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14th December 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour announces 2021 schedule

14 December 2020 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour today announced its 2021 schedule and women’s golf fans can look forward to six weeks of action, capped by the Investec South African Women’s Open from 18-20 March in the City of Cape Town.

The eighth season of the local women’s professional circuit launches with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 3-5 February.

Next up is the annual Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am from 12-14 February. The eighth edition will boast a purse of R600 000, with an additional R100 000 up for grabs for the leading 10 teams in the Better Ball Pro-Am competition. The first two rounds will be played at George Golf Club and the final round will be contested at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt.

From George, the circuit travels to Sun City for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, where the immaculate Gary Player Country Club – host venue of the 2020 South African Open Championship – will once again serve up an exciting challenge from 24-26 February.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour then spends two weeks in Johannesburg for the Joburg Ladies Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic before returning to the Mother City for the season-finale showpiece.

The popular Joburg Ladies Open makes its sixth appearance on the circuit from 3-5 March and returns to the Soweto Country Club for a third successive year. The following week, the Jabra Ladies Classic celebrates its third edition at Glendower Golf Club.

Westlake Golf Club will bring down the curtain on what promises to be another exciting season of building women champions when it hosts the country’s flagship event for a fourth successive year. The Investec South African Women’s Open will once again be co-sanctioned between the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Ladies European Tour and carry a prize fund of €200 000 (approximately R3.6-million).

“Although we have a slightly shortened schedule in 2021, we are excited to offer our players some wonderful incentives next year,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen.

“The 2021 Investec Order of Merit will commence with the Cape Town Ladies Open. It will be based on a points system and the winner at the conclusion of the Investec South African Women’s Open will receive a bonus prize of R100 000.

“At this time, we are unable to confirm the incentives on offer to the winners of the Jabra Ladies Classic and the Investec South African Women’s Open.  However, once confirmed by the Ladies European Tour, they could result in life-changing opportunities for our players.

“These incentives will add up to huge rewards for the players supporting the Sunshine Ladies Tour and will undoubtedly make for another highly competitive season of inspiring feats, rousing shot-making and contests to savour.”

Sunshine Tour Commissioner Thomas Abt said it is wonderful to see the Sunshine Ladies Tour continue as strong as ever, despite the hardships golf in South Africa experienced in 2020.

“Since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, the circuit has blossomed and grown into a wonderful stage where the next generation can cut their teeth and build experience competing against the top talents from South Africa and abroad,” said Abt.

“Over the last seven years, the tour has showcased the talents of international champions Ashleigh Buhai and Lee-Anne Pace and campaigners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and our 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner Monique Smit.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour has also proven highly successful in building future champions, including Lejan Lewthwaite, Nobuhle Dlamini and Casandra Hall, who are all competing on the Ladies European Tour now. The next generation have also greatly benefitted from the experience of competing at this level, with the likes of Zethu Myeki, Kajal Mistry, Kaiyuree Moodley, Caitlyn Macnab and Kaylah Williams all excelling at amateur level.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour increasingly draws a growing pool of international competitors, who come out to South Africa to take advantage of our weather, our great golf courses and a highly competitive circuit at the start of the year. And our partnership with the Ladies European Tour provide our local players great opportunities to gain access to the international stage. We look forward to another successful Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2021.”

Margie Whitehouse, chair of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, welcomed the announcement.

“We are delighted that the Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its eight season in 2021,” said Whitehouse. “Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown, we will host a strong run of tournaments next year thanks to the incredible loyalty of our sponsors and partners.

“Globally, golf has proven itself as a sport that can be played safely. The South African golf industry has adapted quickly to manage the restrictions and has the operational experience and established GolfRSA Covid-secure practices to guarantee that the 2021 Sunshine Ladies Tour can tee off with great success next year.”

Peta Dixon, Head of Sponsorships Investec SA, said Investec is proud of their continued involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“Investec threw its support behind the Sunshine Ladies Tour since its inception and it has been an encouraging and rewarding journey to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last seven years,” Dixon said.

“Investec is honoured and delighted to partner the Sunshine Ladies Tour in showcasing the incredible talent of women in golf and to help our golfers achieve the opportunity to compete on the global stage. We are invested in the next generation of women and we believe that these athletes should be recognised for their dedication and achievements. As the title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Investec Order of Merit, we proudly promote the growth and development of South African women in sport.”

2021 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE

FEBRUARY

3-5        Cape Town Ladies Open
               R200 000 / Royal Cape Golf Club

12-14    Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
               R600 000 / R100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am
George Golf Club / Outeniqua Course at Fancourt

24-26    SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
                R400 000 / Gary Player Country Club

MARCH

3-5        Joburg Ladies Open
               R500 000 / Soweto Country Club

10-12    Jabra Ladies Classic
               R600 000 / Glendower Golf Club

18-20    Investec South African Women’s Open*
                €200 000 / Westlake Golf Club
* Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned


31st January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace seals Cape Town Ladies Open hat-trick in style

31 January 2020 – Lee-Anne Pace hopes her Cape Town Ladies Open hat-trick is a good omen as she begins to resuscitate her career on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2020.

Pace successfully wrapped up her 25th career victory with a five-shot victory on eight under par after closing with a five-under 67 on a blustery final day at King David Mowbray Golf Club on Friday.

Her last visit to the winner’s circle was in the same event two years ago at Royal Cape Golf Club and her first success was also at Royal Cape in 2016.

“I’m super, super happy,” said Pace as she hugged the trophy and flashed a big, white toothy smile at the applauding crowd during prize giving.

”I didn’t expect it this week. Last year was a write-off; I just didn’t enjoy it anymore. I missed two cuts and decided to take a total break from the game. The break did me the world of good, but I didn’t expect I played two events in the last six months and missed the cut in both, so I didn’t really expect to start this well. But time away from the game was really good for me. I am in a good place in my life and I felt very comfortable out there. I am enjoying it again. This is the perfect to start building form for the Ladies European Tour.”

Pace opened with an even-par 72 and dipped three shots below par in the second round to start the final day one shot behind Dlamini on four-under.

She reeled in three birdies over the first six holes, and managed to come through the second and fourth holes relatively unscathed. “I doubled the second hole and bogeyed the fourth in the first two rounds, so that cost me four shots,” Pace said. “I don’t know what it is about that second hole, but I bogeyed it again in the final round. Luckily the birdies on one, three and six gave me a boost.”

Lee-Anne Pace credited her young caddie, Jere Brits from Paarl, for her 13th Sunshine Ladies Tour title. The 16-year-old Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series finalist guided the former LPGA and Ladies European Tour winner to a hat-trick of wins in the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club.

Pace lauded her caddie, 16-year-old Bridge Fund Manager Junior Series finalist Jere Brits from Paarl, for guiding her to the winner’s circle.

“Jere had been absolutely brilliant all week and he deserves a lot of credit. He gave me all the right clubs, the lines and the pace and even an eagle at the 14th. I wanted to hit an 8-iron and he talked me into a seven, and we got the eagle.”

Two perfectly-timed shots on the ultimate hole set her up for a birdie finish and she nailed it.

With a record setting start to the 2020 season, how much would Pace like to finish it off with a record fourth triumph in the Investec South African Women’s Open in middle-March?

“It’s definitely in the back of my mind, as is winning the Investec Order of Merit,” she said. “I got so close last year, and I would love to get the win. That trophy comes with spots in the British Women’s Open and the Evian Championship and LET membership until the end of 2021. More than anything, it would be great to be the first four-time winner.

“It was a really great week with the putter and I was driving it better every day, so I am looking forward to the rest of the season, and to keep on building form. And hopefully Jere’s mom and dad will let me borrow him again for Westlake.”

While Pace was in blistering form, Dlamini struggled to recreate the magic of her second round 67.

The 2019 Investec Order of Merit winner paid the penalty of an errant drive at the par four second with a double bogey and had to settle for second on three-under.

Durbanville rookie Tara Griebenow played the final round with Pace and Dlamini and finished an impressive third on level par after rounds of 73, 71 and 72.

Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Larissa du Preez bagged the Leading Amateur honour.

The Silver Lakes golfer carded rounds of 73, 75 and 73 to tie American Jordy LaBarbera for eighth overall on five-over 221.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour travels to Sun City next for the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Gary Player and Lost City Courses from 4-6 February.

SOCIAL MEDIA

HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #itstartshere #InvestecGolf

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

 


30th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini edges ahead in Cape Town Ladies Open

30 January 2020 – A well-rested Nobuhle Dlamini took advantage of a breeze caressing the King David Mowbray Golf Club fairways to edge into the 36-hole lead on day two of the Cape Town Ladies Open.

The big-hitting eSwatini golfer fired a bogey-free five-under-par 67 on Thursday to move to four-under, one shot clear of 12-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who posted 69.

Given Dlamini’s form and Pace’s extensive competitive experience, the smart money would be on the pair to go-head-to-head to bank the first winner’s cheque of the 2020 season, but Durbanville rookie Tara Griebenow and seasoned French campaigner Astrid Vayson De Pradenne are still both firmly in contention.

The pair returned rounds of 71 to stay in touch, finishing in a tie for third on level par.

Lejan Lewthwaite and last season’s SuperSport Ladies Challenge winner Jane Turner are not completely out of the running. Reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lewthwaite carded 71 to finish on one-over, and a 72 left Scotland’s Turner sitting on two-over.

Dlamini had to hit the ground running after she only landed back in South Africa on the eve of the season-opening event, having secured her Ladies European Tour card with a top 8 finish at the Q-School in Spain at the weekend.

She made an impressive start and led the field by two shots after nine holes, but when fatigue set in on the inward loop, a number of bogeys saw her slip to one-over 73 and she started the second round one shot behind Pace.

“I slept really well and felt like a new person this morning,” said Dlamini, who racked up four birdies before the turn. “I felt really comfortable out there. I played the course for the first time during the first round and with the wind gusting so strong, it was pretty daunting.

“I liked the layout, but I wasn’t sharp. It’s not a course where you can pull driver out of the bag on every hole. Today I hit a lot of long irons and I drove the ball really well. I made some very good putts on the front, but the putter fell asleep on the back nine. I was happy to make two putts for pars until one finally dropped for birdie on 17.

“Playing with Lee-Anne in the final round will be interesting. She may not have played for a while, but she is so experienced. You can never underestimate her.”

Lee-Anne Pace; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace sandwiched a double bogey between birdies at the first and third holes. The former LPGA Tour champion erased another dropped shot at the fourth with gains on seven and nine and reeled in two more birdies coming home.

“Another up-and-down start for me,” laughed Pace. “I hit a much better drive today on the second, and doubled it again. Tomorrow I’m hitting 6-iron, 6-iron and hopefully a chip-and-putt will get me a par. I dropped the fourth again, too. Luckily I had a couple of early birdies to help me out.

“I made quite a lot of birdies when I struck the ball well and found the fairways, and I was happy to finish with a birdie at the last. At least it warmed up nicely. It’s a tough course. It’s really tight, especially when the wind blows.

“Overall, I’m happy that I can see my game improving in every round and I look forward to going toe-to-toe with Nobby in the final round.”

Dlamini and Pace will be playing in the final group with Griebenow, who held her own in the heady company of Dlamini and fellow Ladies European Tour campaigner Lewthwaite.

“It’s her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut and she properly being tested, but I was so impressed with how focussed and calm she was out there. She has a great attitude. Nothing beats experience and it’s great for her to be playing with us in the leading group on Friday,” Dlamini said.

Tara Griebenow; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Griebenow completed her PGA Diploma at The Golf School of Excellence at the Paul McKenzie Academy last year and the Western Province rookie tested the waters in a few Vodacom Origins of Golf series events last year.

“I won the Humewood event, which was a great experience but competing on the Sunshine Ladies Tour is a different league. The atmosphere on the Origins series is more relaxed because you are playing with amateurs, but this is the big time,” said the 23-year-old. “It was great to watch the way Nobby and Lejan managed their games and stay in the moment. Playing with Nobby and Lee-Anne in the final round will be another big learning opportunity for me and I can’t wait.”

SOCIAL MEDIA
HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour

TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #itstartshere #InvestecGolf

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

 


20th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Friendship put aside for Cape Town showdown

CAPE TOWN, 20 January 2020 – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace and popular French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal will put their long-lasting friendship aside when they tee it up in the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club from 29-31 January.

Pace and Caudal struck up a friendship when the South African first started competing on the Ladies European Tour in 2008 and they have been fast friends since.

“Anne-Lise and I always support each other; in fact, I’m even going to caddy for her next week in the final stage of the LET Q-School, but we have both set ourselves goals for this season,” Pace said. “We will still be travelling together, but once we get on the course, the gloves will come off, starting at the Cape Town Ladies Open. With the incentives on offer this year, it’s every woman for herself.”

Pace is undoubtedly South Africa’s most successful golfer since Major champion Sally Little with nine LET wins and a LPGA victory under her belt. She also leads the Sunshine Ladies Tour champions’ list with 12 victories since the women’s professional circuit launched in 2014, including a Cape Town Ladies Open double.

And she will be looking to revenge two agonisingly close missed calls last year.

Pace looked on course to make it a hat-trick of wins at Royal Cape Golf Club after sharing the 36-hole lead with amateur Kajal Mistry. However, the Paarl golfer was beaten to the winner’s circle by former SA Women’s Masters champion Carrie Park and overhauled by Caudal and Mistry, who tied for second, in a mammoth final round tussle.

A week later, she was hunting a record fourth Investec South African Women’s Open crown, but once again the South African was denied when Indian rookie Diksha Dagar beat her by one shot for a maiden Ladies European Tour victory at Westlake Golf Club.

“It was still hugely disappointing to come so close and for the first time, not lift a single trophy,” Pace said.  “I am keen to get back on the winning track and it would be great to start off with a win in Cape Town and to then come full circle at the end of the season and win the Investec South African Women’s Open a fourth time.”

Cape Town has certainly been kind to Pace in the past and if she does triumph in the season-finale Investec South African Women’s Open, she not only own the tournament record for most victories, but also bank exemption into two Majors – the Evian Championship and the AIG British Women’s Open – and playing privileges on the Ladies European Tour for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

“Those are huge incentives to play for and I also have my eye on the R100 000 bonus for the Investec Order of Merit. It all starts in Cape Town at the end of January and I’m really determined to start the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a strong start and to build from there.”

Caudal, who enjoyed her first taste of success on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in the inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club, also has a score to settle in the Mother City.

“I was a runner-up the last two years in the Cape Town Ladies Open, so I am hoping a new year and a new course brings me some good luck,” Caudal said. “It was really great to win last year after so many close calls over the first six seasons. It definitely boosted my confidence and I would love nothing more than to make a winning start in 2020 in Cape Town.”

The City of Cape Town is not only hosting the season-finale at Westlake for a third successive year, but backing the Cape Town Ladies Open for a sixth year running.

“We are pleased to extend our long-standing relationship with the Cape Town Ladies Open as part of the Sunshine Ladies Tour series,” said Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town.

“Teeing off at one of the country’s top golf courses, the King David Mowbray Golf Club – with its impressive manicured fairways and beautiful greens – this year’s competitors are again in for a spectacular experience in the Mother City.

“As the supporter of the tournament for the last six years, the City of Cape Town has sought to partner with events aimed at developing the women’s game while also nurturing the next generation of the country’s top golfers. We believe sport development programmes play a vital role in development and tournaments such as these provide a chance for young talent to be nurtured to their full potential. The Cape Town Ladies Open is now one of the most anticipated tournaments on the golf circuit and, in a short period, it has become a significant feature on Cape Town’s annual events calendar.

“As the City administration, we also welcome the economic opportunities which arise through events such as these and the increased spend at our world-famous attractions.

“Our city is renowned as an outdoor adventure destination with beautiful mountains, rivers, streams and beaches that complement our world-class infrastructure and we hope the competitors will take the opportunity to explore some of these and see more of what Cape Town has to offer. We look forward to another exciting and successful edition of the Cape Town Ladies Open.”

Former champion Stacy Bregman, 2019 Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini, Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Nicole Garcia, Lejan Lewthwaite, Kim Williams and Jane Turner from Wales will also be joining the action at King David Mowbray Golf Club alongside up-and-coming rising stars Brittney-Fay Berger, Shawnelle de Lange, former SA Women’s Amateur champion Cara Gorlei and former GolfRSA Protea Zethu Myeki, who will make her professional debut from 29 – 31 January 2020.

SOCIAL MEDIA
HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #itstartshere #buildingwomenchampions

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


8th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park powers to Cape Town Ladies Open victory

CAPE TOWN, 8 March 2019 – Carrie Park turned on the style when it mattered most, making crucial birdies on the final three holes at Royal Cape Golf Club to claim her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory by five strokes in the Cape Town Ladies Open on Friday.

With just five holes to play, the Korean shared top spot on a bunched leaderboard with defending champion Lee-Anne Pace on three-under.

Amateur Kajal Mistry and Finland’s Tiia Koivistra were within striking distance just one shot back.

Park reeled off birdies on the par-five 14th and 16th holes and notched further gains at the par-four 17th and 18th holes to triumph.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Mistry and Anne-Lise Caudal from France – last year’s runner up – tied for second on two-under, with South African Tandi McCallum, Swiss golfer Caroline Rominger and Koivisto a stroke further back in joint fifth.

Park headed into the final day one shot behind Pace and Mistry, who shared the overnight lead on four-under.

“I started the round very well and was feeling good, but I lost it a little bit at the turn,” she explained. “I felt like I couldn’t get my address right and everything started leaking right.

“The 14th was the turning point for me. I had 183 metres into the wind to the flag for my second and I hit a good 3-wood there to make a birdie. That really got me going.”

With the south-easterly wind gusting up to 50 km per hour at times, Park’s four-under-par 70 in the final round was the low score of the day. With earlier rounds of 72 and 73 at the par-74 layout, she was also the only player to break par on each day this week.

Even more remarkable is that Park only arrived in the country on the eve of the tournament and stepped into the first round without the benefit of a practice round.

“I prepared really well for the tournament. When we transferred, I did exercises to stay loose and I slept really well on the flights,” she said.

“It was really important to me to play this week. I wanted to get used to the distance at sea level and the ball flight to prepare for the Investec South African Women’s Open next week. My first Sunshine Ladies Tour win was the SA Women’s Masters. I would love to have the double.

“I don’t know Westlake. I have heard that it is also tight and tree-lined and the greens are very undulating. I plan to play at least three practice rounds to prepare well for next week.”

She often jokes that she is Korean by birth, but her heart is South African.

Her father enrolled the Seoul-born Park at Southdowns College at the age of 13. She joined Graeme Francis and the GFG Academy and soon after, began representing Gauteng North Golf Union.

A former SA Amateur and SA Stroke Play champion, Park was named Womens Golf South Africa Golfer of the Year in 2013 and she held the number one ranking for more than a year.

Following her third victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge last year, Park returned to Korea. She now plies her trade on the Korean LPGA Tour, having graduated to the tour courtesy of a win in the Phoenix Dream Tour in June last year.

Randpark golfer Kajal Mistry claimed the Leading Amateur honours for a fourth successive week with a joint runner-up finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Mistry, meanwhile, banked a second runner-up finish of the season, to go with the second place finish in the SA Women’s Masters and a further two top-10s.

It was another remarkable result for the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member, who remains in third spot on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

She has received a sponsor’s invitation to the R2-million Investec South African Ladies Open, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and is relishing her fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour start.

“I can’t wait to play in my first Ladies European Tour event,” said the 18-year-old Randpark golfer.

“So far the season has exceeded my expectations. Originally my goal was to finish in the top 10 on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, but I think I need to reset and aim for the top three.

“I’m happy with my performance at Royal Cape. Coming second is a great result, but I was not too happy with all the fairways I missed this week. I only hit six in the final round, but my irons and short-game has been really strong. It was all a really good learning curve for next week.”

SOCIAL MEDIA
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – #sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
TWITTER – @CityofCT
FACEBOOK – @CityofCT
INSTAGRAM – @cityofct
HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen

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


7th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Another stab at Cape Town glory for Pace and Mistry

7 March 2019 – Lee-Anne Pace and amateur Kajal Mistry eased their way to the top of a tightly-contested Cape Town Ladies Open leaderboard in Thursday’s second round at Royal Cape Golf Club.

Battling steady rain to begin with and the addition of strong winds toward the end of the round, Mistry knocked in a short birdie putt at the last for a level-par 74 to set the clubhouse target at four-under. Meanwhile defending champion Pace mixed five birdies with three dropped shots for a second successive two-under-par 72 to give herself an excellent shot at her 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

The joint leaders top a bunched and distinctly international leaderboard.

Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Carrie Park from Korea and big-hitting Finnish debutant Tiia Koivisto a stroke behind the leaders, while Caroline Rominger from Switzerland is alone in fifth at two-under.

France’s Anne-Lise Caudal – a two-time former Ladies European Tour winner and last year’s runner-up after a play-off loss to Pace – a further stroke adrift, while Swedish duo Emma Westin and Sofie Bringner and overnight leader Kiran Matharu from England are tied on level par.

While the rain may be much needed in the water-scarce Western Cape, it made scoring very difficult for the players around the par-74 Royal Cape layout, with only five players managing to shoot under par for the day.

For Pace, who posted the day’s low round of 72, it was all about hanging tough and taking her chances when they came.

“I hit the ball really well,” she said. “I knocked it really close on 10 and 12 for tap-in birdies, but to be honest I was a little disappointed with how I scored on the par fives today.

“I’ve put in a lot of practise in the last few weeks and I can see it coming through in my game. I’m hitting the shots and making the birdies when I need to.”

The rain that fell during the second round is set to be replaced by strong winds for the final round, adding to the challenge the players will face on the final day.

“It is a tough course in the wind,” said Pace. “It’s very tight, and if the wind blows like they say it will, level par could be a very good score.”

Pace will be paired with Mistry and Park in the final round, but may need to look over her shoulder as there are 11 players within five shots of the lead.

GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Kajal Mistry birdied the 18th hole at Royal Cape Golf Club to tie for the lead on day two of the Cape Town Ladies Open; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Mistry has been knocking on the door in her last four starts on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, including a play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters. She will fancy her chances on a course where she won the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship by a record eight strokes less than 12 months ago.

The 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player, who heads to college in the USA later this year, was delighted to be part of the final group for the second time this season.

“Today was all about being patient,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I only hit five fairways all day, compared to 12 yesterday, so I really had to scramble my way round. I stuck it out to the very end and I can’t wait for tomorrow.

“I’m not thinking about winning, but about learning from two great golfers. I played with Lee-Anne in the first round of the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so I’m really pleased that I’ll have another chance to tee it up with her, and Carrie is a class player. It’s should be a great experience for me.”

Park only in arrived in South Africa from her native Korea the evening before the tournament started.

She managed to play her best golf in the heavy rain, getting to five under courtesy of three straight birdies from the second hole, however, she undid her hard work with slips at the 15th and 16th, before grabbing a final birdie at the 17th.

“My putting was really good throughout the round,” Park said. “It really saved me today. I misread the wind at the end, because it was swirling a bit, and I let a few shots slip there but I’m really excited to be playing with Lee-Anne and Kajal tomorrow.”

SOCIAL MEDIA
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – #sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
TWITTER – @CityofCT
FACEBOOK – @CityofCT
INSTAGRAM – @cityofct
HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen

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


6th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

England’s Matharu on top at Cape Town Ladies Open

6 March 2019 – There were some familiar faces at the top end of the Sunshine Ladies Tour leaderboard as the first round of the Cape Town Ladies Open drew to a close at Royal Cape Golf Club on Wednesday.

Former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kiran Matharu fired a round of six-under-par 68 to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

The English golfer, who finished tie-sixth at the same venue a year ago, opened up a two-shot lead over last year’s runner up Anne-Lise Caudal from France, Tiia Kovisto from Finland and GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Kajal Mistry.

Former SA Women’s champion Tandi McCallum, fifth last year, was a further shot back.

Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace got her campaign off to a solid start with a round of two-under 72 to share sixth with Lora Assad and Carrie Park from South Korea.

Matharu offset seven birdies, including five on the back nine, with a solitary bogey to stamp her authority on the event. “I didn’t really see that round coming to be honest,” the Leeds golfer explained.

“I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks, but it all came together today. If you’re accurate off the tee, Royal Cape offers a lot of birdie chances and I managed to do that today, so I’m very happy with the start.”

Caudal – still hunting a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory – lost to Pace in a playoff last year and she was delighted to find form on a course that she feels very comfortable on.

“I played really well today,” she said. “I hit two bad drives, which cost me two bogeys and I missed two short birdie putts, but I’m very happy with four under. I just love this course.”

With the Royal Cape course set up to a par of 74 that includes no fewer than six par fives, there are lots of scoring opportunities for the players.

Finland’s Kovisto took full advantage on the back nine with a pair of eagles and a birdie en route to her 70 in her debut on the local circuit.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry is in contention for a fourth week running after opening with a four-under 70 in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Mistry also continued her fine form in the Sunshine Ladies Tour series. The diminutive 18-year-old, who is headed to the University of Arkansas in the US later this year, has had finishes of tie-20th, tie-4th, 2nd and tie-8th this season. Returning to the same venue where she won the Nomads SA Rose Bowl Championship last year sparked another positive performance and her round of 70 included three birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

“I’m really enjoying myself out here. I think it’s the relief of being finished with school and having golf as my main focus for the next few months,” explained the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member.

“I’m really excited about going to college, but until then it’s going to be golf, golf and more golf. I’ve played with a lot of good professionals and learned a lot about course management, which I’ve applied to my own game and it’s paying off.”

Pace is still very much in the hunt for a 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title after carding 72.

Two-time champion Lee-Anne Pace was happy to get her title defence off to a solid start in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“I struck the ball fantastically,” Pace said. “I just received my new Apex irons from Callaway. They go quite a bit further, but I’ve adjusted well. I had the speed of the greens, but I just wasn’t hitting them on line. If a few more dropped, I might even have been leading.”

Having experienced the course in benign conditions during the opening round, players can look forward to some challenging conditions for the rest of the week, with rain predicted for the second round and strong winds expected in the final round.

“I’m normally pretty good in windy conditions, so it won’t bother me,” explained Pace. “I’m only a few shots behind, and on a course like this anything can happen.”

Park, who led the South African Amateur rankings for two years, and holds three Sunshine Ladies Tour trophies, could be the dark horse to watch.

The petite Seoul golfer only landed in Cape Town last night and got it to four-under and co-led the opening round at one stage on four-under. “I was a little tired today, but that’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix,” said Park, who took her winning form on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last year to her native Korea, where she landed a card for the Korean LPGA Tour this year with a top 20 finish on the qualifying tour.

“I timed coming back to South Africa so I could play Royal Cape this week. I’ve always loved this course. I’m just four shots behind and with six par fives, you can make that up pretty quickly if you’re driving the ball well and the putter is behaving.”

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


5th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini gunning for City of Cape Town success

5 March 2019 – The City of Cape Town will host two world-class Sunshine Ladies Tour events in the next fortnight. Starting on Wednesday, the Cape Town Ladies Open will set the stage for next week’s Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

The fifth Cape Town Ladies Open has drawn a field of 67 players, with a 40-strong international contingent competing in the curtain-raiser at Royal Cape Golf Club ahead of the R2-million Sunshine Ladies Tour showpiece from 14-16 March at Westlake Golf Club.

The foreign campaigners have already enjoyed a fortuitous summer, coming up trumps in three of the first five events.

Flora Peuch and Marion Duvernay from France celebrated victory in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship in February, while Jane Turner from Scotland went wire-to-wire at the Wild Coast Sun last week to capture the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International.

Well-known Nobuhle Dlamini pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to three trophies in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt three weeks ago.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the Wild Coast, Dlamini has banked 1 257 points this season and the big-hitting Swazi golfer holds the top spot in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

With her closest pursuers at Royal Cape this week Kim Williams and Ivanna Samu – respectively ranked third and fourth on 586 and 529 points – Dlamini is determined to open up an unsurmountable lead in the rankings before the circuit moves to Westlake.

“There are a lot of ranking points on offer next week, so I have to try to win it this week to increase my lead,” said the 27-year-old. “I was pipped at the post last year by Stacy Bregman. I definitely don’t want that to happen again.

“I think the field is wide open this year. Lee-Anne (Pace) is always a worry. She hasn’t played on the Sunshine Ladies Tour since the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so she will be keen to get some points in the Order of Merit race.

“She won in 2016 and she’s defending. With the Investec South African Women’s Open next week, she is going to gun for the winner’s circle again. If she gets it going early on, she’ll be very tough to catch.

“But there are a few more players to worry about. Kim Williams has been in great form this season and Ivanna Samu could definitely pose a threat, because she has a great record at Royal Cape.

“The two Scottish rookies Gabrielle MacDonald and Hannah McCook did really well over the last two weeks in KwaZulu-Natal and Jane was in a class of her own last week.

“Jessica Dreesbeimdieke from Namibia and Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands have also been impressive so far this season. And Carrie Park is back. She’s a three-time winner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and she’s been playing the Ladies PGA Tour in Korea, where she’s also won.

“There are also a number of new players this week who have arrived early to warm up for the Investec SA Women’s Open. We don’t know much about them, so they could deliver a big surprise this week.”
Dlamini is confident, though, that she can protect her number one spot in the rankings.

“I’ve come to Cape Town this year in a very different mind-set,” she said. “I’ve always had a great game, but I didn’t have the self-belief that you need to compete at the highest level. Mentally I am stronger that I’ve ever been.

“I’ve had a mixed bag of results here in the past, but I believe I’ll do well. I trust my game. I trust my ability to grind and scramble to turn a bad round around. And I believe I can win. When you take mental strength and self-belief on to the golf course, you control the way you play.”

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


27th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Big target on Bregman’s back at Wild Coast

26 February 2018 – Nobuhle Dlamini, Ivanna Samu and Laura Fuenfstueck will want to reel in Stacy Bregman when the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader tees off in the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Wednesday.

Bregman wants to strengthen her vice grip on the standings in the penultimate event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour before the season-finale Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.

The five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner is enjoying her best season yet and is keen to put more daylight between herself and her nearest rivals. Bregman shot straight to the top of the standings with her victory in the season-opening Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and strung together an impressive sequence of top five finishes to anchor herself in top spot.

She leads the standings with 1 635.00 points and, with a R100 000 on the table for the point list winner, Bregman wants to consolidate her lead with another stirring performance before the final event at Westlake Golf Club from 8-10 March.

She enjoys a very handy 548.33 point advantage over Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am champion Carrie Park and is 555 points clear of Joburg Ladies Open winner Ashleigh Buhai, but Park is fulfilling her obligations on the Korean LPGA Tour, while Buhai is campaigning on the LPGA Tour.

It’s the trio behind Park and Buhai that pose a realistic threat this week.

“I have a pretty big cushion and I want to keep it that way,” said the 31-year-old Country Club Johannesburg golfer after her practice round on Tuesday.

“I’ve done the math. A win in the Investec South African Open is worth 1 100 points. That brings Ash, Nobby, Ivanna and Laura into play. I’ll need at least 2 000 going to Cape Town to win the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit. A win this week is worth 520 points; second place is 420 points. Those are two spots I’m aiming for.”

It is big ask, even for Bregman, especially since she has never set foot on the daunting par-70, Robert Trent Jones designed course before her practice round.

“I enjoyed my first look,” Bregman said. “It’s a really good course and it will play really tough when the wind is up. But I love playing new courses, so I’m looking forward to the tournament. The resort is really nice, too, and I am really keen to try the slides in the Water Park.”

Fuenstueck became the fifth alternative winner this season and third international champion on the Sunshine Ladies Tour when she annexed victory in the SA Women’s Masters by a single shot and the affable 23-year-old German rookie is a strong contender to go back-to-back at the Wild Coast Sun.

“At first it was just about making cuts, but I have definitely raised my expectations,” she said. “I only have conditional status on the Ladies European Tour, so I am hoping for another good week to take momentum to the Investec South African Women’s Open. I have to make this week count.”

Dlamini has also been making noticeable strides this season with a sequence of good results.

She let the chance of a maiden title slip with a double bogey at 14 at San Lameer, but rose to fourth spot in the standings on the back of a four-way tie for second place and feels that she is within touching distance now of a breakthrough victory. Playing a course with a layout similar to her home course, the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club, could just be what the big-hitting Swazi golfer needs to get inside the winner’s circle.

“I’m there at the door, knocking all the time,” said Dlamini. “It’s frustrating, but I am just staying really patient. If you knock long enough, the door has to open.”

The local favourite Melissa Eaton found herself neatly tucked into the runners-up cluster in the SA Women’s Masters and also feels she’s edging closer to a big payday.

“To be honest, I was ready to pack it in after a disastrous back nine in final round of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am,” she said. “I knew the only positive I could take away was learning the tough lesson it taught me. So I didn’t allow my emotions to get the better of me. I came back strong and I am taking a lot of positive energy into the SuperSport Ladies Challenge this week.”

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


16th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park has Bregman, Garcia in pursuit at Dimension Data

It’s her all-time favourite golf course and it showed as Carrie Park overcame a shaky start at George Golf Club to claim the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge on Friday.

The South Korean took the sting out of a double bogey at the opening hole with a birdie at the second and racked up four further gains to set the early clubhouse lead with a three-under-par 69.

The early starter’s score went unmatched as defending champion Nicole Garcia, 2015 champion Stacy Bregman, Nicole Bekker and Swiss golfer Valeria Martinoli all came up a shot shy of her target.

“This is my last event before I have to return to Korea because the rest of the schedule conflicts with the Korean LPGA Tour, and I’m just where I want to be,” said Park.

“I really, really love George and this golf course. It’s been my favourite since I came out to South Africa eight years ago and I played a lot of amateur golf here. I’ve always wanted to win the Dimension Data event, because it’s one of the best tournaments on our schedule. It’s a lot of fun to play with the amateurs and there is such a great atmosphere at this tournament with the men and the women playing together.”

The reigning SA Women’s Masters champion was pleased with her comeback after a dreadful start.

“It was not the start I expected, so I was so relieved when I made a birdie at two,” said Park. “It got back on track and I birdied nine to get back to level. I birdied 10 and 11, but it’s not an easy scoring course. It’s very tight, so you have to make the par fives count. I made one more birdie at 16 and then I just hoped that I had done enough.”

Garcia got it to three under at the turn, but gave herself a lot of hard graft on the back nine with a double bogey at 10.

“I had a three-putt at the third for bogey, but I managed to cancel it and then we had quite a long wait at the turn,” said Garcia. “I just lost focus in the 10 minute wait. I got a flier out of the rough and short-sided myself and I didn’t hit a good shot and made a quick double.

“I struggled to get it back; made birdies at 11 and 14 but dropped a shot at 12. I wanted to be close to the top, so I’m pretty happy that I’ve put myself in a strong position with 36 holes to play.”

In-form Bregman won the season-opening Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and leads the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after a tie for second in the Joburg Ladies Open and a top four finish in Cape Town. She dropped two shots in her outward loop but made up for it with birdies 14 and 16.

“I was going around steadily and then at the eighth, my approach hit something on the green and almost ricochet out of bounds,” said Bregman. “I nearly wrapped my pitching wedge around a tree at the last hole, but it came off and I made a great par. A bit of an up-and-down day, but I’m in a strong position. It was a good start.”

Jamila Jaxaliyeva – the first Kazakhstani to compete on the Sunshine Ladies Tour – moved into sixth place after she cancelled a quartet of bogeys with birdies at four, five, seven and 15.

She is one shot clear of a group of eight players that include 2017 Canon Ladies Tshwane Open champion Kiran Matharu from England, former South African Women’s Open winner Tandi McCallum and Ladies European Tour winner Anne-Lise Caudal from France, who lost the Cape Town Ladies Open in a play-off to Lee-Anne Pace last week.

Sarah Bouch from Ekurhuleni, Kingswood talent Zane Naude and Lindi Coetzee from Gauteng North lead the amateur chase on two-over 74. The trio share 16th place with Camilla Hedberg from Spain, England’s Lauren Taylor, South Africans Kim Williams and Francesca Cuturi, Norwegian Mariell Bruun and  Clara Pietri from Switzerland.

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