St. Francis win ends Bredenhann’s 11-year wait for professional title
ST. FRANCIS BAY – Namibian professional golfer, Bonita Bredenhann says she is relieved to have ended her 11-year wait for a professional victory and that her one-stroke victory over Nadia van der Westhuizen in the Standard Bank Pro-Am series event held at St. Francis Links last week will always remain a highlight of her career.
The two-day tournament (one-day pro-am and one-day pros only) was the first ever tournament of this series to be played in the Eastern Cape, a province rich in heritage and history. Bredenhann carded a round of 70 to pip Van der Westhuizen to the title while ending her long wait for a professional victory.
“I have been waiting for 11 years to win a professional tournament,” said Bredenhann, justifiably delighted with her achievement. “I didn’t know what was happening with the scores, so I didn’t know
that I had won until my friend came to me running and telling me I had won. It was the best feeling ever; the kind of feeling you can never describe with words.”
Upon close observation, one is able to see Bredenhann’s maiden victory looming over the course of this campaign. She picked up back-to-back third-place finishes in the first two events and then she placed fourth in the two events that preceded the St. Francis showdown. Even some of her fellow competitors in the professional ranks have been rooting for her to get her breakthrough win.
Following her second win of the season which came at Sun City’s Lost City Golf Course, Tandi McCallum said if she didn’t win, she would have been happy to see Bredenhann claim that title.
“She’s worked so hard,” said McCallum at the time, “and she’s so consistent. I would have loved to see Bonita win it.”
In tough weather conditions characterised by the usual winds which regularly lash the area, Bredenhann’s maiden win was never going to come easy in St. Francis Bay.
“The course was tough to play,” Bredenhann admitted, “and I had to prioritise course management over everything. The weather made it even tougher with the wind and rain but I knew I needed a low one to win so I had to play shot-by-shot and just go for fairways and greens. I think I played to my strengths and to distances I knew I could get close enough to the pin and give myself opportunities for birdie-putts.”
Bredenhann’s win underpins one of the main objectives of the series; providing a platform for women professional golfers to hone their skills while working themselves up the levels and earning an income throughout the season and mingling with corporates for other opportunities.
“This series is so important for us players,” added Bredenhann who plays out of Hentiesbay Golf Club in her native Namibia. “Any one of these players will tell you how glad they are that we get to play every month and the fact that there’s an order of merit is an added incentive. I just want to work my way up the standings now. This win is giving me a confidence boost.”
The Standard Bank Pro-Am series along with the development programme which is being rolled out in the Western Cape, Gauteng and Eastern Cape is initiated by Lifestyle Golf in collaboration with the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA) and is now in its second year. It is aimed at growing women’s golf on all levels and creating opportunities for them to play professionally throughout the year, which will enable them to hone their skills further while earning some money in the process.
The sixth tournament of the fast-growing series will be played at Houghton Golf Club following two months of touring places like the North West and this recent trip to the Eastern Cape.
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