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Ken Borland



Kreuzer able to make winning birdie putt 2nd time round 0

Posted on May 13, 2024 by Ken

Helen Kreuzer was able to make the 10ft putt for birdie on the first playoff hole that she had missed shortly before in regulation play on the par-five 18th, giving the German her first professional title as she won the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at the Blue Valley Golf Estate on Friday.

Kreuzer reached the 72nd hole on 12-under-par, back-to-back threes on the par-four 16th and 17th holes seeing her catch up with Tina Mazarino at the top of the leaderboard. But while the missed putt forced her to settle for par and a playoff with the Norwegian, Kreuzer was then able to take advantage of the wide fairways at the Gary Player design, and went for the green in two after a great drive, which would have pleased him.

“I hit a really good drive on the first playoff hole on 18 and decided to go for it with a three-wood. I was just off the green and I managed to get up-and-down, sinking the putt I missed for birdie during my round,” Kreuzer explained afterwards.

“It’s my first professional win so I feel amazing, the only other thing that comes close is maybe winning the national championship at college with Lynn University.”

With Mazarino producing a brilliant round of 65 to overtake those who had set the pace after the first two rounds, Kreuzer had to play at her best to catch the 23-year-old.

Kreuzer was superb on the front nine, playing in the final group with leader Ellen Hutchinson-Kay, going out in just 30 strokes. She began her round birdie-par-eagle and further birdies on the fifth, eighth and ninth holes saw her grab the lead.

But she then suffered a double setback when she bogeyed the par-four 10th and 11th holes.

“I was really on top of my game, hitting the ball close and my putter was hot. Ellen also played really well on the front nine, and it was good to be in the final group with her because that kept me going and I always felt I needed a few more birdies to get ahead of her.

“But then on 10 there was a very tough pin, I hit my approach a little long and bogey was not the end of the world there. And then on 11 a three-foot par putt just lipped out. You then have to tell yourself to stay in the moment and keep playing,” Kreuzer said.

The 25-year-old from Frankfurt certainly showed her mettle with that late pair of birdies.

“I was really excited about playing in the final group and keen to see what the day would bring. It was a great group, we had a lot of fun and all enjoyed ourselves, just taking it shot-by-shot. I was very pleased to pull through for the win. It was a big achievement, and now being able to play in the two Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned events on the Sunshine Tour is what I came for,” Kreuzer said.

While Hutchinson-Kay reached the turn on 11-under, she struggled on the back nine with bogeys on the 11th and 14th holes leaving her in third place.

Another German, Verena Gimmy, made a late charge up the leaderboard with a scintillating 64 to finish in a tie for fourth on eight-under-par with compatriot Carolin Kauffmann (69) and leading South African Kiera Floyd (68).

Pretoria Country Club’s Danielle du Toit also had an excellent final day, shooting a 66 to share seventh place on seven-under with Romy Meekers (69) and Ariane Klotz (72), who was second going into the last round.

Hutchinson-Kay recovers from rollercoaster front nine to claim outright lead 0

Posted on May 10, 2024 by Ken

Sweden’s Ellen Hutchinson-Kay recovered from a rollercoaster front nine to come home in bogey-free three-under and claim the outright lead after the second round of the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at the Blue Valley Golf Estate on Thursday.

Hutchinson-Kay, a product of the American College system, graduating from the University of Mississippi, shot a wonderful five-under-par 67 in the penultimate round to move to nine-under-par overall, two shots ahead of Frenchwoman Ariane Klotz.

The 25-year-old Hutchinson-Kay had a dramatic opening nine holes with a bogey, a double-bogey, three birdies and an eagle to reach the turn on two-under. But she showed her temperament with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th, and then a birdie on the par-five 15th to ensure the lead was her’s alone. After the first round, Hutchinson-Kay shared top spot on four-under-par with England’s Georgia Coughlin and South African Kiera Floyd.

Hutchinson-Kay dropped her first shot on the par-three second, but then went racing into the lead with a run of birdie-birdie-eagle, making a three on the par-five fifth. But the 344m par-four seventh then proved her downfall as she made double-bogey.

Once again she bounced back, however, with a birdie on the par-three eighth and it was smooth sailing thereafter for a golfer who is taking her first steps into European golf and is in her first full year as a professional.

Coughlin endured an even more hellish time, going out in 40 with five bogeys and a lone birdie on the third, and things were no better coming home as she signed for an 80 with three more bogeys and a double on the par-four 14th. Not even a birdie at the last could save her from missing the cut.

Klotz dominated the Gary Player design, also shooting 67 and not dropping a shot in a superb display of controlled golf. Germany’s Helen Kreuzer was in third place a shot further back on six-under, after a 68 that had just one bogey, on the par-four 16th.

Germany’s Carolin Kauffmann (70) and Norwegian Tina Mazarino (68) shared fourth place on five-under-par.

Floyd went out in 34 despite making two bogeys, but she slipped down the leaderboard with three drops on the back nine, before a birdie at the last lifted her to four-under, in a tie for sixth with consistent Dutchwoman Romy Meekers and the other leading South African, Stacy Bregman (70).

SA prodigy among a trio of leaders 0

Posted on May 08, 2024 by Ken

Kiera Floyd, a 19-year-old South African prodigy and Englishwoman Georgia Coughlin, who took to the sport late, are leading alongside Ellen Hutchinson-Kay, a Swede who came through the U.S. College system, after the first round of the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge at the Blue Valley Golf Estate on Wednesday.

The trio all started on the 10th tee and posted four-under-par 68s on a sweltering day in Centurion, giving them a one-stroke lead over six golfers on three-under on a congested leaderboard.

Floyd won the Benoni Country Club Ladies Championship aged nine, she finished third in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Classic aged 14, and she won the South African Women’s Strokeplay Championship in 2022 before turning professional at the beginning of last year. She has already racked up three more top-10 finishes on tour.

On Wednesday Floyd birdied the 10th, 12th, 17th and 18th holes to go out in 33, and although the front nine proved more challenging, a birdie at the ninth saw her come home in one-under.

Coughlin only took up golf when she was 16 and living in Saudi Arabia, but by the time she was 23 she had a Ladies European Tour card.

The 28-year-old had a dramatic start with three birdies and a bogey in her first four holes, going out in 34 and then making further gains with birdies on the first and fourth holes. Coughlin closed bogey-birdie, as did Hutchinson-Kay and Floyd.

Hutchinson-Kay is a University of Mississippi graduate and she also turned pro last year. The 25-year-old finished just outside the top-10 in the previous Sunshine Ladies Tour event, the SuperSport Ladies Challenge.

On Wednesday, Hutchinson-Key did the bulk of her scoring in a fantastic run of four birdies in five holes from the 14th.

For Floyd, the back nine (her front) was also the time to capitalise.

“Today was a good day, I hit the ball really nicely and gave myself lots of opportunities, which you have to grab when you can. This course definitely suits us big-hitters, it’s always open and you can let go a bit. I was normally hitting seven-iron into the greens,” Floyd said.

“I didn’t give myself as much opportunity on the front nine, but I pulled through in the end, to finish with a tap-in birdie was really nice. I made two silly mistakes that cost me birdies, but that’s okay, you just have to move on. You need to keep level-headed and not get ahead of yourself.”

The Sunshine Ladies Tour golfers showed their talents in impressive fashion on Wednesday at the oblong Blue Valley Golf Estate, despite the heat, with 27 of the 61-strong field finishing under-par. The increased opportunities provided by the tour are clearly paying off, and are attracting strong international competition, and it is thanks to partners like Fidelity ADT.

Wahl Bartmann, the CEO of Fidelity Services Group, said “As Southern Africa’s largest integrated security solutions provider, we are committed to uplifting and supporting women’s professional sport. Our partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour allows us to show our support tangibly and help create more opportunities for women in sport.” 

Renier von Zeuner, the Group Sponsorship Manager, added “We have been involved with the SA Open, as well as the Senior Tour, for a number of years, so adding a Sunshine Ladies Tour event to our portfolio is a tremendous privilege. We are honoured to contribute to the work done by the Sunshine Ladies Tour team, and incredibly proud of our group’s commitment to women’s sport.”

SA pros eager to grab silverware after overseas conquest 0

Posted on May 07, 2024 by Ken

CENTURION, Gauteng – South Africa’s Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals are eager to grab the silverware after the overseas contingent’s conquest of the opening two tournaments this season, when the third event, the Fidelity ADT Ladies Challenge, gets underway at Blue Valley Golf Estate from Wednesday.

Scotland’s Kylie Henry opened the season with victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt, and India’s Tvesa Malik then triumphed at the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Lost City.

Lejan Lewthwaite will lead the local challenge as the highest-ranked South African in the order of merit playing in the R250 000 tournament, currently in 16th position.

“It’s only a matter of time, I believe, before we have a South African winner this season. There are a lot of really good local golfers and this is only the third event, so we are still getting into the season,” Lewthwaite said.

“I’m definitely confident in the talent we have and any one of us can win this week. But there are a lot of European golfers over in South Africa at the moment, a lot of the top players in the order of merit will be playing, so it is still a very strong field. We will have to keep our games on point.”

Both Henry, who leads the order of merit, and Malik will be teeing it up on the Gary Player design, while Romy Meekers, Lauren Taylor, Ana Dawson and Helen Kreuzer are all in the top-10 of the standings and have entered this week.

Lewthwaite finished 20th at both Fancourt and Lost City and her autopsy of her performance so far makes her feel that a strong performance is around the corner.

“I’m hitting the ball quite well but things have just not gone my way yet. That can be the difference between finishing 20th or top-10 and even contending, you need things to fall your way.

“But the game is there and I just need to build some momentum and I’ll be on my way. I enjoy Blue Valley, it’s a very nice course and should be in good condition. It’s pretty open off the tees and I just want to play to my own strengths, which is a sharp short game. I read the greens well so I’ll be pretty confident around Blue Valley,” Lewthwaite said.

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