Bonita Bredenhann is the first Namibian to win Women’s SA Amateur.
More often than not, golf gives players a second chance when they might have failed the first time, which was certainly the case for Bonita Bredenhann who had a dream week at Benoni Country Club to win the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur.
The 20-year-old qualified second and then crushed her first two opponents 7/5 and 5/3, before meeting reigning SA Strokeplay champion Nobuhle Dlamini in the quarterfinals. Dlamini has been the top local player in 2012 with five wins, confidence saw her beat the Swaziland girl 2/1. She then thrashed 15-year-old junior Bianca Theron 8/7 in the semifinals, being four- under when the game ended on the 11th green.
Bredenhann learned to play the game at Henties Baai, 70 kilometers north of Swakopmund, on a 9-hole course with sand fairways. Three years ago she moved to Gauteng to concentrate more fully on her golf.
In 2009 she represented North West at the 72-hole team championship, which they won, and Interprovincial. The Namibian won a handful of provincial events but struggled for consistent She eventually found that get Golf Club in Ekurhuleni, where she has been working with swing coach Doug Wood since October last year.
«I was a self-taught golfer, so when I moved to South Africa and was looking for a coach to improve my game, I chopped and changed for too long and was too erratic,» explains Bredenhann, who lives close to Serengeti, where she practices every day, with the intention of attending the Ladies European Tour Q School in Morocco in December. «Then I began working with Doug, and earlier this year with sports psychologist Maretha Claasen. Both have helped me tremendously.»
Bredenhann’s opponent in the final, shortened to 18 holes under the new format, was 16-year-old Michaela Fletcher (Maritzburg GC), who had just won the SA Girls championship at Orkney. She provided the shock of the tournament by taking out Williams 3/1 in the quarterfinals, before beating leading qualifier Magda Kruger 2/1 in the semis.
Bredenhann was three up through 10 holes of the final, then lost the par-3 12th to a birdie by Fletcher. However, on the 13th the Namibian played a miraculous approach shot from out of the trees, the ball travelling 150 meters along the ground to finish a meter from the hole. She went on to win 3/2.
Bonita’s mother Wilna is also a good golfer, and often plays in the В division at tournaments when she visits her daughter. In 2010 the pair made history when Bonita won the A division, and Wilna the В division, in the Boland Match Play Champs at Devonvale.