Park Opens Narrow Leaderboard Advantage after SA Masters Day 2

by | Jan 21, 2017

Carrie Park continues to make a name for herself as one of the hottest prospects on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

The young South Korean fired a flawless four-under-par 68 on another testing day at Rondebosch Golf to open up a two-shot lead over former champion Ashleigh Buhai (nee Simon) in the second round of the SA Women’s Masters in Cape Town.

All eyes have been on South African number one Lee-Anne Pace in her first start in the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies and she did not disappoint – a second successive 70 moved South Africa’s top export to third at four under.

Nicole Garcia and England’s Kiran Matharu, who shared the first round lead with Park and Simon, slipped to a tie for fourth with a pair of 72s.

Buhai, Garcia and Matharu all surrendered shots over the first five holes, but Park made the most of the benign conditions with a string of pars before she laid down a marker with a birdie at the par three sixth.

“I hit it stiff at the short hole and tapped in the first birdie,” Park said. “The wind was better than in the first round, so you could take a few more chances. I made a 10-footer at nine for birdie and holed two more putts around 10 to 12 foot at 11 and 13.

“The greens are tricky and I am struggling a little with the pace. It helped a lot to play with Lee-Anne, because she came back strong on the back nine and that raised my game also. She is experienced and famous, so it was great to play with her because I learned a lot.”

Pace made a solid start as she aimed to shore up the gap on the first round leaders with a birdie at the first, but bogeys at four and nine kept her out of contention. The back nine was vintage Pace, though, and she made good ground with birdies at 11, 13 and 17.

“I definitely found more pace on the greens coming home and I’m in a good position for the final round,” said Pace, looking to push her winning tally on the Sunshine Ladies Tour to 10.

“It was great to have some crowds out here, especially around the 18th and I’m looking forward to playing the last round. Ashleigh is always a fierce competitor and it’s great to see Carrie holding her own, as well. We should give them a great show tomorrow.”

Buhai said the three-putt start and three-putt finish wasn’t ideal, but everything in between was solid.

“I’m feeling great out there with the new clubs, although I still have a little misfire every now and then” said Buhai, who won the SA Women’s Masters as a 14-year-old amateur. “It was a good day, despite the bogey start and finish. Hopefully I can limit the mistakes and take it to the bank tomorrow.”

Park, meanwhile, has little fear of starting the final 18 in such esteemed company.

She was just 13 when her father brought her from Seoul to Pretoria, enrolled her at the GFG Golf Academy and boarding school at Southdowns College in Centurion.

Park represented the Gauteng North Golf Union and – on her way to becoming the country’s number one ranked amateur in 2013/2014 – she was the subject of a lot  of good-hearted teasing from her peers, because she ‘goes into the zone’.

For instance, the petite 19-year-old had no idea she had won the 2013 Sanlam SA Stroke Play Championship and the second round of the R500 000 showpiece proved no different. “I’m leading,” shrieked Park with a huge after a quick look at the live scoring leaderboard.

“Oh look, I didn’t drop any shots. Very good, no bogeys and I’m leading. Wow, okay, that’s pretty cool.” Those who have followed her meteoric rise over the last five years, were not surprised.

“She began playing on the IGT Challenge Tour in 2014 and she had a bunch of top 10 finishes against the men,” said Garcia. “She even chased Anton Haig to the finish line twice. Last year she finished third at the SA Women’s Open in her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut, and she made the top 10 field for the Investec Cup for Ladies Final. She is fearless.”

Park said she feels good about her chances. “I was very solid for two days, so yeah, I am feeling good.

“This is a huge tournament to win, but I’m excited to be in the last group. I have a lot of support from my dad, Pink Stig and coach Graeme (Francis). The fans have been amazing, so I don’t think I will have too much nerves.”


Second Round Scores at the SA Women’s Masters, played at the Rondebosch Golf Course in Cape Town on Friday, 20 January, 2017*:
137 – Carrie Park (KOR) 69 68
139 – Ashleigh Buhai 69 70
140 – Lee-Anne Pace 70 70
141 – Nicole Garcia 69 72, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 69 72
143 – Bertine Strauss 75 68
144 – Kim Williams 75 69, Monique Smit 74 70, Francesca Cuturi 72 72
146 – Stacy Bregman 72 74
147 – Mandy Adamson 74 73, Tandi von Ruben 74 73, Sofia Ljungqvist (SWE) 72 75
148 – Alexandra Lennartsson (SWE) 76 72, Alana van Greuning 74 74
149 – Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 77 72, Ivanna Samu 76 73, Louise Larsson (SWE) 74 75
150 – Rebecca Hudson (ENG) 77 73, Anna Sventrup (SWE) 74 76
151 – Kaleigh Telfer AMA 80 71, Michelle Leigh 76 75, Anna Becker-Frankel (SWE) 76 75, Laila Hrindova AMA (SVK) 75 76, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 74 77
152 – Chiara Contomathios AMA 79 73, Mae Cornforth 78 74, Monja Richards 80 72, Kajal Mistry AMA 76 76, Michelle Swanepoel 75 77
153 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 79 74, Tijana Kraljevic 78 75, Lejan Lewthwaite 78 75, Kaylah Williams AMA 81 72
154 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 79 75, Bianca Wernich (AMA) 80 74, Katia Shaff AMA (AUT) 81 73, Melissa Eaton 75 79
155 – Hanna Roos (SWE) 75 80
156 – Morgana Robbertze 78 78, Yolanda Duma 81 75
157 – Michelle de Vries 80 77
158 – Maria Roos 78 80 (SWE), Flavia Namakula (UGA) 79 79, Lynette Fourie AMA 80 78, Aaliyah Abrahams AMA 80 78, Siviwe Duma 81 77
159 – Clara Pietri (SUI) 76 83
161 – Odette Booysen AMA 79 82, Laura Sedda ITA 82 79, Nora Angehrn AUT 84 77, Lumien Orton AMA 85 76
162 – Leanda Schulze 82 80
163 – Minette Olivier AMA 84 79, Tara Griebenow AMA 84 79, Zayb Fredericks AMA 84 79
164 – Sarah Osborn AMA 82 82, Leslie Grandet (MAD) 84 80
165 – Jordan Rothman AMA 86 79, Iman Adams AMA 88 77
166 – Jessica Green AMA 77 89, Nina Grey AMA 82 84167 – Iliska Verwey 85 82, Marguerite Pienaar 87 80
168 – Shawnelle de Lange AMA 86 82
170 – Wilna Bredenhann AMA (NAM) 81 89
171 – La-eeqah Adams AMA 86 85
172 – Muriel McIntyre (CAN) 87 85
176 – Maxine Smet (GER) 92 84
184 – Laura Welch (CAN) 90 94

  • All RSA unless otherwise indicated, and amateurs specified as AMA


Photo 1 caption: South Korean Carrie Park focusses on her game during Day 2 of the 2017 SA Women’s Masters in Cape Town, and marked the day’s end with a 2-shot lead over a packed leaderboard at the Rondebosch Golf Course on Friday. Photo: Johan Rynners

Photo 2 caption: Park says she owes much of her form to lessons gleaned playing alongside multiple tour champ and SA golfing icon, Lee-Anne Pace. Photo: Johan Rynners


With editing by gsport


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