GolfRSA Junior Proteas Caitlyn Macnab felt both tapped out and buoyed after the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy wrapped up in Northern Ireland on Thursday, 12 September.
For a third successive day, the field battled gale force wind and howling rain brought on by the marriage of Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Gabrielle at Royal Portrush.
“Caitlyn felt that she survived a baptism of fire and I was heartened to hear her say that despite all the trials and tribulations, she learned some very valuable lessons here this week which will serve her well in the future,” said Womens Golf South Africa President Sally Greasley.
“Caitlyn battled an ice-cold putter, which are not ideal when you are facing an extremely tight course with very firm greens and Open Championship pin positions. Throw in the howling wind and sweeping rain over the three days of the competition and you have to be impressed with her fighting spirit and determination to forge ahead despite the setbacks,” she added.
“Caitlyn’s putter once again refused to warm up in the final round, and the four-club wind caught hold of a number of her tee shots and swept them into the thick, wet rough. She has certainly learned that she needs to work on is hitting lower shots to stay out of trouble in high winds.
Macnab, who lives on Serengeti Estate and often plays Ebotse links where her coach Grant Veenstra is based, wholeheartedly agreed.
“There isn’t a single links course at home that compares to Royal Portrush and I am really grateful that I got to experience this course,” said the reigning Nomads SA Girls champion.
“The extreme weather conditions kind of spoiled it, because we didn’t really have time to enjoy the course and to appreciate the incredible design.
“I had some great holes and some disastrous ones, but I am really glad I had this experience. I met some amazing golfers from all over the world and made many new friends and the organisation of the event was world class. Lots of lessons learned and things to go work on when I get home,” Macnab ended.
Greasley believes that Macnab will benefit in the long run from the experience.
“Macnab really found the week really tough. She got very few opportunities to compete on true links courses and certainly not in these extreme weather conditions and it was a really steep learning curve for her. She has come away from this experience with a much better understanding of what it takes to compete at courses such as Royal Portrush and this type of weather.
“It has been a joy for me to chaperone Caitlyn, who despite her obvious disappointment, always smiled and remained upbeat. Once again, we were complimented on our player’s behaviour, both on and off the course, by coaches, volunteers, club members and supporters. She kept the South African flag flying high, albeit a bit tattered after the beating it took in the wind this week,” Greasley concluded.
Photo 1 Caption: South Africa’s junior golfer, Caitlyn Macnab had a challenging experience playing out in tough weather conditions at the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy tournament in Northern Ireland. Photo: GolfRSA
With editing by gsport