Stacy Bregman managed to outpace fellow South African Lee-Anne Pace by one shot to take the top spot for a local in the 2008 Acer Women’s SA Open, five shots behind tournament champion, Denmark’s Julie Tvede, at the Durban Country Club on Saturday.
Both golfers maintained their overnight advantage at the top of the leaderboard, while good news for the local crowd was the performance from Westville amateur, Pam Hayward, whose first appearance on the Ladies African Tour this year brought her the honour of finishing as the leading amateur with a final round of 77, three over par for the tournament.
The Pinetown Girls High teacher, who lost in the playoff two weeks ago at the Eastern Cape Amateur Championships, only started playing competitive golf three years ago. Second round amateur leader Bertine Strauss ended the tournament in disappointment, after her openbing 4-under round of 69 was followed by a 76 on Friday, and sinking further to a 83 on Saturday.
Meanwhile, overnight leader Tvede held on to her second-round lead to force a one shot win in the event with a final round of 74, 10 under par for the tournament, as the heat and a fairly strong wind coming off the sea on the front nine seemed to affect the players.
Tvede, who had a bogey free second round on Friday, had a shaky start this morning. Her first tee shot went into the rough and buried itself in a divot on the left of the fairway. With a rescue club she punched it out, only to be left short, to card her first bogey of the day.
On the par four 7th hole, Tvede found herself in the bunker, only to pitched it out ten feet passed the hole and drop a further shot. Things started to look up when the Dane claimed her first birdie of the day on the par five 8th hole, to keep a one shot lead at the turn.
She sank a further two birdies on the 11th and 14th holes, only to get into trouble once more on the par three 15th hole. where she left it short and three putted. Although she had a good drive on the par four 16th, her second shot saw her in the bunker once more, and she didn’t recover from there.
She was unlucky again on the 17th hole when her putt just lipped out for par. The best round of the day with a score of 69 came from the Frenchwoman Anne-Lisa Caudal who said, " I was very comfortable today, even though I was playing alongside Julie, I just played each shot as it came".
Caudal’s first two birdies came on the par five 3rd and 5th holes off good drives and easy putts.
At the turn Caudal was only one shot behind the leader. Her drive off the 14th landed her in the bunker, but she recovered to within 150 metres. She then chipped up onto the green and holed the putt for her fourth birdie of the day.
On the par four 16th Caudal pushed her drive right of the fairway, but managed a good wedge shot to the 150 metre mark, and then holed the putt. It was on the 17th par four when Caudal hooked her drive left into a bush. She played a nine iron onto the green and two putted to put her first and only bogey on the card.
But it was down to the wire on the 18th and final hole when Caudal missed a birdie opportunity by half a metre, which would have forced a play off against Tvede. Caudal finished second with a -9 under par for the tournament.
The Ladies African Tour moves to Nelspruit for the first time next week, with the start of the Pam Golding Ladies International being played at the Nelspruit Golf Club on Thursday. Entrance is free.