Lau revels in SA Girl’s Rose Bowl double

2016NSARB_DukeLau_GNGUPORT ELIZABETH, 22 March 2016 – Gauteng North junior Catherine Lau celebrated a welcome return to the winner’s circle when she lifted the Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl Championship title for the second time in three years at Port Elizabeth Golf Club.

The 15-year-old Woodhill golfer shot a final round 69 to triumph by three strokes on three under 213.

Symone Henriques closed with a 71 to finish second, one shot clear of Ivanna Samu, who aced the par-three 17th on her way to a 71 and sole third on one over 217.

Lau returned to competition in January following hip surgery in May last year and was absolutely delighted to win the prestigious championship for a second time since 2013.

“I was diagnosed with Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) last year,” Lau said. “My femur and hip joint didn’t fit together properly and the constant grinding caused a hip labral tear. I had to have surgery and the surgeon warned me that I would be out for at least nine months.

“I was on crutches for three months and I was itching to get back on the golf course. I began to practice in January and I worked really hard to get my game back into shape. But I had no idea what to expect when I entered the Gauteng North Junior Championship.

“I was really excited to tie for third and when I tied for seventh in the Curro SA Juniors International earlier this month against such a strong field, I gained a lot of confidence for this week.”

Lau lagged two off the pace from South Africa’s top ranked junior Woo-Ju Son after an opening 75 in pouring rain, but made the most of the sunny conditions in the round two to grab a share of the lead with Son.

She was flawless over the first nine holes and negated a bogey at 10 with birdie at 11. Lau added a pair of gains at 13 and 14 and birdied 18 for a 69.

“There wasn’t much win when we started the final round, but the course still played quite long,” Lau said. “I hit a six-iron to 12 feet at the fifth and made the birdie putt, but I gave it back at the next hole when I couldn’t up-and-down for par.”

Lau hit an eight-iron to three feet and boxed the birdie putt at seven and holed a 30-footer for birdie at the par five eighth to pull clear of the field.  She made eight consecutive pars from the ninth, birdied 17 and made par at 18 to seal the victory.

“The wind picked up on the back nine and it was blowing really strong over the last four holes,” Lau said. “I had to hit driver, three wood and nine-iron to get on the green at the last hole, so it was at least a four club wind.

“I can’t believe that I won so quickly after my comeback. The Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl is one of our two most prestigious championships on the national junior circuit. The competition was really fierce and that’s why I’m really excited about this victory.”

Fellow Tshwane golfer Cleo Jordaan carded rounds of 84, 85 and 83 to win the B-Division.

The Akasia golfer finished on 36 over, five strokes ahead of La-Eeqah Adams from Western Province.

Durbanville junior Kirsten Basson from claimed the C-Division on 67 points with rounds of 32 and 35 and Mikah Poonawassy from Kimberley Golf Club took the D-Division honours with a six point victory after posting rounds of 37 and 35.

213 Catherine Lau 75 69 69
216 Symone Henriques 76 69 71
217 Ivanna Samu 74 72 71
221 Woo-Ju Son 73 71 77
224 Danielle Du Toit 80 71 73; Kaleigh Telfer 75 72 77
225 Kajal Mistry 76 76 73; Brittney-Fay Berger 74 74 77
230 Caitlyn Macnab 78 76 76; Kaiyuree Moodley 78 76 76 

252 Cleo Jordaan 84 85 83
257 La-Eeqah Adams 80 87 90
260 Petrone Rudolph 87 84 89
262 Amore Steyn 89 88 85
267 Jessica Carrie Green 96 87 84; Hannah Venter 90 89 88

67 Kristen Basson 32 35
59 Kamaya Moodliar 26 33
58 Leone Van der Westhuizen 29 29
56 Nikita Bossr 24 32 

72 Mikah Poonawassy 37 35
66 Danielle Foster 35 31
65 Kristen Jakobsen 30 35
58 Monique Jansen 27 31

PHOTO – 2016 Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl champion Catherine Lau with Nomads Golforama chairman Duke Nel; credit WGSA.