Video report: Pace, Chen lead SA charge in rain-hit SA Women’s Open at San Lameer

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eHowz!t was at the opening day of the Cell C South African Women’s Open at San Lameer on Thursday.

Cameraman Lencel Celliers captured the action, sights and sounds while editor Johan Pretorius spoke to Ugu South Coast Tourism CEO Justin Mackrory about the significance of hosting such a prestigious international event, players’ feedback on the South Coast and possible weather concerns.

The first round of play was suspended because of rain and a waterlogged golf course.

The round will resume at 6:30 on Friday morning, with the second round scheduled to start at 8:30am.

“We spoke to two of our weather sources and there’s a band coming through from the north.

“Taking that into consideration and with the current course conditions and how wet the fairways are, and the bunker especially, we will have to restart play on Friday morning,” said Michael Wood, the Tournament Director on the Ladies European Tour, who co-sanction this tournament with the Women’s Professional Golf Association of South Africa.

“We’re hoping that will allow them to finish on Friday morning and then have an hour turnaround time. But we’ll see in the morning.”

Last year’s tournament had to be reduced to 18 holes because of heavy rains.

England’s Rebecca Hudson, who won this tournament in 2006, and Germany’s Steffi Kirchmayr are the leaders in the clubhouse following rounds of three-under-par 69.

English star Charley Hull and American Beth Allen are also at three under but with eight and nine holes still to play respectively.

Lee-Anne Pace and Connie Chen are the leading South Africans on two under and also still to complete their first rounds.

Of the local favourites, Melissa Eaton enjoyed the best start.

She’s joint 14th on one under through 12, while young amateur Lizzie Currie is joint 36th on one over through six.

Tiffany Avern-Taplin and Nicola Eaton-Gutzeit completed full rounds, the former carding a six over 78 that puts her in joint 93rd place and the latter enduring a nightmare opening round that saw her finish 16 over and in joint 117th position.

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