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21 February 2019 - On a windswept San Lameer Country Club on Thursday, just one player broke par in the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters, with Sweden’s Sofie Bringner leading the way on one-under-par 71. Hot on her heels were Scotland’s Hannah McCook and GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Symone Henriques, who shared second with rounds of level par 72. [caption id="attachment_27315" align="alignleft" width="199"] Scottish golfer Hannah McCook grabbed a share of second with a level-par 72 on a windy first day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Hailing from Gleneagles Golf Club in the heart of Scotland, McCook said her experience in the wind did not give her much of an advantage on the KwaZulu-Natal layout. “Everyone was joking that because I’m from Scotland, I should be used to the wind, but this is a much warmer wind and it’s tricky,” said McCook. “Into the wind was hard, but you just have to try and control your ball flight.” Starting on the 10th, McCook began with three pars before a birdie-bogey exchange at 13 and 14 took her back to even. A birdie at the par five 17th saw the 25-year-old turn in one-under. Her second nine was more of a struggle with a bogey at the par three fourth and a double drop at the sixth, but the former Scottish Golf National Squad player managed gains at the two par fives – holes one and eight – to post an impressive score in difficult conditions. “I was quite solid out of the gates,” said McCook. “I was one-under through six and two-under through 10. I did well to get it back to level par after a little bit of a mishap on six. “The wind got stronger as the round went on, it was definitely a bit calmer at the start. It dropped a little during the middle of my round but picked up again at the end. Playing the sixth hole into the wind was extremely tricky.” [caption id="attachment_27316" align="alignright" width="235"] GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Symone Henriques from Glenvista was one of only three players to break par on a windy first day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Henriques offset bogeys at the first and 12th holes with a brace of gains at five and 18. “It was quite exhausting out there, because you really had to be patient and plan every shot,” said the Glenvista golfer. “I managed to overturn my bogeys and made some great par-saves to keep the round going. The birdie at five gave me some nice momentum and it was great to birdie 18, because that is always a very intimidating hole in the wind.” The Hills Golf Club member Bringner said the wind placed a greater emphasis on driving it straight. “You have to think a lot more about what kind of shots you want to play,” Bringer said. “The most important thing for sure is keeping your ball in the fairway, if you can do that you can score.” In fact, Bringer holed a couple monster putts in her five-birdie, four-bogey round. “It was a solid round of golf and I made a few good putts. I made some longer ones, like five or six-metre ones on the 11th and fourth.” East London Golf Club player Yolanda Duma set the early clubhouse target with a one-over 73, which was matched in the afternoon by former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kiran Matharu of Sandmoor Golf Club in England and Swede Anna Magnusson. Magnusson said she was particularly pleased with her round. “I’m happy with the round. I made five birdies, because I hit a lot of good shots, but also there were some bad ones thrown in there too,” said the Ullna Golf Club representative. “It was really hard playing in the wind, but sometimes I really enjoy playing in those conditions. But yeah, it was tough out there.” Lurking ominously on two-over and by no means out of it is Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Nobuhle Dlamini. The three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner from Swaziland shares seventh place with Spain’s Maria Beautell. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA SA WOMENS MASTERS TWITTER - @womensmastersSA FACEBOOK - @sawomensmasters INSTAGRAM - @sawomensmasters HASHTAG - #sawomensmasters Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
19 February 2019 - This time last year, Nobuhle Dlamini could be forgiven for wondering when she would get that first victory after a number of near-misses. Now, when the 27-year-old stands on the first tee on Thursday at the South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club, it will be as a three-time winner and current leader of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Investec Property Fund Order of Merit. It all changed at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club – just a short drive down the road from San Lameer – at the end of February a year ago. The big-hitting Swazi golfer finally broke through for that maiden triumph in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge. Since then Dlamini has added two victories to her tally, with the latest coming at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am in George last Sunday and it’s no surprise then, that the Glendower Golf Club talent has transformed into the form player on the local scene. With a new-found self-confidence, Dlamini believes the wins will start mounting. “I want more wins, and what better place to do that than this week?” said Dlamini. “I really believe I’m a winner now. Winning the First Stage of the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School and doing well in Final Stage reinforced my belief that I can compete on the global stage.” Dlamini knows there will be no overpowering the testing layout at San Lameer. “I love the Wild Coast and can’t wait to go back and defend my title and I would love to win here this week, but San Lameer is tricky. It's a real test of patience when the wind is up. I think that the more you compete here under different conditions, the better you get at judging shots, reading the wind and picking the right lines,” she said. One of her numerous close calls since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 214 in fact happened at last year’s South African Women’s Masters. She tied for second after chasing winner Laura Fuenfstueck from Germany over the closing holes. One of the trends for Dlamini last year was one bad round, often on the first day. That’s still in the back of her mind, but few would bet against Dlamini permanently dispelling those demons. “I’m taking loads of confidence into the event this year,”” she said. I would love to own the SA Women's Masters and SA Women's Open titles, so I’m hoping to make a really fast start and not be on the back foot after round one like last year.” Dlamini though, won’t have it all her own way. Lejan Lewthwaite chased Lee-Anne Pace all the way to the finish line in 2015 to finish second in the SA Women’s Open and lift the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur at San Lameer. The Serengeti professional will be nipping at the Royal Swazi golfers’ heels after two top-three finishes already this season. A third place at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open in Irene and a tied second place finish last week at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenges sees the 28-year-old former Texas University standout in second place on the Order of Merit. On 620 points, she is just 77 behind the 697-point tally of Dlamini. Callaway golfer Ivanna Samu, meanwhile, holds third spot on the Order of Merit. Making a return to competitive golf due to a lengthy lay-off after back surgery, the 20-year-old had a quiet start at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open with 10th place on four-over. However, Samu finished alongside Lewthwaite at Fancourt on level-par and just two shots behind Dlamini. The result shot the Ruimsig golfer up the Order of Merit, and the confidence gained last week could mean a win is around the corner. Young amateur Kajal Mistry could also be a factor this week. The 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player followed a top-20 finish in Irene with a top four finish at Fancourt. The Randpark golfer tied for fourth with Kim Williams from Centurion Country Club. If Williams starts well, the three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner could also pose a threat. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA SA WOMENS MASTERS TWITTER - @womensmastersSA FACEBOOK - @sawomensmasters INSTAGRAM - @sawomensmasters HASHTAG - #sawomensmasters Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
19 February 2019 - There will be a dark horse lurking in the form of Brittney-Fay Berger when the South African Women’s Masters tees off at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday. The 18-year-old Kloof Country Club member will be making just her fourth start as a golf professional, but has already notched up three top-25 finishes in as many events. With the Sunshine Ladies Tour proving to be the perfect breeding ground for tomorrow’s talent, Berger is among a new generation of young talent ready to cut their teeth on the local scene. In 2017, former South African number one ranked amateur Carrie Park picked up her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title in the SA Women’s Masters. She is now plying her trade on the lucrative Korean LPGA Tour. Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck, meanwhile, tasted victory last year in the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, which paved her path to playing on to the Ladies European Tour this year. “It’s been a bit different playing for money. I’ve been getting used to it though, and it’s really nice to have so many tournaments in a row like this. It gets a bit tiring, but if you manage your travelling it’s not too bad,” said Berger. “It’s quite nice that I’m back home, I got back last night from the Dimension Data Challenge. I feel much better going into this week. I’m really enjoying it and playing in all these events.” Showing little signs of nerves in her first event in the paid ranks, Berger finished 24th at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open in Irene at the end of January. A week later at the Serengeti Team Championship, she paired up with fellow rookie Casandra Hall as the duo finished tenth. “It was amazing, and I was so happy to make the cut in my first start. That was my goal going at the start of the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I had a disappointing last round, but I was just happy to make the cut and earn some money. Once I made the cut, I just went for it on the last day - it didn’t work out but I was still really happy with my result. It makes it a bit easier for me - getting used to the players and how things are run.” On Sunday last week in George a 16th place finish followed. “I played at George Golf Club before, but I had never played the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt. So going into the last round, I was a bit blind. So I was happy with how it went and to be improving each week.” The KwaZulu-Natal native could be a good bet for a first top-10 or better on the tricky and tight San Lameer layout. “Being back home now is really nice as I know the courses,” said Berger. “I like San Lameer. It’s a very tricky course, especially when the wind comes up. I played there a couple times. I played in the ladies event there last year as an amateur and I didn’t make the cut. I’m hoping to improve on that.” In fact, Berger has put her studies in medicine on hold to pursue her career in golf. Few teenagers are faced with massive life decisions right after school, but it’s about living a life without regret she explained. “I really wanted to study medicine, but it is a seven-year course so once I start there’s no real time for golf. Also I would really like to make golf my career. I decided to give myself a couple years - if I make it I’ll carry on and if I don’t I’m still not too old and I can go back and study. If I left the golf until later I might end up regretting not having tried it. It’s just trying to see if I’m good enough. “I’m just thinking about the next five years or so. If I make quite a bit of money and I can afford to live off that, then I’ll carry on.” There were also a host of new faces in George last week including Scotland’s Gabrielle MacDonald who made her debut on tour with an impressive sixth place finish, just five shots behind winner Nobuhle Dlamini. MacDonald, a former member of the Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad, will hope to keep up the trend of young Scottish golfers who tend to excel on SA fairways, like GolfRSA African Amateur Champion Euan Walker. Fellow Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad member Hannah McCook is another debutant heading to San Lameer. The 25-year-old Gleneagles Country Club member, playing last year as an amateur, missed the cut in the SA Women’s Masters, but produced a solid top-15 finish at the Wild Coast a week later in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge. McCook could well feature this week knowing what to expect this time around on the windy south coast - much improved conditions from her native Scotland. “Coming out this year as a professional is quite exciting. We play in the wind a lot at home, and playing here in the warmer temperatures made it a lot easier,” said the Nethy Bridge resident, who works part-time in housekeeping at a residential centre back home. Another international hoping to make her presence felt will be Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands. The Eindhovensche Golf member was in contention for the first two rounds last week in George after rounds of 74 and 70, but was undone by a closing 77 to finish on five-over. Despite her disappointing third round, she finished only seven shots behind in 11th position on her own. The former Dutch International Open champion could indeed be in contention in the next few weeks as she prepares for a season on the Ladies European Tour Access Series. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA SA WOMENS MASTERS TWITTER - @womensmastersSA FACEBOOK - @sawomensmasters INSTAGRAM - @sawomensmasters HASHTAG - #sawomensmasters Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
[caption id="attachment_27303" align="alignleft" width="300"] GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 17: Nobuhle Dlamini during day 4 of the 2019 Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt on February 17, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)[/caption] 17 February 2019 – She had the line. She had the pace. And she nailed the distance. On a tense and dramatic Sunday at Fancourt, Nobuhle Dlamini drained a 32 foot uphill birdie putt at the final hole of the Outeniqua Course to seal a Sunshine Ladies Tour hat-trick with a two-shot victory in the Dimension Data Challenge. Just a few minutes earlier, the big-hitting Swazi golfer tapped in for well-timed four at the par five 17th to take a one-shot lead. The birdie-birdie finish for a five-under-par 67 earned Dlamini a R70 000 pay-day on a winning total of two-under 214. “I had to really stop myself from running around on the green when that last putt dropped,” said the delighted Dlamini, who banked an additional R30K for partnering amateur Francis Tremearne to victory in the Betterball Team Competition. “I was so excited, but Brittney (Fay-Berger) still had to putt. I played the 17th hole exactly as I planned and I wanted to get the birdie at 18 to have a bit of a cushion. Britt and I both hit good tee shots up the 18th fairway, but her approach took a huge bounce off the back. [caption id="attachment_27304" align="alignright" width="300"] GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 17: Nobuhle Dlamini during day 3 of the 2019 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club on February 17, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)[/caption] “You don’t want to hit it past the flag and leave yourself a slippery and fast downhill putt, so I told my caddie I’m going to hit it seven foot short. It came up a lot shorter, but it was the right call. I had a one-shot lead. At worst, I’d be in a play-off. The moment I stroked the ball it looked good.” Dlamini posted rounds of 76 and 71 over the first two days at George Golf Club and was four shots behind joint leaders Monique Smit and Bertine Faber when the action moved to Fancourt. Smit gave the local crowd reason to cheer with a birdie start, Faber matched her birdie with one of her own at the second and Dlamini kept pace with her first birdie at the second. While Smit and Faber slowly faded out of contention, Kim Williams made a run for the lead with birdies at two, seven and 10. The three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner led the field on three-under for most of the day, but Dlamini put the field Williams on notice with a run of birdies from seven. “I just holed a bunch of really good putts,” said the 27-year-old Dlamini “I missed very few fairways and I hit my irons and wedges really good. I bogeyed 11 but I birdied 14 to stay within two shots of Kim. As I walked to the 17th tee, I saw Kim was in trouble and I figured she might drop a shot at shot. “I hit three-wood down the middle, but I just missed the green with my approach. I chipped it give, though and that gave me a one shot lead after Kim made a double at 16.” Dlamini had a short, but tense wait to know for certain. “Ivanna (Samu) or Lejan (Lethwaite) were level par and if one of them made an eagle, it would be a play-off,” Dlamini said. “It was a bit tense, because everyone was coming to congratulate me, but I don’t count my chickens before they hatch. I never count my chickens before they hatch. Only after they finished on level-par, I let that winning feeling flow over me.” Dlamini battled with a knee injury at the start of the sixth Sunshine Ladies Tour season and posted an unmemorable top 20 finish in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, but the form that took her to winner’s circle twice last year showed up during Serengeti Team Championship. “I saw a physiotherapist after Irene and I was back to full strength and was striking the ball really well at Serengeti. I felt I was playing well enough to win, and after the three birdies on the front, I knew I could win if I kept patient and stuck to the game plan. “This is one of my absolutely favourite events and I look forward coming to Fancourt every year. I am extremely proud to join the list of Dimension Data winners. I only got into the one Ladies European Tour event and I decided to stay in South Africa. Next week I’m going trophy hunting in the SA Women’s Masters and I can’t wait to defend my SuperSport Ladies Challenge title the Wild Coast in two weeks.” Samu and Lewthwaite both closed with rounds of 69 to tie for second. Williams carded a 73 with a double bogey finish and tied for fourth on two-over with GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Kajal Mistry, who also registered a 73. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE TWITTER - @DiDataMEA FACEBOOK - @SDiDataMEA HASHTAG - #DDProAM AON SOUTH AFRICA TWITTER - @AON_SouthAfrica FACEBOOK - @AONSouthAfrica HASHTAG - #AonSA Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
15 February 2019 - Home hero Monique Smit finished with a flourish on day two of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge to join compatriot Bertine Faber in a two-way tie for the lead in George on Saturday. To the delight of the local crowd, the Oubaai golfer birdied the last two holes for a four-under-par 68 that handed her the clubhouse lead on one-under 143. Faber (nee Strauss) returned a two-under 70 to join Smit at the top of a congested leaderboard, with rookies Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands and Scotswoman Gabrielle MacDonald leading the chasing pack. [caption id="attachment_27298" align="alignright" width="300"] GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 15: Monique Smit during day 1 of the 2019 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club on February 15, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Thinus Maritz/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)[/caption] Smit won the first edition of the popular event in the Garden Route in 2014 for the first of her three Sunshine Ladies Tour titles. Looking to end the two-year title drought, she opened her account at George Golf Club with a 75 to start the second four off the pace. “I was frustrated on the greens, but I came out hot this morning,” said Smit. “I birdied two and eight, and I was level through 16. The birdies at 17 came as a surprise. I didn’t hit a great tee shot and I had to hit a 7-iron in. I had a 20 foot putt, but as soon as I saw the line, I knew I’d nail it. “I hit the best drive of the day at 18, picked a target and stuck an 8-iron 10-feet pin high. Today was all about picking targets and committing to the shots.” Smit had to quit the Sunshine Ladies Tour after the George event last year to emergency surgery on her knee. She was apprehensive at the start, but got the rust off quickly with a top 20 finish in the season-opening Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open. “I didn’t play competitive golf for 12 months, but I played half-decent at Irene and the Serengeti Team Championship definitely helped restore my confidence. I am travelling with Clara Pietri from Switzerland and we teamed up for Serengeti. She reassured me that my body knows what to do; I just needed to make a mental commitment and I did that well today. “It’s great to be in contention again. I am looking forward to the Outeniqua Course in the final round and playing with Bertine. It’s been a while for both of us, so it should be a really good battle.” It’s been three years since Faber launched her rookie season with a Sunshine Ladies Tour hat-trick. After a first round 73, the Koster golfer stumbled out of the blocks with a double bogey at the first, but bounced back with birdies at two and six and reeled in two more at 10 and 16. [caption id="attachment_27299" align="alignleft" width="300"] Bertine Faber hopes to break a three-year winning drought after surging into a two-way tie for the lead in round two of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge at George Golf Club on Saturday; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Thinus Maritz.[/caption] “Ironically, I watched a bit of the Genesis Open last night. Justin Thomas started with a double and when I checked the scores this morning, he was leading. It’s not the end of the world. I just stayed patient, made a few birdies and kept the bogeys off the card for the rest of the round. I made a really good par-save at 13 and it is that kind of moment that keeps the round going, more so than making a birdie.” Strauss has some major swing problems in the last two years, and the Investec Property golfer is eager to get back in the winner’s circle. “I’ve been in a couple of dark places in the last two years and it’s very exciting to be in with a chance this week. It’s been a while, but it’s not a new thing for me, so I’ll draw on past experience and I’ve luckily got my husband (Wian) on the bag. He was carrying for me with my first three wins, so hopefully he will be my lucky charm.” Coffa was one-under with the last hole to come, but her approach shot pitched on the green and rolled off the back. “I had a tough chip and I couldn’t make the up-and-down, but I’m really happy to be in the top four,” she said after signing for a 70. “It’s only my third start as a pro and it’s great to have a chance to play for my first win. I love the Outeniqua Course. It’s a lot more open and not so heavily tree-lined as here at George Golf Club, so you can get away with a less than perfect drive. I can’t wait.” Macdonald was five under for the round after a trio of birdies at 13, 14 and 16, but gave a shot back to the field when she missed the green at the par-three 17th. “This is my first pro event and I’m over the moon to be in contention,” said the Craigielaw golfer, who tied Smit for the low round of the day. “I played really well today and I made a lot of putts. I left a couple short for birdies coming up to 13, so it was nice to roll that one in and get the momentum going. I’m excited for the final round and hopefully I can keep the putter warm overnight.” Joint overnight leader Kajal Mistry returned a battling 74 to tie for fifth on one-over with England’s Lauren Taylor and three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams. Frenchwoman Marion Duvernay, who shared the first round lead on one-under, finished at four-over after a 77. Crizelda van Niekerk and Ash Pagden lead the Betterball Medal Pro-Am on nine-under after rounds of 66 and 69. Smit and four-time winner Larina King moved within two shots after a second round 66, with a further five teams also tied on seven under.ds SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE TWITTER - @DiDataMEA FACEBOOK - @SDiDataMEA HASHTAGS - #DDProAm #StrivingforGreatness AON SOUTH AFRICA TWITTER - @AON_SouthAfrica FACEBOOK - @AONSouthAfrica HASHTAG - #AonSA Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
[caption id="attachment_27294" align="alignleft" width="300"] Former GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry from Randpark birdied the final hole at George Golf Club to grab a share of the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Thinus Maritz.[/caption] 15 February 2019 – Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry stole the headlines on Friday after she birdied the closing hole at George Golf Club to tie Marion Duvernay from France for the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge lead on Friday. Recent Serengeti Team Championship winner Duvernay’s sub-par 71 went uncontested for most of the opening round, triggering hopes of a French double on South African soil. But the 18-year-old Mistry – playing in the final group – hit two great shots at the final hole and boxed a five-foot putt to force her way to the top of the leaderboard. “I took driver off the tee and left myself 131 metres to the pin middle back,” said the former GolfRSA Elite Squad member who cancelled bogeys at seven and eight with birdies at nine and 13. “I don’t how it happens, but somehow is always above your feet at this golf course. I had to take that in account and, coming from altitude in Johannesburg, I had do recalculate the distance. I played it about 140-ish and I wanted to leave myself with an uphill putt, so I hit a full 8-iron in. It landed pin-high left and as soon as I saw the line, I knew I could sink it.” South Africa’s former number one amateur matriculated from Crawford College Lonehill last year and is heading to the University of Arkansas on a golf scholarship in August. “Golf had to take a back seat last year, so it’s great to be out here, competing again,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I got the rust off with a top 20 in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open and I played nice, steady golf today. I hit 10 fairways and 13 greens today, but I was never in any real trouble. No bushes and no lost balls, just a steady round. I have to admit it’s great to be in the hunt again.” [caption id="attachment_27295" align="alignright" width="300"] Marion Duvernay from France shares the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Tyrone Winfield[/caption] By contrast, the French golfer handed in a rather colourful card that featured six birdies. “I made some great birdies over the first nine holes, and had only the one bogey, but I had a bit of a bogey run coming back,” said Duvernay, who turned three-under. “I dropped 12 and 13, finally birdied a par five (14) and made a double at 15. I missed the green and had to chip from thick rough, but I only moved the ball a metre with my first chip. I gave the second one a good whack and two-putted. I was very happy with the birdie at 17 to get back in red numbers.” Duvernay showed her mettle in team events when she partnered compatriot Flora Peuch to victory at Serengeti Estates last week. The Evian Resort golfer dovetailed to perfection with amateur Joanne Govender for a six-under-66 that netted the pair a share the lead in the Betterball competition. “When I hit the bogey train, Joanne really pulled us through,” said Duvernay. “She made three birdies in a row from 12 to keep the momentum going. And we had a lot of laughs. It’s such a fun format.” Niinja Liias from Finland finished level-par to tuck in just behind the leading pair, avoiding the crush at one over par. Lejan Lewthwaite and Bertine Faber both carded rounds of 73 to lead the local challenge and were joined by French pair Emilie Piquot and Anne-Lise Caudal, English campaigner Rachael Goodall and rookie Sophie Lamb, also from England. South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Brittney-Fay Berger completed the top 10 on two over alongside Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE TWITTER - @DiDataMEA FACEBOOK - @SDiDataMEA HASHTAG - #DDProAM AON SOUTH AFRICA TWITTER - @AON_SouthAfrica FACEBOOK - @AONSouthAfrica INSTAGRAM - @AONSouth_Africa HASHTAG - #AonSA Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.ng or copying it.
6 February 2019 – Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch became the first French winners on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a wire-to-wire performance in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on Wednesday. The French pair posted rounds of 46 and 38 for a total of 85 points to win the first golf team event with a three-point margin at Serengeti Estates. Duvernay and Peuch made a fast start to the tournament as they burned up the front nine of the Jack Nicklaus signature course on day one. They fired five birdies and surged into the lead with an eagle from Duvernay at the par five eighth. Another eagle from the Evian Resort golfer and further brace of birdies earned them a three-point lead over English pair Kiran Matharu and Ellie Givens. South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and partner Lauren Taylor from England finished a further shot adrift. Admittedly, the French duo couldn’t replicate their first round fireworks on the last day, but they staved off the chasing pack with birdies at three, five, eight, 11 and 15. “Things went a bit south for us at 16,” said Peuch, a third season Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner. “Marion hit her drive in the bush and of course, I followed her. We had to make a recovery, but it’s a pretty long par five. She went for the green from 235 metres, but didn’t make it. She had to take a penalty drop after going in the water, so I laid up and chipped in. “Then I three-putted and Marion didn’t make her bogey putt either, so we had to take a zero for the double bogey. We took it on the chin and just tried to play the last two holes in pars and make no more mistakes.” Peuch made sure of a par at 17 and Duvernay, whose approach pitched on the lower tier of the huge green, lagged her birdie putt to two inches from the hole. She tapped in for par to seal the win. “We are so excited about this win,” gushed Duvernay, who made her debut on the South African circuit with a top eight finish in last week’s Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open. “When the team event was added to the schedule, we entered immediately. We played a lot of team golf as amateurs, but there are just a few team events on the pro circuit. It was a great tournament on a fantastic golf course and we are thrilled to own our first Sunshine Ladies Tour trophies. “The vibe was fantastic and it was a great way for us foreigners to meet the South Africans and other internationals. We saw a lot of high fives and hugging and laughing going on. Flora and I are travelling together for the full nine weeks, so this was a very good test for our friendship, too. “Flora has told me that the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am is another great event, but the courses are quite tough. This has been a really good warm-up for George and hopefully one of us can keep the winning streak going.” Samu and Taylor shared second on 83 points with Shawnelle de Lange and Pasqualle Coffa. Rookies Catherine LauGeorgia Oboh from Nigeria tied for third on 82 with Givens and Matharu, as well as Tandi McCallum and Kim Williams from South Africa. South Africa’s De Lange and Coffa from the Netherlands fired a staggering nine birdies on the last day to take the low round honours with 45 points. “I met Shawnelle last week at Irene and we clicked straight-away,” said Coffa. “We decided to pair up for the team event and we really dovetailed well, especially in the final round. “For every birdie I sunk, she answered with one. I struggled a bit last week and shot 80 in the final round at Irene, but this tournament gave me a chance to hit more free and to fire at the pins. I feel much more confident for George Golf Club and Fancourt next week.” GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Ebotse Links and Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay Golf Club posted rounds of 39 and 41 to take the Amateur honours with a top 10 finish on 80 points. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @SerengetiEST FACEBOOK - @SerengetiEstates INSTAGRAM - @serengetiestates HASHTAG - #SerengetiTeamChamps Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
5 February 2019 – Golf may not be the most popular sport in France, yet French golf fans flocked to the Le Golf National for the Ryder Cup last year and it’s the French who led the revolution as team golf made its first appearance on the Sunshine Ladies Tour on Tuesday. Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch were untouchable in the opening round of the inaugural R100 000 Serengeti Team Championship. [caption id="attachment_27279" align="alignleft" width="300"] French pair Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch led the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Serengeti Team Championship with 46 points at Serengeti Estates; credit Tyrone Winfield / Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Taking advantage of the Betterball format, the French duo racked up no less than seven birdies and fired two eagles at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Serengeti Estates. A total score of 46 points propelled Duvernay and Peuch to the top of the leaderboard and they will start Wednesday’s final round with a 3-point cushion. English pair  Ellie Givens and former Tshwane Ladies Open champion Kiran Matharu edged out South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Lauren Taylor from England by 1 point for second, while another French national – two-time Ladies European Tour winner Anne-Lise Caudal – and her South African partner Bertine Faber collaborated for 41 points to finish fourth.   The class of 2019 also impressed in their second start on the local circuit. Johannesburg rookies Chiara Contomathios and Kelsey Nicholas combined for 40 points, as did first-timers Brittney Fay-Berger from KwaZulu-Natal and Benoni golfer Casandra Hall, who were flawless around the championship layout. Former Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Tandi Mc Callum and Kim Williams made it a three-way tie for fifth when they rallied with five birdies over their last nine holes. The early clubhouse target belonged to amateur pair Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay and GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Benoni, who also fired the opening salvo. They were overhauled by Contomathios and Nicholas until the French pair hit their stride. “Marion and I both played our own games, but we always had each other’s backs. We dovetailed incredibly well,” said Golf De Valescure’s Peuch. “I contributed birdies at three, seven and 15 and I hit it to six feet at the eighth to have an eagle chance, but she denied me…her putter was on fire” Duvernay birdied two and five, but left her approach into the par five well short of the pin. “I had 25-foot left for eagle, but Flora was close, so I guided the ball towards the cup,” said the Evian Resort golfer. “And it dropped. That’s the beauty of this format.” The French woman notched two more gains at nine and 11 and pencilled a second three on their card with an eagle at the par five 15th, followed with another birdie at 16. “It’s a great golf course and you can score well if you hit it in the right spots,” said Duvernay. “We both hit it great from tee to green and we made the most of our chances. We had only the one bogey. We didn’t really look at our score, but I had a feeling that we were doing well.” Winning the tandem won’t earn them Investec Property Order of Merit points, but the French pair are still going all out for glory. “We are playing for the trophy, the honour and the prize money,” said Peuch. “We love coming here. “It’s a great tour. It is very well run, and we are treated really well by the players, the staff and the South Africans. It will be a great honour for us to go home as Sunshine Ladies Tour winners.” SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @SerengetiEST FACEBOOK - @SerengetiEstates INSTAGRAM - @serengetiestates HASHTAG - #SerengetiTeamChamps Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
4 February 2019 – Double trouble from the Duma sisters. French flair from Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch. An English assault from Kiran Matharu and Eleonor Givens. The sparks are bound to fly when the inaugural 36-hole Serengeti Team Championship tees off on Tuesday. The 36-hole team event at Serengeti Estates will see 24 teams of two vie for the lion share of the R100 000 prize money. Home course favourite Lejan Lewthwaite has boosted her chances of a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win by roping in two-time champion Nobuhle Dlamini. The Benoni golfer believes they have what it takes to win the Betterball tournament. “With my course knowledge and Nobby’s huge drives, how can we fail? We are all extremely excited to get going. Betterball is so much fun and, with the best score to count on each hole, you better believe the girls will be firing at the pins,” said the Benoni golfer. Lewthwaite and Dlamini made the trip to Morocco together to compete in the Final Stage of the Ladies European Tour in December. “We got along brilliantly and it was a no-brainer that we would team up for the Serengeti Team Championship,” said Dlamini from Swaziland. “Lejan is the spokesperson and I am the quiet strength of this partnership. We know the strengths of each other’s games. She knows the greens really well and she’s coming off a third place finish in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so she is really fired up. That’s half the battle won.” Lewthwaite believes her partner’s booming drives will give them the edge. “The fairways are quite generous, but the course is heavily bunkered, so you need to be accurate off the tee and manage your second shots well,” said the Investec golfer. “Nobby drives it long and straight, which is key to scoring at this course. My short game really came alive at Irene Country Club and the putter went hot, so I believe we are in with a shout.” Yolanda and Siviwe Duma from East London are equally confident of their chances. “Siviwe and I started playing golf together as kids, so I don’t think there is another pairing in the field that know each other as well as we do,” said Yolande. “She has the long game and I am the better putter. We will play to our strengths. Usually its sibling rivalry, but we’re playing for each other this week. It would be amazing to win with my sister.” Swiss golfer Clara Pietri kicked off her last two seasons on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. As soon as the new event was announced, she booked three-time champion Monique Smit as a partner. “Monique is one of the most consistent players on the tour and it’s wise to play with someone local that can guide you,” Pietri said. “We’ve known each other for a while now, and I knew we would have a lot of fun. “We had a great practice round and made a bunch of birdies. The course is immaculate and the greens are rolling so true. They are big, with a lot of slope, so you will need to put your approach shots close. I’m looking forward to the tournament. It’s a fantastic concept.” Two players to watch are Anne-Lise Caudal from France and Benoni golfer Casandra Hall, who were both in contention in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open last week. Caudal, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, will partner South Africa’s Bertine Faber and former SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Hall will team up with fellow rookie Brittney-Fay Berger. Another rookie pairing to watch are Nigerian rising star Georgia Oboh and South Africa’s Catherine Lau, who earned a card for the LPGA Tour of China with a third place finish at Q-School in January. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @SerengetiEST FACEBOOK - @SerengetiEstates INSTAGRAM - @serengetiestates HASHTAG - #serengetiestates Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
1 February 2019 - South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai went wire-to-wire at Irene Country Club to complete a convincing four-shot victory on eight-under in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open on Friday. She could not match her opening two rounds of 67 and 68, but with a lone bogey over three rounds, the win was never in doubt and she pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to 10 with a final round one-over 73. Defending champion Stacy Bregman soared up the leaderboard with a closing four-under 68 to finish second on her own at four-under. Yet another South African Lejan Lewthwaite also made strides with a third round 68 to take third on two-under. England’s Lauren Taylor was fourth on one-under and former Investec South African Women’s Open champion Tandi Mc Callum from South Africa completed the top-five on level par for the week. “I’m very happy to pull off the win this week in the first tournament of the year,” said Buhai, whose only drop in the tournament was a soft bogey at the 52nd hole. “Today was quite scrappy, but that’s just what you have to do to try win. Thank goodness there were no pictures on the scorecard. I learnt that I just had to stay patient and keep grinding. “The course I played a little tougher. There were some low scores, but thank goodness I had that seven-shot lead starting the round. I knew I had that comfort zone. After nine, I knew I wasn’t going to hit it close, so I just started going for the big part of the greens and taking my two-putts to make as many pars as I could coming in. “I think a few years ago I would have got more frustrated with myself, and probably made quite a few more bogeys. Today, I trusted my ability, especially with my putter. I made one bogey in 54 holes, so I’m really chuffed with that.” Despite the comprehensive triumph, the 29-year-old Buhai said she was not totally satisfied. “My goal was to get to double-figures, and then push on from there. When I had a six-shot lead with nine to go, it was just about grinding it so no one could catch me. Double figures was still my goal, even coming down the last. I was still trying to make birdie even though I just bogeyed 17. “Overall, it was a good tester to see where I’m at and where I can improve. The main positive is that if I’ve got a sharp short game when I’m not hitting it well, I can still score.” Buhai had just hit her tee shot into the par three 13th when play was suspended due to lightning. It turned out to be a short delay, with the players resuming within the hour. The disruption was far from ideal, but Buhai was still up to the task of closing out an emphatic victory. “On 13, I hit one of the few iron shots that I flushed the whole day,” she said. “I thought I finally got something going and then we went off. I just had to accept it. Luckily we weren’t called off for too long. My first drive back, my hand slipped in the rain and I hit it out right. I had to punch out but I got it up-and-down from 60 metres to keep the momentum going. Overall, I’m happy with the week but disappointed with today.” “Any time you shoot under par, you take the positives out of that,” said Buhai. She paid tribute to the sponsors for helping the event proceed. “A huge thanks to Canon for coming on board and for sticking with us these last three years,” said the world number 116. “Without sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible. And to Investec, they have been our biggest supports and it’s great to have them on board again. The Sunshine Ladies Tour is growing every year and that’s what we want to see.” Buhai leaves on Saturday to compete in two LPGA events and one LET event in Australia and returns in March to take up her title defence in the R2-million Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake, which is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour. Bregman, who won the 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit last year and former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who withdrew after nine holes in the second round after the onset of a migraine, will also be making the trip down under. Eighteen-year-old Symone Henriques was second after an opening round 70. She slipped from contention with an 80 in the second round, but bounced back to overtake fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry with a final round 74 to win the amateur honours on eight-over 224. The Sunshine Ladies Tour moves to Serengeti Estates next for the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on 5 and 6 February. Teams of two will compete in the Betterball format for the lion’s share of the R100 000 prize fund.  SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #SunshineLadiesTour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @CanonRSA FACEBOOK - @CanonSouthAfrica INSTAGRAM - @canonrsa HASHTAG - #CanonSLTOpen Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
31 January 2019 – South Africa’s top ranked Ashleigh Buhai  remains the player to catch with 18 holes remaining in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club. A bogey-free five-under-par 67 on the opening day boosted Buhai to the top of the leaderboard and she continued her stunning start in the 2019 season-opener with another flawless performance on day two. [caption id="attachment_27266" align="alignleft" width="300"] 1. Ashleigh Buhai set the 36-hole mark in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at nine-under at Irene Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] The Johannesburg professional will take a staggering seven-shot lead into the final round after a four-under 68 moved her to nine-under 135. “Obviously I am very happy with my score, although I felt I played a lot better in the first round,” said Buhai, who is gunning for her 10th title on the local circuit. “You know, two weeks ago I was really glad the Sunshine Ladies Tour was starting a little later this year. I took a five week break after a long stretch on the LPGA Tour at the end of last year and I was so rusty. I worked hard in the past two weeks and it’s great to see really positive results.” Buhai started the second round three shots clear. She extended her lead with a birdie at the par five second and kept her advantage intact with a further gain at eight. “Coming into the round, I wanted to maintain that three-shot lead,” she said. “I managed to do that with the two birdies on the front nine, but the back nine was a little iffy. I managed to scramble well to keep myself in it. “I made a really good par-save at 10 after I hit it in the trees. I had to punch out and made the up-and-down for par from 60 metres out. I birdied the next hole and I stayed patient, because I knew I had some short holes coming where I could take advantage with wedges. “I missed two greens, but I didn’t feel that I hit bad shots. I kept it going with good pars. I hit a good shot into the 17th and lipped out for birdie, but I finally got rewarded with the birdie on 18.” Is she surprised to be leading by such a huge margin after two rounds? “The course is playing relatively long after all the rain and the kikuyu is heavy,” she said. “Although the greens are soft and you can fire at the flags, you have to keep it in play. I’ve missed very few fairways and greens and I’m still bogey-free after 36 holes, which is a first for me, but I think that’s why I’ve pulled away from the field.” [caption id="attachment_27267" align="alignright" width="218"] 2. Rookie Casandra Hall from Benoni moved to second at the 36-hole mark of the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Benoni rookie Casandra Hall and former Ladies European Tour winner Anne-Lise Caudal from France join Buhai in Friday’s leading group. Hall was even-par at the start of the round and got it four-under during her outward loop. The 2018 SA Amateur Women’s Stroke Play champion made three bogeys on the bounce coming home, but a birdie-finish for a round of 70 moved her to two-under. Caudal also returned a 70 to finish a further shot back. “I’m looking forward to playing with Anne-Lise and Cass,” said the world number 116. “Anne-Lise and I have known each since I first went to play the Ladies European Tour and we are good friends. She is very solid tee to green and I expect her to go low in the final round. “We actually played in Tuesday’s pro-am together. She is a great girl and a talented golfer and she can bomb the ball. She takes photos of my drives! She’s played really well over the last two days and it’s nice to see her in the leading group in her first event as a rookie.” AMATEUR CHALLENGE [caption id="attachment_27268" align="alignleft" width="300"] 3. The youngest starter to make the cut and in her first start! SAGDB member & GolfRSA TDI Squad player Pheletso Mota (16) during the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Top ranked Kajal Mistry leads the leading amateur challenge on five-over after carding rounds of 72 and 77. Fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad player Symone Henriques is a further shot back. Three more amateurs made the cut to the top 30 professionals and ties, which fell at 156. Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Larissa Du Preez (153) and Alison Muirhead from Scotland (156) will join the line-up alongside SADGB member Pheletso Mota. The GolfRSA Talent Identification Squad player from Kroonstad bounced back after an opening 81 with a 74 to finish on 155, making her the youngest starter at 16 years old in Friday's final round at Irene Country Club. SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #sunshineladiestour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empowerwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @CanonRSA FACEBOOK - @CanonSouthAfrica INSTAGRAM - @canonrsa HASHTAG - #CanonSLTOpen   Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
30 January 2019 - Ashleigh Buhai sounded a warning shot to the field of the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open field with a flawless five-under 67 in the first round at Irene Country Club on Wednesday. The bogey-free round for Buhai meant she opened up a three-shot lead in the 54-hole event over countrywoman Symone Henriques and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann, who both carded tidy opening rounds of two-under 70. A further stroke adrift in solo fourth was France’s Emie Peronnin, while six South Africans shared fifth spot on level par, including former Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Lee-Anne Pace and Bertine Faber, rookie Casandra Hall, amateur Kajal Mistry, 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner Stacy Bregman and Ivana Samu, making a welcome return to competitive golf after undergoing back surgery last year. Buhai ended the 2018 season on a high note, winning the Investec South African Women’s Open for a third time, and the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golfer was understandably chuffed with her first competitive round of 2019. “I’m very happy with the way I played with it being my first tournament back after I took five weeks off starting in December,” said Buhai. “I started practicing three weeks ago, and I was very happy to put what I was working on into play. I had five birdies and no bogeys, so a very good result at the start of the season.” When Buhai missed shots, they were in the right places and her short-game came through with flying colours. “I made a lot of good saves and my short game was very sharp, considering I haven’t played that much. My coach Doug Wood and I have a plan and we’ve worked on that. Consistency-wise I was never really in trouble, even my bad shots were just right or just off the green. They weren’t difficult up-and-downs so that also made it a little bit easier for me to make those pars.” Following a second place finish on the final Order of Merit last year, Buhai produced some strong performances abroad which saw her end the year as the top-ranked SA player on the global stage. At 116th in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, Buhai is some way ahead of Pace, with SA number three Bregman even further back at 308th. “I was happy with the way I finished off last season,” Buhai said. “There was definitely some inconsistency and we’ve built something into my swing which I hope will help me with that. “I played a lot of golf last year, I think it was 31 tournaments. I’m looking to space things out a lot better this year and hopefully play well in the bigger events and then to not have to play as much golf either.” Husband Davis is back on the bag this week, a partnership which clearly works on local shores. “Dave is back on the bag when I’m in South Africa, but when I compete abroad, I use Gary du Plooy from Zimbabwe,” Buhai explained. “He’s been caddying for me for just over six months now. I enjoy it when Dave caddies for me, since he knows my game the best, but I think it’s good to have that time apart when we hit the long run in the States.” The 29-year-old has a busy schedule ahead, and will not have much time to dwell or savour from this week’s event. “I leave for Australia on Saturday, where I will be play three weeks and then I’ll come back for the Investec SA Open. Straight after Westlake, we leave for the United States for a six-week stretch.” [caption id="attachment_27261" align="alignright" width="300"] Glenvista amateur Symone Henriques tied for second with a two-under 70 in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.[/caption] Henriques will also be heading for the United States, although not as quickly as Buhai. The Glenvista amateur will be taking up a golf scholarship at East Carolina University in North Carolina in August. “I’m excited to play the Sunshine Ladies Tour without the pressure of school and to take in as much as I can from the pros,” said the 18-year-old. “I also hope to get into seriously competitive shape for the national amateur circuit. It would be great to win one more time before I leave.”       SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR TWITTER - @SLadiesTour FACEBOOK - @sunshineladiestour INSTAGRAM - @sunshineladiestour HASHTAG - #SunshineLadiesTour OTHER - #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN TWITTER - @CanonRSA FACEBOOK - @CanonSouthAfrica INSTAGRAM - @canonrsa HASHTAG - #CanonSLTOpen Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.

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