Gauteng North’s Carrie Park claimed her first Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur title in a thrilling final with Ivanna Samu at Kloof Country Club in July. Park, who in 2014 won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play title but had never made it to the match play final before this, beat Samu with a birdie on the 23rd hole.
“I am thrilled. I never expected to beat Ivanna on a par five because she hits it so much further than me,” said Park.
Park made it into the final with a 5&4 victory over Mae Cornforth in the morning, while Samu went through with a 4&3 win over Kloof’s Brittney-Fay Berger. Cornforth is a 20-year-old golfer who grew up in Vryburg, the same hometown as Sunshine Tour legend Des Terblanche and who used to be coached by the big man.
It was an incredible final in which both golfers had chances to win. Over the extra holes, Park played some sublime approach shots but couldn’t make the putts, while Samu kept herself in the match with some incredible recoveries and solid putting. But on the par-five fifth hole, Samu had to play her third from behind a tree. She managed to putt it onto the green, and missed her next putt. Park was standing over a 15-footer for birdie and holed the putt.
“Ivanna was playing so well and I just couldn’t make any putts. I couldn’t read lines and didn’t feel comfortable on the greens. But I knew it was a match in which whoever made the putts was going to win it. I just had to make that putt.
“This means so much to me. I just tried to stay calm out there and keep doing what I can do and not worry about her game.”
Park’s victory came only a few days after her win in the Gauteng North match play. “After winning the Gauteng North match play last week I didn’t think I had a chance this week. But I put a lot of hard work into this.”
Earlier, on the Tuesday before the semis and final, South African number one Samu beat two of her friends in the third round and quarter-finals. In the morning she knocked out Woo-Ju Son 5&3, and then in the afternoon she had to work hard to beat Natasha Carlsson 1 up.
“It’s tough playing against all my friends. But it happens. As they say, no mercy on the golf course.”
Park beat Lejan Lewthwaite 3&2 in the third round and then Zethu Myeki 2&1 in the quarters. She looked full of confidence against Lewthwaite, and then had to dig deep in a tough match against Myeki only a few days after playing her in the Gauteng North Championship that Park won.
On the Monday, for the second year in succession, Ethel Ruthenberg shattered Cara Gorlei’s Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship dreams.
The 22-year-old Ruthenberg beat Gorlei 1 up in the second round, this coming after she defeated her in the first round last year.
The loss to Ruthenberg was a tremendous blow for the 19-year-old Gorlei, a decorated amateur who won the 36-hole stroke play seeding tournament for this event on the Sunday and was hoping for a big week in a year in which she’s been in great form, particularly in match play.
This was her last tournament before she takes up a golf scholarship at Arkansas University this month.
Round 1: Aaliyah Abrahams lost to Ethel Ruthenberg 1 down; Shawnelle de Lange beat Sandra Clarke Walkover; Chloe Royston beat Cherylynn Croome 4 & 3; Siviwe Duma beat Lindi Coetzee 2 & 1; Symone Henriques beat Pippa Payne 1 up; Chiara Contomathios lost to Courtenay James 3 & 2; Lejan Lewthwaite beat Rachelle Cardinal 8 & 7; Yolanda Duma beat Andrea Manuel 7 & 6; Tania Lyon beat Chanelle Botha 4 & 2; Michelle Swanepoel lost to Kim Strauss 2 & 1; Cara Gorlei – bye; Eleonora Galletti – bye; Danielle Du Toit – bye; Brittney-Fay Berger – bye; Izel Pieters – bye; Ivanna Samu – bye; Jessica Shurety lost to Jane Mackenzie 4 & 2; Crystal Beukes beat Elham Shaik 5 & 4; Lauren Bekker beat Yzelle Greyling 7 & 6; Jacqui Akers beat Courtney Sykes 5 & 3; Elsune Roode beat Nicola Nel 5 & 4; Ashleigh Mills beat Lizzie Currie 6 & 5; Katia Shaff beat Charlize Coetzer 6 & 5; Millie Zim-Dondashe beat Cara Ford 2 up; Chante van Zyl beat Sharyn Owen 6 & 4; Demi Flanagan lost to Minette Olivier 3 & 2; Mae Cornforth – bye; Carrie Park – bye; Zethu Myeki – bye; Michaela Fletcher – bye; Natasha Carlsson – bye; Woo-Ju Son – bye.
Round 2: Gorlei lost to Ruthenberg 1 down; De Lange beat Royston 4 & 3; Cornforth beat Siviwe Duma 3 & 2; Galletti beat Henriques 4 & 3;Park beat ames 7 & 5; Lewthwaite beat Yolanda Duma 5 & 4; Du Toit beat Lyon 2 up; Myeki beat Strauss 5 & 3; Berger beat Mackenzie 2 & 1;Beukes beat Bekker 2 & 1; Fletcher lost to Akers 3 & 2; Pieters beat Roode 4 & 3; Carlsson beat Mills 2 up; Shaff beat Zim-Dondashe 3 & 2; Samu beat Van Zyl 2 up; Woo-Ju beat Olivier 3 & 1.
Round 3: Ruthenberg lost to De Lange 1 down; Cornforth beat Galletti 5 & 4; Park beat Lewthwaite 3 & 2; Du Toit lost to Myeki 3 & 2; Berger beat Beukes 4 & 3; Akers beat Pieters 4 & 2; Carlsson beat Shaff 19th; Samu beat Woo-Ju 5 & 3.
Quarter-finals: De Lange lost to Cornforth 3 & 2; Park beat Myeki 2 & 1; Berger beat Akers 4 & 2; Carlsson lost to Samu 1 down.
Semi-finals: Park beat Cornforth 5 & 4, Samu beat Berger 4 & 3.
Final: Park beat Samu at the 23rd hole.
Championship Division 3 & 4 Playoff
Mae Cornforth (North West) beat Brittney-Fay Berger (KZN) 6 & 4.
Plate Division Final: Michelle Swanepoel (North West) beat Cara Ford (Gauteng) 1-Up.
Plate Division 3 & 4 Playoff: Jessica Shurety (KZN) beat Pippa Payne (KZN) 4 & 2.