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
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
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
6th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
More play-off delight for Lewthwaite at Sun City
6 February 2020 – Lejan Lewthwaite drew on all her experience to clinch the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International title in a play-off against Tandi McCallum at Sun City on Thursday.
It was a fourth playoff success for Lewthwaite, after winning her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title last year at San Lameer in the SA Women’s Masters. That followed two victories on the men’s IGT Challenge Tour in sudden death against the male professionals in 2018.
“I absolutely drew on my experiences,” said the Investec golfer Lewthwaite, who birdied the first extra hole to lift her second Sunshine Ladies Tour trophy at the Gary Player Country Club. “I don’t know what it is about playoffs, but it just fuels me to perform and stick to my guns. I’m over the moon to have four out of four playoff wins.”
The pair tied for the lead on six-under at the end of regulation play after Lewthwaite carded rounds of 66, 71 and 73 and McCallum shot 67, 71 and 72 at the challenging par-72 layout.
In the ensuing play-off, Lewthwaite was rock solid.
“The nines were switched around at the Gary Player, so we actually played the par five ninth in the play-off. Tandi drove it down the middle, and I hit my drive down the right. My ball was actually sitting down quite badly, but it was always going to be a lay-up,” said the Serengeti golfer, who celebrates her 29th birthday next week.
“I just wedged it out the rough, and she hit her second into the right rough. I went first with the approach and hit a really solid wedge to about 10-foot. Tandi’s third came up short in the water. I holed my birdie putt to her bogey to take the win.”
McCallum fired four birdies in a row from the fifth during regulation play and had built a four-shot lead on 10-under after 12 holes. However, a costly double bogey five on 13, followed by bogeys on 16 and 17, dropped her back to six-under.
Lewthwaite, meanwhile, was steady with 15 pars, two bogeys and a birdie to retain a share of the lead for a third successive day.
“I wasn’t paying too much attention to Nobby or Tandi’s games. I played quite a lot with Nobuhle last year and we had a little bit of a rivalry going. I found myself paying too much attention to her game at times, and losing focus of my own.
“I actually tried my best to not watch them hit their shots. So that was quite a different approach I took on today which seemed to pay off. I thought three-under would have been a good score today, but a couple holes in, my caddy said that if I shot even-par, I’d be right up there. If I had shot level, I would have won without needing a playoff.”
Meanwhile former SA number 1 ranked amateur Woo-Ju Son made an impressive start to her professional career on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. The pint-sized South Korean rookie registered rounds of 72, 72 and 69 to tie last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini for third on three-under.
Lee-Anne Pace, fresh off her 25th career win in the Cape Town Ladies Open, birdied the 17th and made an albatross at the final hole for a 69 to finish alone in fifth on two-under.
It was the first time Lewthwaite went wire-to-wire to win. She led the first round on six-under with Stacy Bregman and shared the 36-hole lead with Dlamini on seven-under after the first two days at the Lost City Golf Course. “I’m very happy to have kept my lead. It was something new for me because I had never been in the lead of a tournament going into the final round. I was proud of the way I handled myself by keeping my nerve and staying patient,” she said.
The Ladies European Tour player said the win would do wonders for her confidence.
“There’s still a lot I want to achieve on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I got my first win last year and now this one, but I really wanted to build on that. This one means a lot and the more wins you have, the more experience you gain and you have more tools to draw on going forward.”
Lewthwaite will be looking to go one better than her runner-up finish last year when she tees it up in the R600 000 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club, starting on Valentines Day next week.
“Then it’s back to San Lameer to defend my SA Women’s Masters title and then I’m going to try and win the new Canon Serengeti Par3 Challenge at my home course,” Lewthwaite said. “It’s an exciting new concept and it should be a lot of fun and highly competitive.”
From Serengeti the Sunshine Ladies Tour travels to Soweto Country Club for the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open (26-28 February), followed by the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club (4-6 March) before the players head back to the City of Cape Town for the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 12-14 March. The season-finale is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and carries prize money of €200 000 (approximately R4-million).
“Then I’m heading to the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club for the Saudi Ladies Championship on the Ladies European Tour, and then I’ll take a very hard-earned break,” Lewthwaite said.
All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA
210 – Lejan Lewthwaite 66 71 73
210 – Tandi McCallum 67 71 72
213 – Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 72 72 69, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 68 69 76
214 – Lee-Anne Pace 71 74 69
215 – Emie Peronnin (FRA) 70 73 72, Stacy Bregman 66 74 75, Nicole Garcia 72 68 75
216 – Astrid Vayson De Pradenne (FRA) 74 70 72
217 – Lindi Coetzee 70 74 73
219 – Monique Smit 74 76 69, Kim Williams 71 72 76
222 – Jordy LaBarbera (USA) 75 75 72, Zethu Myeki 71 74 77
223 – Jane Turner (SCO) 68 73 82
224 – Catherine Lau 72 71 81
225 – Brittney-Fay Berger 75 74 76, Larissa Du Preez (a) 71 76 78
226 – Marion Duvernay (FRA) 73 77 76, Kyle Roig (PUR) 72 77 77
227 – Casandra Hall 72 73 82
228 – Michaela Fletcher 71 79 78, Cara Gorlei 74 76 78
230 – Tara Griebenow 74 72 84
231 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 71 78 82
232 – Lauren Taylor (ENG) 78 75 79, Francesca Cuturi 76 75 81, Clara Pietri (SUI) 76 75 81, Lenanda van der Watt 74 76 82
234 – Shawnelle de Lange 74 80 80
236 – Ivanna Samu 82 73 81
PHOTOS: Serengeti golfer Lejan Lewthwaite is four-for-four in play-off victories after defeating Tandi McCallum for the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International title at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City. Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.
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Action photos from the SuperSport Ladies Challenge for editorial use can be downloaded at:
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.