Samantha Whateley delivered a mature and disciplined performance to lead the first round of the South African Women’s Stroke Play Championship at the 119th South African Amateur Championship qualifier on Sunday, 14 February 2021.
Whateley, who has risen to third in the WGSA Open Ranking following a run of eight consecutive top-10 finishes in the last 12 months, opened up a two shot lead in the opening round at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club.
She fired three birdies and one solitary bogey to finish on 2-under-par 70 and was the only player in red numbers on a day of tough scoring on the East Course.
“I’m very happy with how I played,” said the 17-year-old Country Club Johannesburg golfer.
“I can’t be unhappy with my putter and I’m delighted to have the lead.” – Country Club Johannesburg golfer, Samantha Whateley
“My goal was to try and hit every fairway today and I think I hit most of them and a lot of greens too. I missed a few putts, but overall I can’t be unhappy with my putter and I’m delighted to have the lead.”
The chasing pack is headed by rising stars Nadia van der Westhuizen and the country’s leading junior Megan Streicher, who registered level par rounds.
A further two strokes back sits a trio of Western Province golfers in Bobbi Brown, Kaylah Williams and Isabella van Rooyen, together with last year’s runner-up Larissa du Preez.
Defending champion Caitlyn Macnab got off to a flying start and was two under after eight holes, but lost seven shots in eight holes around the turn. A late eagle helped her repair some of the damage as she signed for a 3-over-par round of 75.
Twidale and van der Merwe Share B-Division Leaderboard
In the B-Division, Casey Twidale (13) and Lea van der Merwe (12) opened with rounds of 18-over to share the lead with 17-year-old Tyla Potgieter.
The event’s youngest participant, 10-year-old Lisa Coetzer, is one shot back and Senayah Moodliar is two off the pace.
The ladies now turn to the West Course for the final two rounds of the 54-hole tournament.
SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship Leaderboard (Top 20)
70 Samantha Whateley
72 Nadia van der Westhuizen; Megan Streicher
74 Bobbi Brown; Larissa du Preez; Isabella van Rooyen; Kaylah Williams
75 Kera Healey; Kyra van Kan; Gabrielle Venter; Caitlyn Macnab
76 Kiera Floyd; Kaylan Boshof; Liezl Smit
79 Stephanie Barbaglia; Demi Flanagan; Marine Legentil; Jordan Rothman
80 Crystal Beukes
81 Bronwyn Leigh Doeg; Heidi van der Berg; Eleonora Galletti; Victoria
Monod SUI; Anika Smit
B-Division Leaderboard (Top 10):
90 Lea van der Merwe; Tyla Potgieter; Casey Twidale
91 Lisa Coetzer
92 Senayah Moodliar
93 Valda Ford
95 Kaitlyn van de Vyver
96 Gia Raad; Veronica Paddy; Ame van der Merwe; Debra Isabel Allnut; Kaylee
Photo 1 Caption: Samantha Whateley took a two-shot lead on two-under in the opening round of the SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington. Photo: Ernest Blignault.
With editing by gsport