• Buhai cruises to Canon win

    Buhai
    Win number 10

    South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai went wire-to-wire at Irene Country Club to complete a convincing four-shot victory on 8-under in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club.

    She could not match her opening two rounds of 67 and 68, but with a lone bogey over three rounds, the win was never in doubt and she pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to 10 with a final round 1-over 73.

    Defending champion Stacy Bregman soared up the leaderboard with a closing 4-under 68 to finish second on her own at 4-under.

    Yet another South African, Lejan Lewthwaite, also made strides with a third-round 68 to take third on 2-under. England’s Lauren Taylor was fourth on 1-under and former South African Women’s Open champion Thandi McCallum from South Africa completed the top-five on level par for the week.

    ‘I’m very happy to pull off the win this week in the first tournament of the year,’ said Buhai, whose only drop in the tournament was a soft bogey at the 52nd hole.

    ‘Today was quite scrappy, but that’s just what you have to do to try and win. Thank goodness there were no pictures on the scorecard. I learnt that I just had to stay patient and keep grinding.

    ‘The course played a little tougher. There were some low scores, but thank goodness I had that seven-shot lead starting the round. I knew I had that comfort zone. After nine, I knew I wasn’t going to hit it close, so I just started going for the big part of the greens, and taking my two-putts to make as many pars as I could coming in.

    ‘I think a few years ago I would have got more frustrated with myself, and would probably have made quite a few more bogeys. Today, I trusted my ability, especially with my putter. I made one bogey in 54 holes, so I’m really chuffed with that.’

    Buhai leaves on Saturday to compete in two LPGA events and one LET event in Australia, and returns in March to take up her title defence in the R2-million South African Women’s Open at Westlake, which is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

    Bregman, who won the 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit last year, and former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who withdrew after nine holes in the second round after the onset of a migraine, will also be making the trip down under.

    Eighteen-year-old Symone Henriques was second after an opening round 70.

    She slipped from contention with an 80 in the second round, but bounced back to overtake fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry with a final round 74 to win the amateur honours on 8-over 224.

    The Sunshine Ladies Tour moves to Serengeti Estates next for the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on 5 and 6 February. Teams of two will compete in the Betterball format for the lion’s share of the R100 000 prize fund.

    Final Result

    208 – Ashleigh Buhai 67 68 73

    212 – Stacy Bregman 72 72 68

    214 – Lejan Lewthwaite 76 70 68

    215 – Lauren Taylor (ENG) 76 68 71

    216 – Tandi Mc Callum 76 73 67

    218 – Emie Peronnin (FRA) 71 72 75, Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 73 70 75

    219 – Marion Duvernay (FRA) 73 71 75, Casandra Hall 72 70 77

    220 – Ivanna Samu 72 73 75, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 75 70 75

    221 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 70 73 78

    223 – Flora Peuch (FRA) 76 74 73

    224 – Symone Henriques AMA 70 80 74, Pasqualle Coffa (NED) 76 68 80

    226 – Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 77 75 74, Alexandra Lennartsson (SWE) 78 72 76

    227 – Alana van Greuning 76 76 75, Bertine Faber 72 79 76

    228 – Kajal Mistry AMA 72 77 79

    229 – Crizelda van Niekerk 74 78 77, Michelle Swanepoel 76 75 78, Laurette Maritz 73 76 80

    230 – Lindi Coetzee 74 79 77, Monique Smit 75 77 78, Brittney-Fay Berger 73 76 81

    231 – Charlotte Austwick (ENG) 78 74 79, Lora Assad 76 75 80

    232 – Kim Williams 76 79 77, Dominique Jacobs 75 77 80

    233 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 74 76 83

    234 – Alison Muirhead AMA (SCO) 78 78 78

    235 – Larissa Du Preez AMA 73 80 82

    237 – Pheletso Mota AMA 81 74 82

    240 – Julie Berton (FRA) 79 77 84

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