Three Top-Ranked Amateurs to Represent SA at 2023 WATC

GolfRSA National Squad member Kajal Mistry will represent South Africa at the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi in October. Photo: Supplied

GolfRSA has announced the country’s three top-ranked amateurs Caitlyn Macnab, Kajal Mistry and Megan Streicher will represent South Africa at the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi in October.

“Congratulations to Caitlyn, Kajal and Megan on their well-deserved selection,” said Womens Golf South Africa President and team manager Susan Andrew.

“This trio has excelled on the US collegiate circuit in the past 12 months and worked exceptionally hard to earn the honour of representing South Africa. They have the skills, mindset and experience required to go up against the best in the Espirito Santo Trophy to do South Africa proud.”

Following the biennial championships in France last year, the International Golf Federation announced a decision to host the event again this year and to hold future events in odd years to avoid same-year conflict with future Summer Olympic Games.

The 30th women’s championship, which will be contested by 36 countries, will be played from 25-28 October, one week after the 33rd men’s championship.

Both events will be played at Abu Dhani Golf Club’s National Course, marking the first time that the World Amateur Team Championships will be played in the Middle East.

Streicher will be making her debut following a breakout first season at the University of North Carolina.

The Boland golfer not only led the Tar Heels with 14 rounds under par – six more than any other player on the team – but her stroke average of 73.33 was the seventh lowest by a Tar Heel in a season, and the lowest ever by a first-year student.

The former SA Women’s Stroke Play champion was the best finisher on the team in four of the last five tournaments of the season, and she brought that form home during the summer break to win the Individual Competition at the GolfRSA 72-Hole Women’s Team Championship in May.

Macnab and Mistry return for duty a third successive time.

The pair finished in 15th position in France playing alongside Bobbi Brown, matching the result they achieved in their debut with Kaleigh Telfer in the 2018 edition in Ireland.

Macnab has distinguished herself as the number one player at Texas Christian University and currently ranks 34th in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. At the end of two years with the Frogs, the Serengeti golfer will start her third year at the University of Mississippi on the Ole Miss golf team.

The Serengeti golfer posted four top-5 finishes in 2022-23, including victory in the season-opening Schooner Fall Classic where she shot 10-under-par 200 and broke the school record for the lowest 54-hole score.

Her consistency not only earned her a second invitation to the prestigious Augusta National Women’s Amateur, where she finished ninth, but also a spot in the International Team at the 2023 Arnold Palmer Cup. 

Among a long list of accolades, she was named to the All-Big 12 team and earned an All-American honourable mention from the Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) for a second successive year after leading the Frogs with a stroke average of 71.97.

Mistry, who like Macnab achieved the rare SA Women’s Match Play and Stroke Play calendar double, has earned the nickname “birdie machine” at Arkansas University.

She led Razorback Women’s Golf Team with 83 birdies in 10 events during the 2022 | 2023 season. The previous year, she knocked in 112 birdies in 11 tournaments. While pursuing her marketing degree, the Razorbacks No 1 notched season-best top five finishes in the NCAA Palm Beach Regional and the Moon Golf Invitational. She also held the lowest stroke average and best national ranking, which earned her a second successive start in the LPGA Tour’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in this year.

The South African trio will be keen to emulate South Africa’s only other success in the Espirito Santo Trophy that came in 2006 when Ashleigh Buhai, Stacy-Lee Bregman and Kelli Shean was victorious in Stellenbosch.

GolfRSA National Women’s Squad coach Val Holland will captain the team, while assistant national coach Anna Becker-Frankel will also accompany the team as their coach.

Central Gauteng’s Samantha Whateley and Kesha Louw from KwaZulu-Natal are the reserves.

Photo 1 Caption: GolfRSA National Squad member Kajal Mistry will represent South Africa at the 2023 World Amateur Team Championships in Abu Dhabi in October. Photo: Supplied

With editing by gsport 

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