Top juniors Magda Kruger and Bianca Theron put South Africa in command at the Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy (RAACT) with blistering performances in Tuesday’s first round at Centurion Country Club.
Kruger blitzed her home course with a flawless seven-under-par 65, while Theron from Devonvale Golf Estate responded with an equally impressive 66 to combine for an opening total of 13-under-par 131. The two remaining South Africans, Lara Weinstein and Sylvia Masango, carded non-counting rounds of 71 and 76 respectively.
The defending champions lead Swaziland by 22 strokes and third-placed Namibia by 30 strokes.
The 17-year-old Kruger burst out of the blocks with an opening birdie and turned in 33 after birdies at the fourth and sixth holes. After collecting birdie number four at the 12th, she hit two well-timed shots into the par-five 16th and boxed the putt for an eagle-three.
A fifth birdie at the 18th saw the Gauteng North golfer sign off on the only bogey-free round of the day.
Although Theron dropped a shot at the opening hole, she quickly erased the deficit with a birdie at the third. The Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation member turned in one under, added a brace of birdies at the ninth and 10th and collected her fourth birdie at the 12th. She reeled in a string of three successive birdies from the 14th to the 16th before closing with two pars.
Meanwhile South Africa’s number one ranked amateur Nobuhle Dlamini carded a disappointing opening 73. Her team mate Theresa Fawcett produced an 80 for the other counting score.
At nine-over-par 153, the Swazi team will have to pull out all the stops in the remaining rounds if they hope to stop the host nation from claiming their fourth successive RAACT victory.
In addition to the three leading teams, the prestigious biennial team competition has also drawn entries from Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Botswana.
South Africa won the inaugural event at the Phakalane Golf Estate in Botswana in 2007, and also lifted the title at the Nkonyeni Course in Swaziland in 2009 and Royal Harare in Zimbabwe in 2011.
Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy events are held biennially in West Africa, Southern Africa, North Africa and East/Central Africa and are financially supported by the Royal and Ancient of St Andrews (R&A).
The biennial Regional All-Africa Challenge Trophy Teams Leaderboard, at the Centurion Country Club, on Tuesday, 14 May 2013: 131 South Africa 153 Swaziland 161 Namibia 165 Zimbabwe 213 Botswana 259 Lesotho
Live Scoring is available at http://www.wgsa.co.za