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15th February 2023 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

No wind worries for Milnerton’s Gorlei

14 February 2023 – Playing out of a course just up Cape Town’s west coast is going make playing this week’s Cape Town Ladies Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour something of a breeze for Cara Gorlei when it gets underway on Wednesday.

Gorlei, who currently lies seventh on the Sunshine Ladies Tour Order of Merit after a share of fourth in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge and a share of 14th in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, has nearly a lifetime of experience of playing at Milnerton Golf Club – and if any course will prepare a player for what might happen at Atlantic Beach Links, it’s Milnerton.

The 26-year-old Gorlei has also had two runner-up finishes in the Cape Town Open during the last two seasons, finishing in a share of second to Nadia van der Westhuizen at Royal Cape last year, and losing in a play-off in 2021 to Manon Gidali of France at the same tournament. The tournament was played at King David Mowbray Golf Club in 2020, and Gorlei finished 18th there behind Lee-Anne Pace.

“The wind is not a problem for someone who has played as often as I have at Milnerton,” said Gorlei of the Cape Town Ladies Open which is forecast to have winds of up to more than 40 kilometres an hour each day. “I learned so much of my golf in wind, so I’m ready for it.”

She also plays a lot of her golf these days at Arabella Country Estate, and there is almost always some win in play there. That, too, will give her a sense of familiarity at Atlantic Beach.

What might be more of a problem is the fact that the greens at Atlantic Beach are softer and slower than the players have experience at Sun City and at Fancourt in the two tournaments of the season so far. “While the fairways might be dry and hard, and run for miles,” said Gorlei, “I found that the greens were a lot slower than I anticipated when I practiced there. That will take a bit of adjustment.”

Gorlei will be hoping that her share of 14th at Fancourt last week was a harbinger of good tournaments to come, and that she can shake off the bridesmaid’s tag she might have developed in the Cape Town Ladies Open with two consecutive seconds.