Dream win for Du Preez at Gauteng Champs

LarissaJOHANNESBURG, 19 August 2016 – Gauteng North’s Larissa du Preez was absolutely delighted when she celebrated her first provincial success with an impressive four stroke victory in the ProShop Ladies Golf Gauteng 36-hole Stroke Play Championship this week.

The 20-year-old Gauteng North amateur was the only player to finish the first round in red numbers and a two-under-par 70 in the blustery weather at Parkview Golf Club saw her sleep on a three shot lead over Caitlyn Macnab from Ekurhuleni.

The conditions intensified in the final round, but once Du Preez overcame a nervy start, she showed some exceptional skills in the robust wind that bullied the field and battled to a hard-fought for 77 to triumph on three-over-par 147.

“I prepared really well for this tournament with my coach, Dieter Snyders,” said the Akasia Country Club golfer. “We went out on the course quite lot to practice low shots and some new shots that could help me in windy conditions.

“I was able to navigate the wind really well in the first round to take the lead, but I had never led a tournament at this level before and I was really nervous at the start of the final round. I birdied the first hole, but then I dropped four shots in succession and had another bogey at the eighth.

“The conditions were extremely tough and the wind was between two to three clubs. When we turned, I still had a three shot lead, so I just put my head down and kept fighting. I’m really pleased that I managed a birdie at 11, but even happier that I only dropped two shots down the back nine.

“This win really means a lot to me, because I’ve worked non-stop towards this and it feels incredibly good to get that first win in the bag.”

It was certainly an outstanding feat for the unheralded Du Preez.

Having outperformed eight of the top 10 players in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings at Parkview, Du Preez moved to 13th in the standings and will be eager to continue that upward momentum.

She beat Woo-Ju Son, Macnab and Kajal Mistry – ranked fourth, sixth and eight respectively – by four shots and finished six shots clear of the country’s leading amateur Ivanna Samu, who tied for fifth with third ranked Zethu Myeki and Eleonora Galletti, ranked 12th.

Her prowess in the wind could also come in very handy at Umhlali Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal in October, where Gauteng North will be looking to get back into the winner’s circle in the South African Women’s Inter-Provincial Championship in October.

The Western Province broke Gauteng North’s seven-year stranglehold on the prestigious event with a sublime performance at Royal Cape Golf Club in 2014 and Gauteng handed the host union a punishing defeat in last year’s event at Centurion Country Club.

PHOTO – ProShop Ladies Golf Gauteng 36-hole Stroke Play Championship winner Larissa du Preez; credit Ladies Golf Gauteng.