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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.

 


24th December 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dagar aiming for Investec SA Women’s Open double

24 December 2019 – Defending champion Diksha Dagar is eager to recreate the performance that propelled her to instant stardom when she takes up her title defence in the Investec South African Women’s Open from 12-14 March 2020.

The 18-year-old deaf golfer became the youngest Indian woman to win on the distinguished Ladies European Tour with a popular and emotional maiden victory last March.

In a stellar amateur career, during which she won silver at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics and represented India at the 2018 Asian Games, Dagar earned a reputation for her brand of fearless and aggressive golf.

The left-hander entertained the crowds on the final day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour showpiece when she edged out three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace with a three-under-par 69. A one-shot triumph in just her fourth start in the paid ranks was a dream debut for the New Delhi rookie, who is ready to draw on the fond memories of her last visit to Westlake Golf Club as she bids for a second career win.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open is very special to me and will always remain so for the rest of my life, being my first professional win,” Dagar said.

“For me, this Ladies European Tour event happens to be the door to a world of golfing opportunities and I would love to come back and play the Westlake golf course. Greetings and best wishes to the sponsors, Investec, the Sunshine Ladies Tour, organisers and everyone associated with the event.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open, established by the Women’s PGA of South Africa (WPGA) in 1988, is the oldest and most prestigious professional women’s golf tournament in South Africa.

The 2020 edition, hosted by the City of Cape Town at Westlake Golf Club for a third successive year, will offer prize money of €200 000 (approximately R3 160 288).

Chair of the Women’s PGA of South Africa Margie Whitehouse said: “The Investec South African Women’s Open is our flagship event and the 32nd anniversary coincides with the sixth time we are co-sanctioning this event with the Ladies European Tour.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation once again to Investec for not only their title sponsorship, but also for all they are doing for women’s golf, as well as to the City of Cape Town for their continued support.”

Westlake Golf Club might be a happy hunting ground for Dagar, but following the new joint venture between the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, the stakes have been significantly raised in 2020.

“It’s very exciting to be part of the Investec South African Women’s Open and we are extremely proud to continue our collaboration with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA,” said Ladies European Tour Acting CEO Alexandra Armas. “We would like to recognise the important contribution of Investec and the City of Cape Town, whose support is providing a platform that aids the promotion and development of talented women in sport.

“We recently announced a new joint venture partnership with the LPGA and have already seen a dramatic impact on our 2020 schedule – an impact that will benefit all local and international players who compete in LET sanctioned tournaments, allowing them to pursue their dreams through the game of golf.”

Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan believes the collaboration between the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and the Ladies European Tour significantly elevates the status of the event and golf development in Southern Africa.

“The 2020 champion will not only walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money and Rolex World Golf Ranking points, but will also earn a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship,” Nathan said.

“These incentives befit the status of the WPGA’s flagship event and we sincerely hope that one of our Sunshine Ladies Tour members will step up to the challenge in our season finale to secure a major boost for her career.”

Lesley Copeman from promoters World Sports Promotions commended all the parties involved in elevating the status of the national championship to a world-class event.

“Partnering with the Ladies European Tour ensures that the WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour present a world-class championship with the strength of the field through the greater depth of the international players currently competing in Europe,” Copeman said.

“We are very pleased that Investec and the City of Cape Town continue to back our flagship event, taking it from strength to strength. Not only do our South African golf enthusiasts get to watch high quality women’s golf, but we also have the opportunity to showcase Cape Town, one of the best travel destinations in the world, to our international guests.”

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said the City of Cape Town is delighted that the Investec South African Women’s Open will again be teeing off in the Mother City as part of the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“As host city and sponsor of the tournament, we are proud to be associated with an event that elevates women in sports. In addition to the professional golfers, this event provides an opportunity to young talented sportswomen to showcase their gifts on an international stage.  We are looking forward to welcoming all the participants to Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination.”

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


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.”

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.


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.”

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 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.