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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. 

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
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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.


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.

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.


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.


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.