Western Province junior Kaylah Williams and Chante Boonstra from Mpumalanga caused the first major upsets in the 2018 Sanlam SA Women's Amateur Championship at Umhlali Country Club on Monday.
While the top qualifiers enjoyed a first-round bye, Williams and Boonstra earned themselves an early start in the first round of the matchplay stage after Sunday's seeding round.
Williams dispatched Ciara Koekemoer from Border 5 & 4 to advance to the second round, where she faced Caitlyn Macnab, South Africa's fourth-highest ranked amateur.
The Ekurhuleni golfer won the 1st hole, but Williams squared the match at the 2nd and won the 3rd hole with a birdie.
The 16-year-old never relinquished the lead, eventually taking a 3 & 2 victory.
'Matchplay is tough, especially when you're playing against friends, but as they say, no mercy on the golf course,' said Williams, who couldn't help herself from saying 'sorry' to Macnab as they walked back to the clubhouse.
'Caitlyn played such great golf and she's so strong in matchplay. We matched each other shot for shot, but a few more putts dropped for me. I don't mind having tough matches in a tournament like this, though. It keeps you on your toes and you can never get ahead of yourself.'
The Bellville teenager faces another fierce competitor when she goes up against Zethu Myeki from Gauteng on Tuesday morning for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Myeki, ranked third, barely broke a sweat as she took down Petrone Rudolph 8 & 6.
Boonstra (pictured above) defeated Elsune Roode from Mount Edgecombe 4 & 3 before she knocked out Investec South African Women's Open amateur champion Lindi Coetzee from Gauteng North 1 up.
The Ermelo golfer will also have a tough match on her hands as she takes on Danielle du Toit from Gauteng North, who beat Chloe Royston from Cotswold Downs 1 up.
The rest of the championship favourites are still in the running.
Michaela Fletcher won the seeding qualifier and carried her hot form into the second round, where she mowed down Kim Turgut from Gauteng 8 & 6.
The Maritzburg golfer will challenge for a quarter-final spot against Annelie Swanepoel from Boland, who knocked out Demi Flanagan 4 & 3.
Cara Gorlei kept her championship title defence on track with a hard-fought 2 & 1 result against Ethel Ruthenberg. The Western Province player goes up against Symone Henriques from Gauteng in round three, who downed Cara Ford 4 & 3.
Former SA strokeplay champions Kaleigh Telfer and Kajal Mistry both advanced and will face each other in the third round.
Telfer beat Free State junior Pheletso Mota 8 & 6 and will face Mistry, who had a slightly tougher time getting past Larissa du Preez from Gauteng North, winning the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th holes to triumph 4 & 3.
Meanwhile, the 2018 champion Casandra Hall made a strong case for the elusive double when she downed Tania Lyon from Eshowe Country Club 6 & 4. She faces fellow Ekurhuleni golfer Sarah Bouch in round three. The Tuks student eliminated Nadia van der Westhuizen 4 & 3.
In the final two third-round matches, Western Province junior Jordan Rothman takes on Kloof golfer Brittney-Fay Berger, while Gauteng's Kaiyuree Moodley faces Kim de Klerk from Gauteng North.
Round Two Results
Michaela Fletcher bt Kim Turgut 8 & 7
Annelie Swanepoel bt Demi Flanagan 4 & 3
Symone Henriques bt Cara Ford 4 & 3
Cara Gorlei bt Ethel Ruthenberg 2 & 1
Brittney-Fay Berger bt Kyra van Kan 2 & 1
Jordan Rothman bt Nina Grey 5 & 3
Zethu Myeki bt Petrone Rudolph 8 & 6
Kaylah Williams bt Caitlyn Macnab 3 & 2
Casandra Hall bt Tania Lyon 6 & 4
Sarah Bouch bt Nadia van der Westhuizen 4 & 3
Chante Boonstra bt Lindi Coetzee 1-up
Danielle du Toit bt Chloe Royston 1-up
Kaiyuree Moodley bt Zane Naude 1-up
Kim de Klerk bt Bianca Wernich 1-up
Kaleigh Telfer bt Pheletso Mota 8 & 6
Kajal Mistry bt Larissa du Preez 4 & 3
Round One Results
Kim Turgut bt Bronwyn Rae 4 & 2
Cara Ford bt Senayah Moodliar 2 & 1
Ethel Ruthenberg bt Nicola Nel 4 & 3
Kyra van Kan bt Bronwyn Leigh Doug 7 & 5
Nina Grey bt Kamaya Moodliar 5 & 3
Petrone Rudolph bt Kim Straus 19th hole
Kaylah Williams bt Ciara Koekemoer 5 & 4
Tania Lyon bt Alisa Rich
Chante Boonstra bt Elsune Roode 4 & 3
Chloe Royston bt Luzan Esterhuizen 6 & 4
Zane Naude bt Kera Healey 1-up
Pheletso Mota bt Lizzie Currie 3 & 2
Kajal Mistry bt Annette Swanepoel 4 & 2