Hall’s early birdies see her to Sun City win

Casandra Hall made three birdies early on in the final round on Sunday, and that gave her the momentum she needed to overcome any doubts she might have had that she could win the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Investec Royal Swazi Open at Sun City.

It was her first title on the tour, and it came off the back of a brilliant opening round in a tournament played on a modified stableford scoring system which allocated five points for an eagle, two for a birdie, none for a par, minus one for a bogey and minus three for a double.

She made 14 points in that first round, and that made chasing her down difficult for the rest of the six-player field participating in conjunction with the men’s event.

Tough second and third rounds saw Nicole Garcia pull within one point of Hall, but those early birdies – on one, five and six – built up a cushion for her on a course that the women found tough to tame with pin positions chosen for the men.

She made an early bogey on four, and then a second on nine, but, at that point, with Garcia unable to make any headway on her opening nine, things were a little easier for Hall, the 21-year-old out of Glendower Golf Club.

Hall dropped again on 10 and 17, and made double on 18 – the ninth for those who know the course as it’s played at the Nedbank Golf Challenge – but it was then that that superb opening round showed its full usefulness as she finished on four points for the tournament.

Garcia was only able to make on bride in her final round, and three bogeys and a double meant she ended up on minus four for the round and zero for the tournament.

Nobuhle Dlamini was third on minus one.

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