Share on:
Print

17th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour hat-trick delight for Dlamini

GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 17: Nobuhle Dlamini during day 4 of the 2019 Dimension Data Pro-Am at Fancourt on February 17, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

17 February 2019 – She had the line. She had the pace. And she nailed the distance.

On a tense and dramatic Sunday at Fancourt, Nobuhle Dlamini drained a 32 foot uphill birdie putt at the final hole of the Outeniqua Course to seal a Sunshine Ladies Tour hat-trick with a two-shot victory in the Dimension Data Challenge.

Just a few minutes earlier, the big-hitting Swazi golfer tapped in for well-timed four at the par five 17th to take a one-shot lead. The birdie-birdie finish for a five-under-par 67 earned Dlamini a R70 000 pay-day on a winning total of two-under 214.

“I had to really stop myself from running around on the green when that last putt dropped,” said the delighted Dlamini, who banked an additional R30K for partnering amateur Francis Tremearne to victory in the Betterball Team Competition.

“I was so excited, but Brittney (Fay-Berger) still had to putt. I played the 17th hole exactly as I planned and I wanted to get the birdie at 18 to have a bit of a cushion. Britt and I both hit good tee shots up the 18th fairway, but her approach took a huge bounce off the back.

GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 17: Nobuhle Dlamini during day 3 of the 2019 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club on February 17, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

“You don’t want to hit it past the flag and leave yourself a slippery and fast downhill putt, so I told my caddie I’m going to hit it seven foot short. It came up a lot shorter, but it was the right call. I had a one-shot lead. At worst, I’d be in a play-off. The moment I stroked the ball it looked good.”

Dlamini posted rounds of 76 and 71 over the first two days at George Golf Club and was four shots behind joint leaders Monique Smit and Bertine Faber when the action moved to Fancourt.

Smit gave the local crowd reason to cheer with a birdie start, Faber matched her birdie with one of her own at the second and Dlamini kept pace with her first birdie at the second.

While Smit and Faber slowly faded out of contention, Kim Williams made a run for the lead with birdies at two, seven and 10. The three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner led the field on three-under for most of the day, but Dlamini put the field Williams on notice with a run of birdies from seven.

“I just holed a bunch of really good putts,” said the 27-year-old Dlamini

“I missed very few fairways and I hit my irons and wedges really good. I bogeyed 11 but I birdied 14 to stay within two shots of Kim. As I walked to the 17th tee, I saw Kim was in trouble and I figured she might drop a shot at shot.

“I hit three-wood down the middle, but I just missed the green with my approach. I chipped it give, though and that gave me a one shot lead after Kim made a double at 16.”

Dlamini had a short, but tense wait to know for certain. “Ivanna (Samu) or Lejan (Lethwaite) were level par and if one of them made an eagle, it would be a play-off,” Dlamini said. “It was a bit tense, because everyone was coming to congratulate me, but I don’t count my chickens before they hatch.

I never count my chickens before they hatch. Only after they finished on level-par, I let that winning feeling flow over me.”

Dlamini battled with a knee injury at the start of the sixth Sunshine Ladies Tour season and posted an unmemorable top 20 finish in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, but the form that took her to winner’s circle twice last year showed up during Serengeti Team Championship.

“I saw a physiotherapist after Irene and I was back to full strength and was striking the ball really well at Serengeti. I felt I was playing well enough to win, and after the three birdies on the front, I knew I could win if I kept patient and stuck to the game plan.

“This is one of my absolutely favourite events and I look forward coming to Fancourt every year. I am extremely proud to join the list of Dimension Data winners. I only got into the one Ladies European Tour event and I decided to stay in South Africa. Next week I’m going trophy hunting in the SA Women’s Masters and I can’t wait to defend my SuperSport Ladies Challenge title the Wild Coast in two weeks.”

Samu and Lewthwaite both closed with rounds of 69 to tie for second.

Williams carded a 73 with a double bogey finish and tied for fourth on two-over with GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Kajal Mistry, who also registered a 73.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE
TWITTER – @DiDataMEA
FACEBOOK – @SDiDataMEA
HASHTAG – #DDProAM

AON SOUTH AFRICA
TWITTER – @AON_SouthAfrica
FACEBOOK – @AONSouthAfrica
HASHTAG – #AonSA

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


16th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Smit, Faber deadlocked in George

15 February 2019 – Home hero Monique Smit finished with a flourish on day two of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge to join compatriot Bertine Faber in a two-way tie for the lead in George on Saturday.

To the delight of the local crowd, the Oubaai golfer birdied the last two holes for a four-under-par 68 that handed her the clubhouse lead on one-under 143.

Faber (nee Strauss) returned a two-under 70 to join Smit at the top of a congested leaderboard, with rookies Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands and Scotswoman Gabrielle MacDonald leading the chasing pack.

GEORGE, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 15: Monique Smit during day 1 of the 2019 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club on February 15, 2019 in George, South Africa. EDITOR’S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Thinus Maritz/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

Smit won the first edition of the popular event in the Garden Route in 2014 for the first of her three Sunshine Ladies Tour titles. Looking to end the two-year title drought, she opened her account at George Golf Club with a 75 to start the second four off the pace.

“I was frustrated on the greens, but I came out hot this morning,” said Smit. “I birdied two and eight, and I was level through 16. The birdies at 17 came as a surprise. I didn’t hit a great tee shot and I had to hit a 7-iron in. I had a 20 foot putt, but as soon as I saw the line, I knew I’d nail it.

“I hit the best drive of the day at 18, picked a target and stuck an 8-iron 10-feet pin high. Today was all about picking targets and committing to the shots.”

Smit had to quit the Sunshine Ladies Tour after the George event last year to emergency surgery on her knee. She was apprehensive at the start, but got the rust off quickly with a top 20 finish in the season-opening Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open.

“I didn’t play competitive golf for 12 months, but I played half-decent at Irene and the Serengeti Team Championship definitely helped restore my confidence. I am travelling with Clara Pietri from Switzerland and we teamed up for Serengeti. She reassured me that my body knows what to do; I just needed to make a mental commitment and I did that well today.

“It’s great to be in contention again. I am looking forward to the Outeniqua Course in the final round and playing with Bertine. It’s been a while for both of us, so it should be a really good battle.”

It’s been three years since Faber launched her rookie season with a Sunshine Ladies Tour hat-trick.

After a first round 73, the Koster golfer stumbled out of the blocks with a double bogey at the first, but bounced back with birdies at two and six and reeled in two more at 10 and 16.

Bertine Faber hopes to break a three-year winning drought after surging into a two-way tie for the lead in round two of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge at George Golf Club on Saturday; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Thinus Maritz.

“Ironically, I watched a bit of the Genesis Open last night. Justin Thomas started with a double and when I checked the scores this morning, he was leading. It’s not the end of the world. I just stayed patient, made a few birdies and kept the bogeys off the card for the rest of the round. I made a really good par-save at 13 and it is that kind of moment that keeps the round going, more so than making a birdie.”

Strauss has some major swing problems in the last two years, and the Investec Property golfer is eager to get back in the winner’s circle.

“I’ve been in a couple of dark places in the last two years and it’s very exciting to be in with a chance this week. It’s been a while, but it’s not a new thing for me, so I’ll draw on past experience and I’ve luckily got my husband (Wian) on the bag. He was carrying for me with my first three wins, so hopefully he will be my lucky charm.”

Coffa was one-under with the last hole to come, but her approach shot pitched on the green and rolled off the back. “I had a tough chip and I couldn’t make the up-and-down, but I’m really happy to be in the top four,” she said after signing for a 70.

“It’s only my third start as a pro and it’s great to have a chance to play for my first win. I love the Outeniqua Course. It’s a lot more open and not so heavily tree-lined as here at George Golf Club, so you can get away with a less than perfect drive. I can’t wait.”

Macdonald was five under for the round after a trio of birdies at 13, 14 and 16, but gave a shot back to the field when she missed the green at the par-three 17th. “This is my first pro event and I’m over the moon to be in contention,” said the Craigielaw golfer, who tied Smit for the low round of the day.

“I played really well today and I made a lot of putts. I left a couple short for birdies coming up to 13, so it was nice to roll that one in and get the momentum going. I’m excited for the final round and hopefully I can keep the putter warm overnight.”

Joint overnight leader Kajal Mistry returned a battling 74 to tie for fifth on one-over with England’s Lauren Taylor and three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams. Frenchwoman Marion Duvernay, who shared the first round lead on one-under, finished at four-over after a 77.

Crizelda van Niekerk and Ash Pagden lead the Betterball Medal Pro-Am on nine-under after rounds of 66 and 69. Smit and four-time winner Larina King moved within two shots after a second round 66, with a further five teams also tied on seven under.ds

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

SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE
TWITTER – @DiDataMEA
FACEBOOK – @SDiDataMEA
HASHTAGS – #DDProAm #StrivingforGreatness

AON SOUTH AFRICA
TWITTER – @AON_SouthAfrica
FACEBOOK – @AONSouthAfrica
HASHTAG – #AonSA

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


15th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bold move lands Mistry share of Dimension Data lead

Former GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry from Randpark birdied the final hole at George Golf Club to grab a share of the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Thinus Maritz.

15 February 2019 – Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry stole the headlines on Friday after she birdied the closing hole at George Golf Club to tie Marion Duvernay from France for the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge lead on Friday.

Recent Serengeti Team Championship winner Duvernay’s sub-par 71 went uncontested for most of the opening round, triggering hopes of a French double on South African soil. But the 18-year-old Mistry – playing in the final group – hit two great shots at the final hole and boxed a five-foot putt to force her way to the top of the leaderboard.

“I took driver off the tee and left myself 131 metres to the pin middle back,” said the former GolfRSA Elite Squad member who cancelled bogeys at seven and eight with birdies at nine and 13.

“I don’t how it happens, but somehow is always above your feet at this golf course. I had to take that in account and, coming from altitude in Johannesburg, I had do recalculate the distance. I played it about 140-ish and I wanted to leave myself with an uphill putt, so I hit a full 8-iron in. It landed pin-high left and as soon as I saw the line, I knew I could sink it.”

South Africa’s former number one amateur matriculated from Crawford College Lonehill last year and is heading to the University of Arkansas on a golf scholarship in August.

“Golf had to take a back seat last year, so it’s great to be out here, competing again,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I got the rust off with a top 20 in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open and I played nice, steady golf today. I hit 10 fairways and 13 greens today, but I was never in any real trouble. No bushes and no lost balls, just a steady round. I have to admit it’s great to be in the hunt again.”

Marion Duvernay from France shares the first round lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge; credit Tyrone Winfield

By contrast, the French golfer handed in a rather colourful card that featured six birdies.

“I made some great birdies over the first nine holes, and had only the one bogey, but I had a bit of a bogey run coming back,” said Duvernay, who turned three-under.

“I dropped 12 and 13, finally birdied a par five (14) and made a double at 15. I missed the green and had to chip from thick rough, but I only moved the ball a metre with my first chip. I gave the second one a good whack and two-putted. I was very happy with the birdie at 17 to get back in red numbers.”

Duvernay showed her mettle in team events when she partnered compatriot Flora Peuch to victory at Serengeti Estates last week. The Evian Resort golfer dovetailed to perfection with amateur Joanne Govender for a six-under-66 that netted the pair a share the lead in the Betterball competition.

“When I hit the bogey train, Joanne really pulled us through,” said Duvernay. “She made three birdies in a row from 12 to keep the momentum going. And we had a lot of laughs. It’s such a fun format.”

Niinja Liias from Finland finished level-par to tuck in just behind the leading pair, avoiding the crush at one over par.

Lejan Lewthwaite and Bertine Faber both carded rounds of 73 to lead the local challenge and were joined by French pair Emilie Piquot and Anne-Lise Caudal, English campaigner Rachael Goodall and rookie Sophie Lamb, also from England.

South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Brittney-Fay Berger completed the top 10 on two over alongside Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands.

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

SOCIAL MEDIA DIMENSION DATA LADIES CHALLENGE
TWITTER – @DiDataMEA
FACEBOOK – @SDiDataMEA
HASHTAG – #DDProAM

AON SOUTH AFRICA
TWITTER – @AON_SouthAfrica
FACEBOOK – @AONSouthAfrica
INSTAGRAM – @AONSouth_Africa
HASHTAG – #AonSA

Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.ng or copying it.


18th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park times swansong to perfection in Dimension Data

Carrie Park of South Korea sealed a hat-trick of Sunshine Ladies Tour titles with a stunning wire-to-wire victory in the 2018 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am on Sunday.

The 21-year-old from Seoul came into the final round with a four shot lead after rounds of 68 and 69 at George Golf Club. A 65 at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt extended that margin to a nine shot victory over nearest challenger Stacy Bregman.

The Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader mounted a late charge, as did Valeria Martinoli from Switzerland, but it was all too little, too late.

Two under at the turn, Park birdied the par four 13th and made four one-putts for four birdies on the bounce over the last four holes to blast the opposition away.

Celebrations at the 18th! Carrie Park’s peers celebrate her wire-to-wire victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt; credit Luke Walker/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

“I’m really, really happy,” said an elated Park. “This is one of my favourite events and one I’ve loves since I was still amateur. In my heart I really wanted to win, because I won’t play the rest of the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I return to Korea next week, but I am leaving on a really high note.”

And it was a double celebration for Park and amateur partner Louise del Balzo, who won the Pro-Am competition by four shots on 22-under from Martinoli and partner Simona Stanton.

“We were tied through 12 holes and I thought I’d better start making some putts,” said Park. “Louise carried us on the front nine, but I was able to help her win with the four birdies to finish. I love the format and playing with the amateurs is a lot of fun. Louise and I dove-tailed really well and it’s so much fun when both players contribute. We had a lot of laughs and made a lot of great shots, so I am really happy that I could help her to victory, as well.”

The victory was the culmination of a meteoric rise for Park, who played for Gauteng North Golf Union from the age of 14.

She topped the Womens Golf South Africa Rankings before she joined the pro ranks in July 2016. In just her second start on the local circuit last year, Park celebrated a maiden victory in the South African Women’s Masters and collected her second trophy with a play-off win in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, presented by Canon South Africa.

“I am very sad that I can’t defend my title next week and that I am missing the Investec South African Womens Open,” said Park. “Unfortunately I have a schedule conflict with the Korean LPGA Tour, so I have to go home.

“I love every minute that I play on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I have learned many lessons, because this is a great tour for young professionals and for the amateurs. Playing with Lee-Anne and Stacy taught me to play my own game and to shut out everything my playing partners are doing. I was well-prepared when I started playing the second tier of the Korean LPGA Tour and it was thanks to the lessons I learned here on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.”

Reigning Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Bregman has a frustrating start, but warmed up the short stick to rack up four birdies over the last nine holes for a 70 and second on five-under.

Martinoli offset four early bogeys with a trio of gains, but a late bogey at the par four 16th for a 72 saw the Swiss golfer slip to third on two-under.

Defending champion Nicole Garcia bogeyed 13 after 12 straight pars. She dropped another shot at 15, but rallied with birdies at 15 and 18 for a 72 to finish in fourth on level-par. Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams closed out the top five on one-over with a final round 69.

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
Follow us on social media
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Hashtag – #DDProAm

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


17th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park poised to pounce in George

Carrie Park remains on course for a wire-to-wire victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Pro-Am after maintaining her overnight lead with a flawless 68 in Saturday’s second round at George Golf Club.

The 21-year-old South Korean will chase the lion’s share of the R500 000 purse at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt with a two shot cushion on seven-under-par 137.

Park produced four birdies as her main rivals – former champion Stacy Bregman and defending champion Nicole Garcia – unravelled in the windy conditions.

One off the pace and joint second with Garcia, Bregman kept in touch, but a three-putt bogey at the final hole for a 71 saw the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner slip to third on three-under. Garcia made a fine start with back-to-back birdies, but she dropped three shots around the turn. Another drop at the 18th for a disappointing two-over 74 will see the Ebotse golfer start the last round in joint fifth on even-par with fellow South African Lora Assad, who returned a 71.

Swiss golfer Valeria Martinoli came to closest to catching Park.

The 25-year-old – off in the final group off the first – fired two birdies on the front nine and she moved to five-under with further gains at 11 and 15. However, successive bogeys at the two closing holes put paid to her challenge and she finished in third on three-under with a round of 69.

Park might be playing under the South Korean flag, but she is a household name in South Africa with a strong amateur track record that includes the titles of the Sanlam SA Amateur and Stroke Play Championships.

In her second pro start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last year, Park rubber-stamped her status as a future world beater when she beat the likes of Garcia, Lee-Anne Pace, Ashleigh Buhai and English golfer Kiran Matharu for her maiden win in the South African Women’s Masters. Just a few weeks later, she defeated Nobuhle Dlamini in a play-off for a second title in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, presented by Canon, at Glendower Golf Club.

Having campaigned on the Korean LPGA Tour for the last nine months, Park has brought a bounty of confidence the Sunshine Ladies Tour and that self-assurance, combined with lethal long irons and a hot putter, has taken her to the top of the pile in George.

“I had eight straight pars and only got my first birdie at the ninth, but it gave me good momentum for the back nine,” said the petite Park. “The course played very different to the first day, because the wind blew into us and it was gusting a lot.

“I hit my long and short irons really well and I made a lot of putts, but it wasn’t easy to score on the front nine with the wind into us, I birdied both par fives (11 and 14) and a holed another putt for birdie at 12. I had a chance at 15, but left it short and I hit a very long putt at 16 to give to save par, so it was that kind of round. A little up-and-down. I’m pleased that I kept it going and I’ve given myself a good chance for the win.”

Bregman was one of the favourite starters this week.

She won the Canon Tshwane Ladies Open and leads the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after a tie for second in the Joburg Ladies Open and a top five finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open. The Country Club Johannesburg golfer was ready to forget the second round.

“It was a struggle, but it’s by no means over,” said the 31-year-old.

“Four shots is a lot, but the Outeniqua suits me better and I’ve always found it an easier scoring course. I have a lot of positive memories from my victory at the Outeniqua and if I can make a fast start, we’ll have a fight down the back nine.”

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
Follow us on social media
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Hashtag – #DDProAm

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.

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
Follow us on social media
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Hashtag – #DDProAm

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


15th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Determined Dlamini seeking strong start at Dimension Data Challenge

Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini will be aiming for a fast start in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge at George Golf Club, starting on Friday.
The 26-year-old Dlamini occupies fifth place on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after three events following fourth in the Joburg Ladies Open and top-15 finishes in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and last week’s Cape Town Ladies Open.

Despite her lofty positions on the leaderboard, it was – by her own admission – costly opening rounds that have robbed her of the chance to seriously challenge for victory.
“I’ve noticed in my last three tournaments that’s I’ve had poor first rounds,” said Dlamini who opened with 76 at Pretoria Country Club and rounds of 77 at Modderfontein and Royal Cape Golf Clubs. “My goal is not take myself out of contention this week.

“I could prepare better in my practice rounds, just to be sure of what I’m doing and have no doubt in the tournament. It’s all a work in progress and it comes unexpectedly. I’m still working it out as I go.”
The former world number-two amateur has not broken through for her first victory on the Sunshine Ladies Tour yet, but that maiden title could be just around the corner, Dlamini said.
“I’ve been close a couple of times, but a win just comes when the time is right. I feel good, and I feel like I can do it. It’s just about putting those three good rounds together.”
The first two rounds will be played at George Golf Club, with the final round played at Fancourt’s testing Outeniqua course. The demanding layout at Outeniqua suits her power game.

“I know George Golf Club and I’ve played it a couple of times. Also when I played amateur golf I played there quite a bit. I love the course, and I love Outeniqua as well. It all depends on the wind. I’m in good form to perform well on both courses.
“I have to make quite a few adjustments at George to make sure that I score well. You have to place it more off the tee box, you hit a lot of irons and three-woods of the tees. Therefore your approach shots get a bit long as well. Outeniqua is a longer course that suits my game and I find the greens much easier to read.”

Despite her poor opening rounds in each of the three events on the Sunshine Ladies Tour this season, Dlamini feels consistently good scores are around the corner.
“I’m happy with my start to the season. I’m swinging well, but I’ve just been struggling to score. I’ve put in good practice for Dimension Data and looking forward to it. Being fifth on the order of merit is also a positive, and there are some big tournaments coming up that can help me improve my position.
“I’m going to try my best to win. If I don’t, I’d still like to be top five. I believe I’m going to be able to put in three good, consistent rounds and that should put me up there.”
Aided with a natural power game, Dlamini also spends a good deal of time making sure she is in great physical shape for every tournament. That also includes long distance running during events.
“When I’m not playing tournaments, I do gym with a lot of strength training. I do a lot of lower body and core work and a lot of sprints .During tournaments I do a lot of long distance running – between 10 and 16 kilometres.”
One thing is for sure, like her running, Dlamini is not far away from going the distance in search of that breakthrough triumph on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
Follow us on social media
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Hashtag – #DDProAm

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


| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Defending champion Garcia returns to happy hunting ground

Defending champion Nicole Garcia is looking forward to the relaxed atmosphere of playing in the Pro-am format at the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at George Golf Club starting on Friday.
“I love the Pro-am format of this tournament,” said Garcia. “It makes the whole event feel a little bit more relaxed. I’ve played well in this tournament a few years in a row, and obviously I won last year, so I’m taking a lot of positives into this year’s event.”
The field will be chasing R600 000 in total prize-money for the three-day event, with R500 000 up for grabs in the main tournament and a R100 000 purse for the Pro-am.
“When you’re playing with the amateurs it almost lightens the mood a little bit,” said Garica.

“You also can’t take yourself too seriously because you still have to make it fun for the amateurs. That actually helps me quite a lot. Having that little bit of extra money for the Pro-am format, it’s also great. It also helps them enjoy it more if they can help you earn a bit of extra cash. It’s the highest money event after the Investec South African Women’s Open on our schedule, so I hope it keeps going.”
The Dimension Data Challenge featured on the Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule since the circuit launched in 2014 and it has produced top champions, including 12-time winner Lee-Anne Pace.

Garcia will have her work cut-out for her with past champion and good friend Stacy Bregman in the field.

In-form Bregman, who won in 2015, could pose a huge threat, having backed up a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open at the start of the season with a joint runner-up finish in the Joburg Ladies Open and fourth in Cape Town Ladies Open last week.

“I’m just going to try play it hole by hole,” said Ebotse golfer.

“I’ll keep my game plan the same. I’m just going to try and enjoy myself. George is my favourite course in the country, if not the world. But there are a lot of strong players in the field this year, so I’m not going to expect too much. I’ll be happy for whoever wins.”

The desire to win for Garcia is especially strong in 2018. Her season last year was derailed in a freak injury right after the Women’s British Open in August that could have ended her professional golf career.
“I slammed my finger in a car door, and when I pulled it out I pulled the finger off,” Garcia explained. ”I mean, I pulled the bone and everything off. I was out for what was supposed to be 10 weeks, but I ended up playing after six weeks. I had to play with a protective finger sock on, but it wasn’t too bad.

“It looks semi-normal now. The surgeon I had was incredible. If I didn’t tell you that I pulled my finger off, you wouldn’t be able to tell. I don’t have any pain and it doesn’t affect my play. The very first event I played after my injury I came top-10.

“Unfortunately, being out for a few weeks meant that I missed out on qualifying school for America and some crucial Ladies European Tour (LET) events. I suppose everything happens for a reason. I did end up keeping my LET card, but I finished 63rd on the order of merit, which means I am not automatically exempt for all events.
Garcia had a top 10 in the season-opener at Pretoria Country Club and finished third at Royal Cape Golf Club, but the 27-year-old finds herself well down in 17th position on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after missing the Joburg Ladies Open.

She opted to fly to Australia when she was offered a position in the Oates Vic Open, but missed the cut by one. So it is with renewed conviction that she returns to the scene of her three shot wire-to-wire triumph in 2017.
“I’m feeling pretty confident,” Garcia said. “It was unfortunate that I missed the second Sunshine Tour event, but it couldn’t be helped. I’m feeling good for this week. If I do well, I’ll climb up the order of merit. I’m working hard with my coach Grant Veenstra. We had a practice round yesterday and both courses are looking good.”
Garcia said she and LET travel partner Bregman have a bet going that will hopefully see both ending the season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with victories to their names.
“My goal for the Sunshine Ladies Tour is to finish in the top-10 on the order of merit. I would like to win at least one or two events. I can’t predict if I will actually do that, but I would really love to.
“Stacy and I made a bet that we’ll go to Mauritius of we both win this season. She’s already won, so it’s my turn now. If I get to win more than one it will be a bonus. The girls at the top are really strong so you have to play really good golf to win these events.”
A strong performance at the Dimension Data Challenge could setup the top five on the order of merit with two more events before the season-ending Investec South African Women’s Open in March. It would take a brave soul to bet against Garcia being near the top of the pile as she once again stakes a claim for a place among the marquee players in South African golf.

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
Follow us on social media
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Hashtag – #DDProAm

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