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Ken Borland

Capricious Cape winds toy with the field, but Henry is comfortable

Posted on June 06, 2024 by Ken

While the capricious Cape winds toyed with most of the field, only nine golfers shooting under the par mark of 74, Kylie Henry flourished, posting a five-under-par 69 to lead after the first round of the Standard Bank Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club on Wednesday.

Coming from Scotland, Henry ought to be comfortable in the wind, and it showed in a top-class round that featured an eagle on her second hole, the par-five 11th, followed by four birdies and just a single bogey.

The winner of the opening event in this year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour, the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt, also in the Western Cape, went out from the 10th and reached the clubhouse in four-under, before coming home in one-under as the wind became stronger on her back nine.

“It was pretty windy today, but it does that here and I’ve had quite a lot of experience in the wind, most of the time I manage to judge it well. I do enjoy these good, strong courses. Royal Cape is a great layout and in really good condition, and Fancourt was amazing, a brilliant test.

“Some holes were really quite tough today, with crosswinds or the wind into you, but I played really good golf. I gave myself lots of birdie chances because my iron play was really solid, and then my putting was the best part of my game. It’s quite a tight course, so I drove the ball well too.

“Both nines are similar, but the wind just got stronger when I was on the front nine, so the back nine was slightly easier for me and I hit a lot of good shots,” Henry said.

South Africans Shawnelle de Lange (71) and Lora Assad (72) are Henry’s closest challengers, while compatriot Kiera Floyd is one of the six golfers who posted one-under-par 73.

Like a flower opening up its corolla to show the beauty within, this Sunshine Ladies Tour season has really seen Floyd unveil her huge talent. The 19-year-old finished tied-fourth in last week’s Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at Blue Valley, she was in contention after the first round of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Sun City, and she was tied-second going into the final round at Fancourt.

De Lange dropped only one shot, on the par-four 10th, but finished superbly with three birdies in the last four holes.

Assad began her round on the 10th and immediately dropped a shot, but she fought back brilliantly with birdies on the 13th, 14th, 16th and 18th holes. The 31-year-old suffered a couple of bogeys on the front nine, but finished well with a birdie to post two-under.

Floyd began a rollercoaster round on the 10th with a bogey, but reached the turn in two-under, before making one birdies and two bogeys coming home.

Frenchwomen Emie Peronnin and Ariane Klotz, Norway’s Maiken Bing Paulsen, Florentyna Parker of England and India’s Tvesa Malik, winner of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, are the other golfers on one-under-par.

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