Garcia, the Swazi golfer defeated Gauteng’s Kaleigh Telfer 4 & 3 at the challenging par-72, 5,928m layout of the Firethorn course to claim her seventh title this season.
Dlamini had a relatively easy 3 & 2 first round win against Natasha Carlsson, but needed three extra holes to dispatch Monja Richards from Mpumalanga to make the semi-final.
“Monja played exceptionally well and she really gave me a tough time out there,” Dlamini said. “It was a great match and I enjoy being tested like that, because it sharpens your focus for the upcoming matches.”
While Dlamini eliminated Gauteng North’s Magda Kruger 2 & 1 to reach the final against Telfer, her opponent defeated Shawnelle de Lange from Gauteng 1-up in the first round, eliminated Eleonora Galletti 2 & 1 and knocked out Stroke Play champion Garcia 3 & 2 to make the final.
Dlamini won the first three holes par-birdie-par to go 3-up and the pair halved the next five holes. Telfer won the ninth with a birdie to close the gap, but she handed the advantage back to Dlamini with a bogey at the 10th. The pair halved the next couple of holes until Dlamini birdied the 14th to go 4-up. She nailed the victory at the 15th when both players birdied the hole in birdies to halve.
In the last five months, Dlamini picked up the Eastern Cape double, the KZN double, the North West Stroke Play and the Sanlam SA Womens Stroke Play Championship titles and further underlined her growing stature with top five finishes in most of her starts.
The University of Pretoria student said that she has worked hard on achieving a higher level of consistency.
“It has not just been about winning for me,” she said. “I have been working hard on shot conservation and on my short game, especially putting to become a more consistent player.
“Winning is great, obviously, but for me it’s about achieving top five results, as well and it’s a great feeling to see that all the hard work and long hours pay off.”
Lynette Pretorius defeated Kim de Klerk at the first extra hole for the B-Division title.