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CAPE TOWN, 18 March 2020 – Never in a million years could Kaiyuree Moodley guess that one of her worst rounds would lay the groundwork for her biggest career achievement – winning the leading amateur honour in the 2020 Investec SA Women’s Open.

2020 ISAWO Crop KaiyureeMoodley AliceHewson Trophies

2020 Investec SA Women’s Open amateur winner Kaiyuree Moodley and champion Alison Hewson from England at Westlake Golf Club. (Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour. Images are free for user with editorial.)

Coming off a runner-up finish in the KwaZulu-Natal Championship at Durban Country Club, the pintsized 18-year-old was relishing the opportunity of qualifying for the Sunshine Ladies Tour season-finale in the City of Cape Town last week.

Moodley and the rest of the qualifying field were greeted by a raging 55km per hour gale at Westlake Golf Club on Monday, 9 March.

Gunning for one of the five spots on offer, the former Youth Olympian was nearly reduced to tears after posting 81. “It was the worst score I’d posted in a very long time. I was incredibly distraught. I quite certain that I was going home,” said the GolfRSA Elite Squad member. “Then, as the rest of the girls came off the course, I realised that my 81 was actually not too bad.”

When action wrapped up, Moodley finished just one shot behind Swiss winner Clara Pietri.

“It was without a doubt the worst conditions I’d ever played in. Add the stress of trying to outplay the professionals…it was very stressful and I was devastated when I walked off the course. Never in a million years did I think 81 but an hour later, I’d made it. It was a dream come true when I realised that I was going to tee it up in the Investec SA Womens’ Open.”

Moodley teed it up in the field of 132 from 26 countries with an iron-will to succeed.

She fired rounds of 74 and 75 and when the cut to 60 and ties fell at six-over, the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member was the only amateur left in the field for the final round.

She teed it up on Sunday, 14 march alongside 70 professionals and sealed a top 46 finish with a final round 75.

“It was a bit surreal knowing that I already won the Jackie Mercer Trophy when I teed off in the final round, but I still tried to put the best score I could on the card,” Moodley said. “The biggest highlight of competing on the Sunshine Ladies Tour this year was the opportunity to play with the professionals and getting a first-hand look at how they manage their games.

“I was really happy with my driving accuracy during the three rounds. I only missed four or five fairways during the whole tournament. That is definitely one of the strengths of my game. One of the biggest learning curves in the Investec SA Women’s Open was playing with a yardage book only. We are allowed to use range-finders on the amateur circuit, so learning how to pace things out and using the yardage book was a bit challenging.

“I’m proud of how I handled that and everything else. It was extremely good to play with the pros and to observe their course management. I am heading to the United States later this year to take up a golf scholarship and it’s great to leave South Africa on a high note after this championship.”

The South African amateur began her season in the USA, where she represented Team Annika in the annual Major Champions Invitational in Phoenix, Arizona. The team, captained by Major champion and Golf World of winner and World Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam, finished top five.

On her return to South Africa, Moodley reached the semi-finals of the Aon South African Amateur Championship after qualifying with a top 7 finish in the Aon South African Women’s Stroke Play at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

“I was invited by Annika and the Annika Foundation to join the team after my runner-up finish in last year’s Annika Invitational USA,” Moodley explained.

“It was one of the most amazing experiences of my career to meet Annika in 2019. I also became good friends with some the top international golfers who competed in the event. Competing in the ANNIKA Invitational opened a lot of doors for me and I am grateful for the support from my family, Womens Golf South Africa, GolfRSA and more recently, the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation for giving me so many opportunities to advance my career.

“Coming off the runner-up finish at Durban Country Club, I felt well prepared for the Investec SA Women’s Open and once I made it into the field I used every opportunity to learn and improve,” Moodley said.

“My heroes in the game are Ernie Els and Nicole Garcia. It was a dream come true to spend time with Nicole on the Sunshine Ladies Tour this season. The biggest lesson Nicole she taught me was to not let small things upset me or my game. Golf is a hard and long journey. She said that to become a champion, you have to have to turn a deaf ear to those who tell you that you can’t do it, do it anyway and prove everyone wrong.

“I am really proud of myself for not letting the 81 in the qualifier get to me. I followed Nicole’s advice and went out there and played to the best of my ability. It was a truly special moment when I stood next to the champion Alice Hewson to receive the Jackie Mercer Trophy. It’s a memory I will cherish forever. I was four years old when my mom bought me a plastic set of clubs at Pick n Pay. Who would have thought that a little set of plastic clubs would have started me on this amazing journey?”


Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of GolfRSA.

RONDEBOSCH, 5 March 2020 – GolfRSA National Squad members Carl Mwale and Kera Healey claimed the biggest wins of their young careers when they captured their respective divisions of the Nomads South African Juniors International on Thursday.

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PHOTO - GolfRSA National Squad members Carl Mwale and Kera Healey claimed the biggest wins of their young careers when they captured their respective divisions of the Nomads South African Juniors International at Rondebosch Golf Club; credit GolfRSA.

Kera Healey 12

Healey went wire-to-wire at Rondebosch Golf Club, courtesy of a flawless seven-under-par 65 in the opening round that earned her an eight-shot lead on the field.

“It was the lowest round in my career and it was just amazing. I was sinking putts from everywhere and if I missed a green, I would up-and-down to save par. It definitely set me up for the win,” said the 17-year-old Healey.

The reigning GolfRSA Ladies Club Champion of Champions grinded out a 74 on a much tougher scoring day in the second round to stay at the summit, but was struck down with stomach cramps on the final day.

Despite the discomfort, Healey stuck it out and still managed to enjoy a comfortable four-shot victory over Bobbi Brown from Western Province with a final round 78.

“When I came down here I was thinking anyone could win this, so why couldn’t it be me. The first round everything just went my way, and I just stayed very patient in the second round. I scrambled well to hold on to the lead and I was feeling positive coming into the final round.

“When the cramps hit, I was determined to play through the pain, because I don’t like pulling out of competitions. At one point I was doubled over from the cramping and I’m really proud that I kept fighting and got the win against a really strong field.”

Mwale’s path to victory was a much tighter affair, with the final group of three players all having their chances to claim the win.

The 17-year-old tapped in for bogey on the 54th hole to sign for a final-round 74 that was good enough to edge Travis Proctor and Malan Potgieter by a single stroke. He finished on three-under 213 with rounds of 70, 69 and 74.

“The wind was a bit stronger today and we were all feeling some nerves because we were playing in the final group,” Mwale explained. “I had a couple of bad holes, but I kept my composure through the whole round and 74 was the best score I could have shot today. I’m delighted to have won.”

The South African Golf Development Board golfer led by two shots at the turn, but dropped shots at the 11th and 12th brought him back into a tie for the lead. “It changed my mind-set,” he said. “I said to myself, ‘OK, so now you are level. You need to do something special.’”

He came back with birdies at the par-five 13th and the par-four 15th and when Potgieter bogeyed the 16th, Mwale’s lead was back to two, however, an errant tee shot on the par-five 17th had him under pressure once again.

“I was so stressed walking up to my ball not knowing if it was out of bounds,” he said.

“Luckily I found it and managed to punch it out and I made a comfortable par. That point was probably the happiest I’ve ever felt in a round in my life.”

Mwale could even afford a bogey on the last as he wrapped up his first national win and his first Nomads title.

The Eagle Canyon duo was delighted with the result.

“It’s amazing to get a big international win like this so early in the season,” Healy said. “With the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship just two weeks away, I hope I can get over the stomach bug quickly. This win has given me a lot of confidence and I definitely want to shoot for back-to-back Nomads wins at Kloof Country Club.”

Mwale was equally pleased to break through for his first national title just two weeks before the Nomads SA Boys U-19 Stroke Play Championship.

“Nomads sponsor so many great tournaments on the junior circuit and we all strive to win at least one Nomads event in our junior careers,” he said. “I’m so grateful that I could come down here and get my first Nomads win.”

Looking ahead, Mwale is aiming to take advantage of the opportunities brought to him by SAGDB and the GolfRSA National Squad.

“Being part of the National Squad has been a goal of mine since I was 14, because that’s where your elite golfers are,” he said. “Not just good golfers. but gentlemen who have respect for the game. I’m proud to be in the GolfRSA National Squad because I am seen as one of those gentlemen.

“I’d love to stay in the form I’m in right now but I’m not afraid of having dips in form. Dips are where you learn the most about your game and I know that when I come out of the dip I will have grown a bit more and be a better player.”

The Nomads South African Juniors International forms part of the popular Global Junior Golf, an international series of championship events played across the globe.

This year marked the ninth edition of the South African leg, and the first of three years with Nomads backing the highly-rated amateur world golf ranking event.

The tournament was hosted by Pro Golf Events from the Netherlands and further supported by Rondebosch Golf Club, Western Province Golf, GolfRSA, Market Toyota Rondebosch East, Cobra Puma Golf and Coca Cola Peninsula Beverages.

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