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22nd February 2023 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Prat roars to Jabra Ladies Classic lead

22 February 2023 – Mireia Prat fired the lowest round of her career with a stunning nine-under-par 63 to take the lead in the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club.

Early starter Prat began her round with three straight birdies from the 10th and picked up another on the short 14th to take pole position, and she only gave up the lead once in her round when she made her only bogey when she turned.

The Spaniard retaliated immediately with an eagle on the par-five second, a birdie on the third and no-one could catch her after another triple salvo from the sixth hole.

“I had a really good day out there,” said the 33-year-old Ladies European Tour campaigner. “The weather was great, especially after the wind in Cape Town. And I enjoyed the course; it reminds me of the old classic courses in Europe.

“I hit my irons really well, and the putter was great. My longest putt today was six meters, and I made three or four birdies from a meter. I hardly missed a fairway, and when I missed the greens, I made good up-and-downs. And I chipped in for eagle on the second.  It was a really solid day and I’m happy to beat my previous lowest round by one shot.”

Prat leads by two strokes from recent Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am winner Moa Folke from Sweden and England rookie Lily May Humphreys, the current Investec Order of Merit leader, who both returned rounds of 65.

South Africa’s Casandra Alexander was next best after carding six-under 66.

The SuperSport Ladies Challenge winner wasn’t entirely at her best on Wednesday after an arduous return trip to South Africa from Saudi Arabia where she competed in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

But Alexander got things going with an eagle, six birdies and two bogeys to tuck herself in at three shots off the lead in fourth place

“It was a tough trip back,” said Alexander, who only got home on Monday, played the Jabra Ladies Classic pro-am on Tuesday, and was off early in the first round. “I had to kind of play by memory.”

And that was no bad thing for the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington ambassador, as she has many rounds under her belt at Glendower.

“I know it like my back yard,” she said. “It’s a course where you have to hit the fairways if you want to score well, and that’s what I did today – except where I made my bogeys.

“It was also playing quite short today, so I was a little surprised the scores weren’t lower, to be honest. The nine-under from Mireia is a good score, though. She putted very well. That was something I could have used, as I missed an eagle putt.”

The eagle she did make on 15 came after she drove it long, and hit an 8-iron close.

Folke and Humphreys were very impressive in going bogey-free for their 65s on a renowned South African championship layout. There were only two other rounds without bogeys: England’s Lauren Taylor and Sanna Nuutinen of Finland each had three-under 69s, and they were in a share of eighth.

Next best of the South Africans after Alexander was Kaleigh Telfer, finishing fifth on five-under-par.

As Alexander regains her equilibrium after the disruption of her travels, it’s a question of trusting her experience on Glendower of the next 18 holes as she attempts to put herself in position to win a second title on the Sunshine Ladies Tour this season. “I played nicely the week after the win in Morocco,” said Alexander, “But I wasn’t great off the tee in the second round in Saudi Arabia. Being back at home on familiar territory is helping me fix that, and I’d like to try and position myself to have a run at a second win by the time the final round rolls around.”