It felt as if she had come full circle when Lumien Orton won the Sanlam South African Women’s Amateur Championship at the Ebotse Links on Wednesday.
The 29-year-old Orton beat the Western Cape’s Cara Gorlei 2Up in the final. Earlier she beat Symone Henriques 2&1 to make the final.
But Orton had to claw her way back from being 4Down through eight holes, and she did so with some magnificent putting on the back nine. It was two strong birdies at holes 14 and 15 that helped her complete her comeback to All Square.
She then went 1up with a par on 16 as Gorlei missed a short putt to halve. They halved 17 and Orton birdied 18 to take the title.
“This was my fourth time in the match play final, so I’m delighted to have won,” she said.
“When I was 4Down I didn’t think I could win. But I told myself I’ve got nothing to lose and maybe she makes some mistakes and I make a few birdies, and that’s what happened. My putting also improved on the back nine.”
Orton was one of South Africa’s top young golfers and then turned professional before deciding to take a break from the game. She regained her amateur status but stopped playing golf in 2014 and took up running instead, completing two Comrades Marathons and Two Oceans Marathons.
“This win means so much. The time I took off the game did me good. I’ve played golf from a young age and I’d lost my hunger a bit. But it’s back now.”
– African News Agency (ANA)