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20th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini jets to Jabra Ladies Classic lead

20 March 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini fired a flawless four-under-par 68 to get off to a flying start in the inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic in Wednesday’s opening round at Glendower Golf Club.

It was a real statement of intent from the reigning Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader, whose local knowledge came into good use on day one as she laid down a marker for a fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory – and the start in the Ladies European Tour’s Jabra Ladies Open that comes with the trophy and winner’s share of the R200 000 prize fund.

The big-hitting Swazi national leads by three strokes from French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal and Lora Assad.

Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry – second in the points race – carded a level-par 72 to tie for fourth with Kim Williams and India’s Tvesa Malik.

Emilie Alonso from France and reigning SA Women’s Long Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt finished a further shot back.

Two years ago, Dlamini fired a final round 67 to force the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon into extra time at Glendower. She traded pars with Carrie Park for the first three trips down the 18 before the South Korean won at the fourth play-off hole.

“I wanted a fast start to put some space between myself and the field because I I don’t want to go down that road again,” admitted the home crowd favourite.

Dlamini started with three straight pars from the 10th hole, but three birdies on the bounce from the par five 13th left the field in her wake. She set the uncontested first round target with a final birdie at the par five eighth.

“I was a little frustrated after I hit it close on the first two holes and missed both birdie putts, but I told myself to relax; I had a lot of holes left,” Dlamini said. “On 13, I hit driver down the middle, 4-iron into the green and two-putted for birdie. If I’d hit the first putt harder, it would have gotten to the hole.

“I had 143 metres at the par three and I hit a 9-iron that pitched and spun back to a foot. On 15, I got caught in the rough with my second, but I nearly holed my chip shot. Made the short putt for birdie and then pars to the turn.

“I made seven straight pars coming home before I birdied the par five (eight). I hit a big drive and 8-iron from 158 metres on the green and two-putted for birdie. I hit lots of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of chances, but the putting wasn’t great. I didn’t have any three-putts, but I had nine two-putts. I wasn’t comfortable with the putter, but I stayed patient.

“If you hit fairways and greens at Glendower, you will roll one in eventually. It could have been better, but I’ll take 68. I controlled the ball pretty much how I wanted to and I got the cushion I wanted.”

French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal has leader Nobuhle Dlamini in her sights after an opening one-under-par 71 in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Caudal, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, offset an early bogey at 12 with birdies at 14 and 17 and negated a second dropped shot at the fifth with a birdie at eight to finish under par.

“It was just a solid round. Nothing spectacular; no stretches of brilliance, just a consistent round of golf,” said the Jabra ambassador. “I would love to go home with the trophy on Friday, but I need to get the putter to warm up. I struck the ball well, hit a lot of greens, but just couldn’t get the putts to drop.”

Assad, who is hunting a maiden win, was four-over after seven holes, but got her round back on track with a brace of birdies before the turn and racked up more gains at 14, 15 and 17 for her 71.

“I was a little bit hit and miss on the front, but holed quite a lot of nice putts from the eighth,” said the Texas State graduate. “I just tried to keep hitting fairways and greens to give myself chances and I knew if I got into a rhythm that some would fall and they did. Now I just need to keep it going for two more days.”

Mistry won the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the Investec SA Women’s Open, heads up the amateur challenge for a sixth successive week.

The GolfRSA Elite Squad player lost the advantage of a birdie start at 10 to a bogey at the par four 12th but turned level par with steady golf over the next six holes. She birdied the first to dip under par again, but bogeyed six and seven before a birdie at eight landed her a share of third. The next best-placed amateurs are 14-year-old Kiera Floyd from Ebotse, Symone Henriques from Glenvista and Nadia van der Westhuizen from Serengeti, who all signed for 74.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


16th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Smit, Faber deadlocked in George

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.

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)

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.

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.

“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

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


4th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pairs ready to rumble in Serengeti Teams

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.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


1st February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai goes wire-to-wire at Irene

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. 

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


31st January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai bursts clear in Canon Sunshine Ladies Open

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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

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.

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.

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


30th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai fires warning shot Canon Sunshine Tour Ladies Open

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.”

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.

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.”

 

 

 

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


28th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

SA’s Best primed for Glory Battle at Westlake

28 January 2019 – Ashleigh Buhai’s seven-year wait for a third Ladies European Tour (LET) title ended in Cape Town when she won the Investec South African Women’s Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last March.

South Africa’s leading international golfer became the third player to achieve a hat-trick of triumphs and she will take up her title defence when the R2-million LET co-sanctioned showpiece returns to Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.

The world number 116 hopes to join Lee-Anne Pace with four victories, but believes it will be a tougher task to reach the winner’s circle this year.

“When Investec took up the title sponsorship last year and put the Investec South African Women’s Open back on the LET schedule, the interest in the event really sparked and the tournament drew a strong field of international golfers,” said Buhai.

“I really had to work for the win and now that this year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour has two new events – the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower and the Team Championship at Serengeti – the depth of the field will be even stronger.

“With spots into two LET events, courtesy of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic, we can expect an even bigger presence of LET players. Several Sunshine Ladies Tour players like Lejan Lewthwaite and Nobuhle Dlamini have also made huge strides over the last 12 months. Lee-Anne Pace and Stacy Bregman are always dangerous and, if you factor in the international entries, the level of competition will be even higher.

“I am coming back with the goal of defending the title, but it won’t be a walk in the park. I will have to bring my A-game to Westlake to finish in front.”

Pace will also be back, chasing title number five, and Bregman, now the third highest ranked South African in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at number 306, is targeting a maiden win.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open trophy is definitely on my bucket list,” said the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion and last year’s Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

“I didn’t practice much ahead of the first event on the LET in Abu Dhabi and I got the bad end of the draw for the first two days, so I was really pleased to finish in the top 16. I plan to defend at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the end of January and then I am heading to Australia.

“I will be playing four events, including the Australian Women’s Open and I hope to build up some good form for Westlake. The Investec South African Women’s Open is the one title we all aspire to win and I came close last year. I went low on the final day to finish fourth and this year, I’m aiming for the winner’s circle.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open has enjoyed the support of the City of Cape Town since regaining co-sanctioned status last year and moving to the Mother City.

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, said, “In December last year, Cape Town was named as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the World Tourism Awards. Being able to host fantastic sporting events such as the Investec SA Women’s Open further confirms why we are able to celebrate this title.

“Big events being held in Cape Town mean fantastic entertainment for our residents and visitors, and at the same time bring with them skills development and job creation opportunities for our communities. I want to wish the event organisers and all participants a successful event and I’m looking forward to seeing Cape Town come out to support our South African sporting stars.”

The tournament promoter, Lesley Copeman from World Sports Promotions, applauded Investec and the City of Cape Town for their continued investment in the women’s professional game and commitment to women’s golf development.

“The South Africa Women’s Open is the showpiece of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and deserves strong, committed sponsors like Investec and the City of Cape Town,” Copeman said. “However, Investec and the City of Cape Town have also invested in the growth of women’s golf through their continued support of the women’s professional circuit.

“Since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, Investec has sponsored several events and initiatives, while the City of Cape Town joined the circuit in 2015 with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.  The City of Cape Town also extended its support and hosted the South African Women’s Masters at Rondebosch Golf Club in 2017 and last year, the City of Cape Town fully supported our decision to take the SA Women’s Masters to San Lameer and to bring the crown jewel of the Sunshine Ladies Tour circuit to Westlake.

“In addition, Investec added a R100 000 incentive last year for the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner. This kind of commitment is a strong endorsement of the exciting growth and development of the women’s professional game in South Africa.”

SOCIAL MEDIA INVESTEC SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN’S OPEN
TWITTER – @SAWomensOpen
FACEBOOK – @sawomensopen
INSTAGRAM – @sawomensopen
HASHTAG – #InvestecSAWomensOpen

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – #SunshineLadiesTour
OTHER – #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.

 


23rd January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bregman heads to Irene with lofty goals

PRETORIA, 23 January 2019 – Five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Stacy Bregman is embracing the pressure that comes as defending champion as she prepares to tee it up in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the end of the month.

The sixth season launches with the R200,000 event at Irene Country Club on 30 January.

Bregman, who captured her first Sunshine Ladies Tour title in the Zambia Ladies Open five years ago, racked up victories in the Sun International Ladies Challenge, Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and Cape Town Ladies Open in 2015.

Last year she ended a three-year winning drought when a closing 71 at Pretoria Country Club helped her towards a four under par total and four-shot victory for her fifth triumph.

Bregman travelled to the United Arab Emirates earlier this year for the Fatima Bint Mubarak Open on the Ladies European Tour. “I took time off over the festive season, so I wasn’t very sharp. And I got the bad side of the draw with really windy conditions in the first two rounds, so I was really pleased to kick off the season with a top 16 finish.”

Since she returned from Abu Dhabi, Bregman has been hitting the gym hard and working with her coach, Grant Veenstra. She feels positive heading to Irene to defend the title and her 2018 Investec Property Order of Merit crown in the season-opener.

“It’s always nice to play at home, especially when the weather turns warm,” said the Country Club Johannesburg golfer. “I have always enjoyed playing Irene, because it’s a thinker’s course and if you are swinging it well, you can go low.

“Being the defending champion is an added bonus. It doesn’t happen as often as you would like, so it does put a bit more pressure on you, but I always enjoy a bit more stress. I’ll have a good week regardless.”

Bregman said it’s always nice to draw on positive memories at the start of the season.

“It was a very exciting finish. I hit some smart shots to stay in front and played more conservatively at the end, relying on my short game. I’m really strong off the tee, but I live by my short game. It’s a huge part of my game. “I’m very happy with a lot of aspects of my game. I need to put it all together on the golf course to have a win, but there are a lot of positive signs. My expectation is the same every time I play. You’re trying to play as well as you can to get yourself into contention for the final round. I know that if I can get myself into that position I can win coming down the stretch.”

Bregman expects tough opposition from the leading South African players, who will also be keen to get a foot on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit ladder in the first event.

She headlines the 66-strong playing field that will feature former LPGA Tour champion Lee-Anne Pace, Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Ashleigh Buhai, Bertine (Strauss) Faber, Kim Williams, Monique Smit, Tandi Mc Callum and Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland, former LET winner Laurette Maritz, as well as 21 international campaigners from 14 countries.

A number of rookies will also be making their Sunshine Ladies Tour debut including 2018 Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play champion Casandra Hall.

“It’s a strong field and it should be a really good event,” Bregman said. “If I’m in the mix, I will push really hard. It would be great to win the first one; it really sets you up for the rest of the tour.

“The course has lots of trees, but it’s quite open and there is not a huge amount of rough. If the weather stays nice, we’ll see very good scoring.”

Canon South Africa’s Corporate and Marketing Communications Executive, Dana Eitzen, said Canon is proud to be part of the Sunshine Ladies Tour for a third successive year.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour has enjoyed tremendous growth and support since its inception in 2014 and is certainly the most illustrious ladies’ professional circuit in Africa,” Eitzen said.

“Canon is once again proud to sponsor the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, which is traditionally the kick-off event when some of the best female golfers in the country and the world, convene for the start of the season. We are certain that the 2019 edition of this prestigious event will once again showcase tremendous skill and unrivalled sportsmanship and we look forward to watching the tour unfold over the next few months.”

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – #SunshineLadiesTour
OTHER – #buildingwomenschampions #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.


15th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Jabra connects with Sunshine Ladies Tour

15 January 2019 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour announced on Tuesday a new event set to debut on the 2019 schedule. The inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic will not only bring down the curtain on the sixth season at Glendower Golf Club from 20-22 March, but there is a lot to look forward to for the first champion.

“We are delighted to partner with Jabra in what promises to be a sensational season-finale,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan. “Jabra is associated with the Ladies European Tour (LET) and Ladies European Tour Access Series (LETAS) through the Jabra Ladies Open and is now proudly associated with the Sunshine Ladies Tour as a partner for 2019.

“The Jabra Ladies Classic will carry a purse of R200 000 and comes with a very exciting incentive for the winner. The 2019 champion will be granted a spot in the Jabra Ladies Open, which last year became the first dual-ranking event between the LET and LETAS.

“The Jabra Ladies Open, hosted at the famous Evian Resort Golf Club in France since 2016, is the only European qualifying tournament for the Evian Championship, the second biggest Major of the season. The Jabra Ladies Open winner and the runner-up will be both be granted spots in this Major. The champion will also earn her place in the AIG Women’s British Open, as well as a full category on the LET for the next season.”

Should the 2019 Jabra Ladies Classic champion already be exempt for the Jabra Ladies Open, the spot will go to the first available player not exempt on the final leaderboard at the time of the Jabra Ladies Classic.

“Jabra has agreed to go down to the 20th spot,” said Nathan. “This incredibly generous gesture will ensure that one of our rising stars will get the opportunity to gain valuable international experience. We are delighted to welcome Jabra to our stable of partners and we look forward to a very exciting end to what promises to be another memorable Sunshine Ladies Tour.”

Jean-Baptiste Pain, Managing Director Jabra South EMEA, said that the company is very excited to extend its support of women’s professional golf to the Sunshine Ladies Tour. “Jabra has made a noteworthy contribution to women’s professional golf in Europe for a few years now and we are delighted to extend our support to the Sunshine Ladies Tour, now in its sixth season, and to assist in securing the future of the professional women’s circuit in South Africa.

“The Jabra Ladies Classic is aligned with one of our main objectives, which is to support Women’s Golf by proposing high-quality tournaments that allow the golfers to express their talent and develop their golf experience. This is made possible thanks to the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the strongest professional circuit in Africa, and the great support it brings to this new project.”

The 2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour launches on 30 January with eight events.

“The Jabra Ladies Classic follows the Investec South African Women’s Open, which will be co-sanctioned with the LET at Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March,” Nathan said.

“By positioning the Jabra Ladies Classic at the end of the season, we hope to encourage the LET players to stay on in South Africa to ensure a competitive, international field for the season-finale.

“As one of the top ranked golf courses in South Africa, Glendower will provide the perfect setting for the Jabra Ladies Open and, of course, the final chase for the Investec Property Order of Merit crown. The season-long points race reached a dramatic climax with Stacy Bregman sealing victory in the Investec South African Women’s Open last year and we anticipate another tightly run race this year.”

ABOUT JABRA
Jabra is a leader in engineering communications and sound solutions – innovating to empower both consumers and businesses. Proudly part of the GN Group, we are committed to letting people hear more, do more and be more than they ever thought possible. Through sound, we help transform lives. Jabra engineering excellence leads the way, building on 150 years of pioneering work. This allows us to create integrated headsets and communication tools that help professionals work more productively; and wireless headphones and earbuds that let consumers better enjoy calls, music and media. Jabra employs close to 1,100 people worldwide and reported annual revenue of DKK 4bn in 2017. The GN Group, founded in 1869, operates in 100 countries and delivers innovation, reliability, and ease of use. Today, GN employs more than 5,500 people and is Nasdaq Copenhagen listed. GN makes life sound better. www.jabra.com

SOCIAL MEDIA JABRA
TWITTER – @We_are_Jabra
FACEBOOK – @Jabra
INSTAGRAM – @Jabra
HASHTAG – #JabraLadiesClassic

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAGS – #sunshineladiestour #buildingwomenschampions #itstartshere 

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


13th December 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils 2019 schedule

Five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit champion Stacy Bregman; credit Michael Edwards

JOHANNESBURG, 13 December 2018 – Another bumper season awaits the leading lights of South African women’s golf, and international participants from around the globe, when the Sunshine Ladies Tour tees off in 2019.

The tour launches on 30 January, and the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open will fittingly draw the curtain on the sixth season in mid-March. The crown jewel of South African women’s golf will once again carry Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned status and boast a purse of R2 million.

“When we launched the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2014, we could not anticipate how incredibly well the circuit would be supported by players and sponsors alike,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan.

“Thanks to initial investment and the ongoing commitment from Investec Property and support from the primary key stakeholders and sponsors Dimension Data, Sun International, the City of Joburg, the City of Cape Town, the City of Tshwane, SuperSport, Canon and the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, the Sunshine Ladies Tour has shown tremendous growth over the last five years.

“Participation has increased tenfold, with more than 40 international golfers playing the full circuit last year. Prize money has quadrupled from the first season, and the knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic, with many young golfers flourishing on the international stage over the past two years.

“Investec Property has been with us every step of the way since the first season and has continued to find ways to make the Sunshine Ladies Tour more attractive.

“The 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, raised the profile of our national championship to global status. The Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, which was launched in 2018 with a bonus pay-out of R100 000 to the leading player at the end of the season, cultivated a well-supported and highly competitive circuit.

“We are confident of hosting another memorable season in 2019, culminating in the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.”

Cheryl Leicher, Head of Marketing for Investec Property, said the partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour aptly showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that the athletes are recognised for their dedication.

“We are thrilled that the Investec South African Women’s Open is a platform that can aid the promotion and growth of South African women in sport. It’s encouraging to see that our partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour is giving local players the opportunity to compete on a global stage and further the growth of the sport as we continuously strive towards building women champions,’ said Leicher.”

The 2019 season kicks off with the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club from 30 January to 1 February.

The Soweto Country Club makes its first appearance on the women’s professional circuit as the host venue for the Joburg Ladies Open from 6-8 February. The Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am returns in its regular slot opposite the Dimension Data Pro-Am from 15-17 February in George.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour then swings through KwaZulu-Natal for the South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club from 21-23 February and the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club from 26-28 February.

The Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 6-8 March will precede the season-ending Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.

Margie Whitehouse, the returning chair of the Women’s PGA of South Africa, added:

“As the oldest and most prestigious professional women’s golf tournament since 1988, the Investec South African Women’s Open is the WPGA’s flagship event.  On this 31st anniversary, we would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Investec Property for their sponsorship, as well as to the City of Cape Town for their continued support.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to all our other partners and sponsors as we look forward to a successful 2019 season.”

2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour Schedule
30 January – 1 February
Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open

Irene Country Club
Prize fund: R200 000

6 – 8 February
Joburg Ladies Open

Soweto Country Club
Prize fund: R500 000

15 – 17 February
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am

George Golf Club and the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Prize fund: R500 000
Pro-Am Prize Fund: R100 000

21 – 23 February
South African Women’s Masters

San Lameer Country Club
Prize fund: R250 000

26 – 28 February
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International

Wild Coast Sun Country Club
Prize fund: R400 000

6 – 8 March
Cape Town Ladies Open

Royal Cape Golf Club
Prize fund: R200 000

14 – 16 March
Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour

Westlake Golf Club
Prize fund: R2 million

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Sunshine Ladies Tour 2019 hashtags: #buildingwomenchampions #sunshinesadiestour
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour

Written and released on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.