South Africa retain All-Africa Challenge Trophy

South Africa, the 2010 All-Africa Challeng Trophy championsA South African team of Lumien Orton, Tiffany Avern-Taplin and Henriette Frylinck successfully retained the All-Africa Challenge Trophy in Abuja, Nigeria. The trio finished on a total of 440 strokes, 34 ahead of their nearest challengers, Tanzania.

The individual title also went to South Africa, with Frylinck claiming a five-stroke victory from team-mate Avern-Taplin. Swaziland’s former South African Match Play Champion Nobuhle Dlamini, a past R&A Foundation Scholar, was third.

It was the Tanzanians, however, who perhaps took the greatest satisfaction from their performance. It was their best performance at the event in a decade, and one which represents a step forward for women’s golf in the east African nation.

“It was a milestone for a country where golf is considered the least developed in elite sports,” said Mbonile Burton, President of the Tanzania Ladies Golf Union.

The All-Africa Challenge TrophyThe R&A has supported the biennial championship since 2000 with grants totalling £129,000. This year, a sum of £28,000 was contributed.

“This is the only time that African countries get together for women’s golf, so it’s important that it is supported,” explained Alison White, The R&A’s Assistant Director of Golf Development. “The standard continues to improve every year, and we are starting to see young African players make their mark.

“There were three under-18s taking part this year, and I’m sure there will be more talented teenagers competing in Botswana in 2012.”

42 golfers representing 14 countries took part in the 2010 event, which was contested at the IBB International Golf and Country Club, the only golf course in Abuja, a city of almost 15 million people. In January, the Club will be beginning a junior programme run by coaches whose fees will be covered by The R&A.