GHS golfer making waves in SA

2011-04-19 00:00

GRADE 10 Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School (GHS) golfer Michaela Fletcher is fast making a name for herself as one of the most promising prospects in the country.

The multitalented Fletcher recently arrived back from the Sanlam SA Amateur, where she ended joint 31st in a field of 93 and tied seventh in the junior category.

One of her goals this year was to represent the KwaZulu-Natal women­’s team, which she achieved when the teams were announced at the recent KZN Open.

Fletcher is relatively new to GHS, having attended the excellent sporting institution, Clarendon Girls’ High School, in Grade 9.

Among a host of golfing achievements while still in East London, she won the Border Women’s Open Strokeplay Competition last year and finished runner-up in the matchplay. She also finished second in the Boland Junior Championships in Paarl and is currently the 2010 Nomads KZN junior champion.

Last year Fletcher gave up the other sports in which she had excelled to concentrate on golf.

“Even though you are trying to win, it is the spirit in which golf is played and the friends made while playing which I love about the sport,” she says.

Fletcher’s decision to specialise was rewarded in her representing the Border women’s golf team at the 72-hole Interprovincial at the Irene Golf Club in Pretoria.

She has no particular golfing hero though. “I do follow the women’s tour and the men in the Majors,” Fletcher says.

During the school term she goes to gym four times a week, getting there before school in the morning so as to give herself­ more time to practise in the afternoons.

“I try to practise Monday to Friday for two hours a day and on Saturdays I play nine to 18 holes. Sundays are my rest days unless I’m playing a tournament.”

Fletcher showed great promise in all the sports in which she participated. She represented Border age- group teams in a biathlon where she broke provincial and national records and in swimming, in which she broke provincial records

However, ball sports soon took hold and Fletcher represented Border­ in tennis and hockey — her favourite­ sports outside of golf because of the great team spirit which she enjoys.

In Grade 6 she represented the Border U12 boys’ golf team and gained a top 20 result at the national boys’ U12 tournament. Then it was the Border U14 boys’ team for two years with her highlight being placed fifth in the national individual competition. She was also in the Border U18 girls’ golf team.

On moving to Pietermaritzburg, Michaela joined Maritzburg Golf Club (MGC) and the KZN Ladies’ Golf Union­. She said the MGC members welcomed her and offered advice and encouragement.

Union members have also played a major role in getting Fletcher to, and playing in, provincial tournaments and GHS teachers have helped in organising extra school work for her when she is away at a tournament so that she does not fall behind.

Fletcher’s goals are to achieve a ranking of 20 or better on the Women­’s National Order of Merit and a ranking of fourth or better on the girls’ U18 Order of Merit. Once she has finished matric she hopes to get a United States college bursary. Then the professional golf circuit will be uppermost in her mind.

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