Sweet Revenge for Alexander with Jabra Ladies Open Victory

Fifth in 2019. Third in 2021. Casandra Alexander exacted her revenge on the Glendower Golf Club course on Friday as she carded a six-under-par 66 to scythe through field for a one-stroke victory in the R1-million Jabra Ladies Open.

She lifted her second title of the Sunshine Ladies Tour 2023 season after winning the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge, and the one-shot victory shot the Ekurhuleni native to the summit of the Investec Order of Merit.

Alexander set the early clubhouse target at 14-under-par with her bogey-free round, then waited to see how things would unfold.

Mireia Prat from Spain, who led the first two rounds, was tied for the lead, but handed the victory to Alexander with a finishing bogey. South Africa’s Kaleigh Telfer continued a strong run in her rookie season on the local circuit, backing up a top five in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge with a superb third place finish in her Jabra Ladies Classic debut.

Alexander, ironically, thought her first hole of the day was her best hole and set her up for her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour triumph.

“The highlight was the first hole, because I hit it in the front bunker, the same place as in the second round where I made double, but this time, I hit a really good bunker shot, made the putt for par and I felt it was a sign to get going,” Alexander said. “That got my confidence up after an under-pressure first hole, because it got me straight into the focus mode.”

Alexander was not at all happy with her efforts in the second round. “I struggled. I made a lot of birdies, but I dropped a lot of shots. I mean, I made double on the first hole, and it was a fight from there and then I finished with two drops. I felt the course owed me after that.

“I knew a low round could do it. I was hoping for an eight-under – I actually used a Titleist 8 ball because of that. I just thought to myself I was going to keep it really tidy. I knew I was three shots behind but if I could get to three-under as quickly as possible, then I would feel I was level with the lead and I could get going from there. Today’s 66 was really good – it felt like an eight-under. With no drops, you feel like the birdies really count.”

The 2021 Joburg Ladies Open champion made the three birdies she needed by the time she reached the sixth. With Prat only one-under at that point, it was game on.

The Spaniard didn’t pick up another shot until the 12th, while Alexander had made two more at that stage to draw level. The birdie Alexander made on 13 saw her hit the front. “I didn’t hit that fairway the whole week as I missed it right,” she said. “Today I hit the fairway and I pumped one up there 290, and I had an eight-iron in, two puts for a tap-in birdie.”

Alexander held her nerve down the stretch and, although Prat levelled things up with a birdie of her own on the 15th, she dropped again on the final hole. “It was good to keep it steady on 17 and 18, as they make for a tough finish,” said Alexander.

Telfer finished her tournament with a five-under-par 67, and that lifted her two shots clear of Denmark’s Smilla Tarning Soenderby, who was on 10-under. Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am winner Moa Folke of Sweden’s good run also continues – she finished in fifth on nine-under after she closed with a level-par 72.

For Alexander, the win settled the beef she felt she had with Glendower after her opening 66. “It wasn’t a particularly good 66 on the first day,” she said. “The course was there for the taking, and I felt it was very average.

“From the beginning this morning, I felt if I could get a low one in, I could maybe stand a chance. Things went my way, and a couple of putts dropped.”

With the final two events of the 2023 season, the Joburg Ladies Open and the Investec South African Women’s Open, ahead of her, Alexander is sitting pretty with great form on her side.

FINAL RESULT:
202 – Casandra Alexander 66 70 66
203 – Mireia Prat (ESP) 63 70 70
204 – Kaleigh Telfer 67 70 67
206 – Smilla Tarning Soenderby (DEN) 68 66 72
207 – Moa Folke (SWE) 65 70 72
209 – Lily May Humphreys (ENG) 65 71 73
210 – Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 72 71 67, Romy Meekers (NED) 72 68 70, Carolin
Kauffmann (GER) 69 70 71, Lee-Anne Pace 70 66 74
211 – Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 71 70 70, Maiken Bing Paulsen (NOR) 70 71 70
212 – Camille Chevalier (FRA) 75 68 69, Pranavi Urs (IND) 71 70 71, Sanna
Nuutinen (FIN) 69 71 72
213 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 70 71 72, Tandi McCallum 71 69 73
214 – Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 68 74 72, Katja Pogacar (SVN) 75 67 72, Ridhima
Dilawari (IND) 70 71 73
215 – Nadia van der Westhuizen 69 72 74
216 – Becky Morgan (WAL) 71 72 73, Lauren Taylor (ENG) 69 74 73, Teresa
Diez Moliner (ESP) 72 69 75
217 – Stacy Bregman 71 72 74, Martina Flori (ITA) 71 71 75, Gabrielle
Venter 72 70 75
218 – Marta Martin (ESP) 73 69 76, Genevieve Ling (MAS) 71 70 77
219 – Leticia Ras-Anderica (GER) 71 72 76, Jane Turner (SCO) 72 71 76

 

Photo 1 Caption: Casandra Alexander doubled up on silverware in the 10th season Sunshine Ladies Tour when she took route 66 twice at Glendower Country Club to become the fifth champion of the R1-million Jabra Ladies Classic. Photo: Supplied

 

With editing by gsport

 

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