Mokoena in 7th heaven

Meshack Motloung

Meshack Motloung

Young Betty Tsebo Mokoena is over the moon after making the cut in her debut at the WPGA Masters at Parkview Golf Club at the weekend.

Mokoena, who was making her first appearance as a professional, and playing once more after a year-long lay-off, said she would be playing in the South African Open in Durban on Thursday.

"I was very nervous when I teed off in this four-day tournament. I was too shaky and could not hit the ball as I should," she said.

"This was because of the long lay-off that had some adverse effects on my game. But I started to play well as the game progressed and I was delighted when I made the cut."

Mokoena, an exciting player, beat a number of international players during the tournament, including Julian Wayne of Canada, Stenna Westlund of Finland, Kirstey Fisher of England and Nora Angehrn of Switzerland.

She was a point behind last year's winner, Kaisa Ruuttila of Finland, who registered 223 while Mokoena finished on 224.

The event was won by England's Rebecca Hudson, who started well, making a birdie on the first hole of the day. A further three birdies on the front nine left her four under for the day and two shots in the lead.

"I sneaked a look at the leader board on the 9th so I knew that I was a couple ahead, but I was determined to keep playing my own game and not try to protect my lead," she explained afterwards.

Pre-tournament favourite Ashleigh Simon had a poor final round, finishing two over for the day, which left her in joint seventh with her World Cup teammate Laurette Maritz.

Best South African finisher was amateur Gina Switala, who finished fifth after rounds of 71, 66 and 73.

Hudson was extremely positive about the Ladies African Tour.

"I really enjoy playing here. It is a great preparation for the year ahead; the weather is great and the standard of competition just keeps getting better and better. With a little more prize money, I'm sure we would get some of the best players in the world," she said.