In the first of Week 7’s two Category B events, Jared Harvey ground his way to victory in the South African Stroke Play Championship at KwaZulu-Natal’s Mount Edgecombe Country Club. The 22-year-old, who started the final round one stroke behind Scotland’s David Law, made six birdies and five bogeys in an up-and-down round, but that proved enough to scrape into a play-off for the title. Were it not for his fifth dropped shot of the day on 18, Harvey would have taken the Championship outright.
“My card looked like a colouring book,” joked Harvey. “Six birdies, five bogeys, definitely not pretty golf."
On the first extra hole, Law found trouble and could only make seven, gifting his opponent a title that his father had won twice before him.
“At the end it things finally went my way, so I guess there is something to say for hard work,” he added. “This is an unbelievably special moment for me, to follow in my father’s footsteps like this. I'm proud of the way I hung in there, especially with the wind up. I was pretty anxious and nervous and I had a lot of emotions going. To finally get the job done is a great feeling.”
Harvey ascends 147 places up the Ranking to 185th, while consolation for Law comes in the form of an 178-place leap to 521st.
Over in the USA, the University of Florida’s Andres Echavarria claimed medallist honours at the Sun Trust Gator Invitational, played on his school’s home Mark Bostic Golf Course in Gainsville. It required four play-off holes for the senior to secure victory, but secure it he did, and with it an 21-place improvement to WAGRank 42.
"It means a lot to win this tournament," said Echavarria. "It's my last year here. I'm a fifth-year senior and I've been here too long. I know this course as good as anybody. Today was about making the right shots. It was not easy out there. I feel I had to make some very good decisions to make par.
"At the end, it was very, very close. I'm really happy I managed to get in the playoff and then win it. I'm going to have a lot of good memories."
Finally, University of California senior Bryan Harris claimed Week 7’s sole Category C event, taking the Anteater Invitational with an eagle at the first additional hole. Starting the day six shots off the lead, Harris signed for a third-round of 67, five-under-par, to earn a play-off with California State Northridge’s Nick Delio.
On Big Canyon Country Club’s 520-yard, par-five 18th, Harris excelled, hitting a six-iron to 12 feet from 220 yards and holing the putt to win. He moves up 400 places to 841st. Delio, meanwhile is up 27 to 68th.
The USA’s Peter Uihlein remains the men’s World Amateur Golf Ranking Number One.
In Week 7’s only Category B event, France’s Isabelle Boineau took individual medallist honours at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational. The junior signed for scores of 69, 70 and a wind-battered final round of 73 around the par-72 Golf Club at Vistoso, for a four-under-par total of 212.
"This feels amazing," said the 21-year-old from Marseille. "Winning means a lot. To get the team win is also great and I'm really proud of us. Dealing with the wind, I just tried to stay mentally strong and focused."
Boineau advance 35 places to 70th in the world on the back of her victory, meaning that she leapfrogs Lucie Andre and Manon Gidali to become one of France’s top three players.
Further up the Ranking, world number two Cecilia Cho shot a final-round, five-under-par 67 to tie for fifth place at the ANZ RACV Ladies Masters in her native New Zealand. The tournament, a professional event, was won by Yani Tseng, currently the number-one player in the women’s game.
Despite finishing seven strokes off the winning score, 16-year-old Cho, who enjoys a Rolex Ranking of 312th, finished ahead of the likes of Karrie Webb and Solheim Cup star Christina Kim. In the amateur ranking, Cho now finds herself within striking distance of the number one, Mitsuki Katahira of Japan.
But Katahira continues to excel, taking the JU Classic, played at Hidden Hills Country Club, Jacksonville. Starting the final day in tied-fourth after an opening round of 74, Katahira fired a final round of three-under-par 69 to tie her own tournament record, set last year in winning the 2010 event. That round, which left her eight shots clear at the top, appears even more impressive, considering that the next-best of the day was a three-over-par 75.
The Japanese’s successful title defence ensures that she retains the top spot, but, with only 100 Ranking Points separating the top-five, there could be big changes in Week 8.