Gauteng North rising star Danielle du Toit edged out local favourite Azelia Meichtry to celebrate a third victory this season in the Southern Cape Championship in George on Sunday.
The 17-year-old from Pretoria Country Club staved off a spirited challenge from the top ranked Swiss amateur to clinch a one stroke victory at Oubaai Golf Club.
“I am really, really proud of this win, because Azelia applied a lot of pressure in the final round,” said the Grade 11 Menlo Park scholar.
“I knew off the bat that Azelia was going to be tough to beat when she finished within two strokes of me after round two. She lives down in the Southern Cape and she is familiar with the courses and conditions in the region.
“My only aim for this tournament was to try and minimize mistakes and to take advantage at the holes where I could get up birdie opportunities. I’m really proud that I kept my focus and stayed calm and in the moment to close it out.
“To finish ahead of Azelia is a huge confidence booster for the rest of the season, because she is a class player with a lot of international experience and a great competitor.”
Du Toit lagged two off the pace from Gauteng’s Kajal Mistry after an opening 71 and – despite a double bogey finish in the second round, she set the 36-hole target at three-under-par 141. She began the final round two shots clear of KeNako Golf Academy’s Meichtry, who carded rounds of 70 and 73.
The Pretoria Country Club player kept the reigns through the turn, but Meichtry closed the gap with birdies at 12 and 13 and the Swiss amateur grabbed a share of the lead at five under when Du Toit dropped a shot at the pat three 14th.
Both players birdied 15, but Du Toit holed a birdie putt at 16 to reclaim the lead and matched Meichtry with pars over the closing holes to seal the victory.
Du Toit converted a handful of top 10 finishes in 2015 with her first provincial victory in the 35th Ackerman Championship in October and carried that winning form to turns in the winner’s circle at the World Amateur Reunion Championship in March.
Runner-up finishes in the Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng Championships in March and May suggested another victory was imminent and Du Toit delivered when she defeated number one ranked senior Ivanna Samu for the Nomads SA Girls Championship title in June.
She won the Liberty GNGU Gauteng North Match Play in July and reached the semi-final of the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur a week later.
“I can definitely see how my game has improved and that I am getting more consistent in my results,” Du Toit said. “You put in so much time into improving your game and it makes all of that effort worthwhile when you can convert those performances into another victory.”
SOUTHERN CAPE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
A-DIVISION (TOP 20)
208 Danielle Du Toit 71 70 67
209 Azelia Meichtry 70 73 66
218 Casandra Hall 72 76 70; Kajal Mistry 69 75 74
219 Shawnelle De Lange 75 70 74
220 Sarah Bouch 73 76 71; Kelsey Nicholas 73 74 73
222 Lenanda Van der Watt 76 74 72
223 Zethu Myeki 74 79 70
224 Chiara Contomathios 73 74 77
225 Symone Henriques 76 73 76
227 Tara Griebenow 80 75 72; Siviwe Duma 78 73 76
228 Klara Wildhaber 80 79 69; Ethel Ruthenberg 80 78 70; Caitlyn Macnab 77 78 73; Cara Ford 76 73 79
229 Chloe Royston 73 79 77; Sandra Winter 72 76 81