Reigning SA women's amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab made South African golfing history on Friday when she powered to an eight-stroke victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour's Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club.
The 19-year-old sealed the victory in breathtaking fashion, firing five birdies on the back nine for a closing five-under-par 67.
In doing so, Macnab became the first amateur winner on the South African women's professional golf circuit since Ashleigh Buhai lifted her second South African Women's Open title in 2007.
"It's awesome; it's such a great feeling," said Macnab.
"This week I felt a lot more comfortable, and playing here at Glendower was great. It's such a great course... I am over the moon, because this is huge for me. Following in Ashleigh's shoes is pretty special.
"I wanted to come out this season to build experience and to test myself. There are still a lot of amazing opportunities ahead this season, but it's a fantastic feeling to get it done. I'm really grateful to my whole team for getting me here."
Two months ago, Macnab routed Megan Streicher 11 & 9 in the 36-hole match play final to successfully defend the SA Women's Amateur title at Glendower.
On Friday, Macnab began the final round with a one-shot lead and still had a three-shot advantage through the turn.
The Ekurhuleni golfer notched birdied on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes to seal her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title.
"I started birdie, birdie, but I didn't actually hit the ball great," Macnab said.
"My swing felt a little bit snappy, so I slowed it down and started driving it really well. I was able to avoid the errant shots that cost me in the previous rounds and the putts were dropping, which always helps."
As an amateur, Macnab cannot share in the R600 000 purse on offer this week, but the achievement does earn her coveted spot into of the Jabra Ladies Open.
"It's a fantastic incentive from Jabra. Although I am leaving for Texas Christian University in August to take up a golf scholarship, competing in the Jabra Ladies Open will be an incredible opportunity to build more experience," said Macnab.
The dual-ranking Ladies European Tour and LET Access Series event is also the qualifying tournament for the season's fourth Major, the Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club in France from 22-25 July.
Her 12-under-par total was eight shots better than her Grant Veenstra Golf Academy stable-mate Nicole Garcia and Lindi Coetzee, who finished tied for second on four-under.
The next stop on the Sunshine Ladies Tour is in Sun City for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club from 21-23 April.