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16th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Magnificent Macnab makes history in Jabra Ladies Classic

16 April 2021 – Reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab made South African golfing history on Friday when she powered to an eight-stroke victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club.

In a scintillating final round, the 19-year-old GolfRSA No 1 sealed the victory in breath-taking fashion, firing five birdies on the back nine for a closing five-under-par 67.

In doing so, Macnab became the first amateur winner on the South African women’s professional golf circuit since Ashleigh Buhai (née Simon) lifted her second South African Women’s Open title in 2007.

“It’s awesome; it’s such a great feeling,” said Macnab with a smile that could light up the world.

The Ekurhuleni golfer had squandered a chance to rewrite the history books in season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club with a double bogey late in the final round, and she was absolutely delighted to pull it through in her home union.

“There is a lot more pressure when you play against the pros, and last week in Cape Town I didn’t really know what to expect heading into the final day with a share of the lead. This week I felt a lot more comfortable, and playing here at Glendower was great. It’s such a great course.

“I won the SA Women’s Stroke Play and the Match Play twice and I’ve represented South Africa a few times, so this ranks right up there with my greatest achievements. I am over the moon, because this is huge for me. The theme this year is #levelup and I feel I’ve done exactly that. Following in Ashleigh’s shoes is pretty special.

“I wanted to come out this season to build experience and to test myself. There are still a lot of amazing opportunities ahead this season, but it’s a fantastic feeling to get it done. I’m really grateful to my whole team for getting me here.”

Macnab began the final round with a one-shot lead over Lindi Coetzee and had a three stroke advantage over seasoned winner Lee-Anne Pace.

Two months ago, the Serengeti golfer showed her merciless side as she routed Megan Streicher 11 & 9 in the 36-hole match play final to successfully defend her SA Women’s Amateur title. The amateur was just as ruthless over the last nine holes at Glendower.

Having dropped a trio of shots in her outward loop, Macnab still had a three-shot advantage through the turn and she pulled away from the field with the clinical surge coming home. She notched birdied on the 10th, 11th, 13th, 15th and 17th holes to give herself an unattainable lead coming down the last hole.

“I started birdie, birdie, but I didn’t actually hit the ball great,” Macnab said. “My swing felt a little bit snappy, so I slowed it down and started driving it really well. I was able to avoid the errant shots that cost me in the previous rounds and the putts were dropping, which always helps.”

GolfRSA No 1 Caitlyn Macnab made history as the first amateur winner in 14 years on the South African women’s professional golf circuit when she powered to an eight-shot victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

As an amateur, Macnab can’t share in the R600 000 purse on offer this week, but the historic achievement does earn her coveted spot in the field of the Jabra Ladies Open. The dual-ranking Ladies European Tour and LET Access Series event is also the qualifying tournament for the season’s fourth Major, the Amundi Evian Championship at Evian Resort Golf Club in France from 22-25 July.

“It’s a fantastic incentive from Jabra. Although I am leaving for Texas Christian University in August to take up a golf scholarship, competing in the Jabra Ladies Open will be an incredible opportunity to build more experience,” said Macnab.

Her 12-under-par total was ultimately eight shots better than her Grant Veenstra Golf Academy stable-mate Nicole Garcia and second-season professional playing partner Coetzee.

Garcia birdied both par fives on the back nine and reduced the gap to six shots with an eagle-two at the 16th, but a double bogey finish for a 68 saw her slip back to tie for second on four-under with Coetzee, who returned a 74.

Kelsey Nicholas, also in her second season in the pro ranks, carded a 71 to grab a share of fourth alongside Pace, who signed for 77, while last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Monique Smit finished in sixth spot on three-over.

The next stop for the Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners is Sun City, where Lejan Lewthwaite will take up her title defence in the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Gary Player Country Club from 21-23 April.

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

 


15th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Macnab on the march in Jabra Ladies Classic

15 April 2021 – Reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab will look to resist rising star Lindi Coetzee and seasoned champion Lee-Anne Pace as she bids for the Jabra Ladies Classic title in Friday’s final round at Glendower Golf Club.

The 19-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player fired a sparkling four-under-par 68 on a cool, but windless conditions to charge to a one-shot lead, ending the day on seven-under. She leads Coetzee by one shot, and finished three shots ahead of Pace.

Macnab began the second round one shot behind early leader Kyra van Kan and superb approach play saw her notch four birdies in the first five holes. She sandwiched a birdie between bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes and interrupted a string of pars on the homeward loop with a lone birdie on the par-five 13th.

But Macnab was quick to state that she hadn’t been at her best.

“I hit it long on seven and had a very difficult chip, and I hit a bad approach shot into nine that resulted in another bogey, but it was a pretty solid run over the first nine holes,” said Macnab. “After the turn I struggled to get the putts to drop and I had to scramble for pars on 16 and 17, but all in all, a decent round.”

Macnab will stick to the same winning game plan in Friday’s final round that won her the Champions of Champions title at Glendower in 2019 and the Open, Closed and Junior honours in the Ekurhuleni Women’s Open in October last year.

“The course is in beautiful condition, but it is set up quite a bit tougher than I am used to playing it on the amateur circuit. But I won’t adjust my game plan; I’ll just try to limit the mistakes and avoid the errant shots that cost me some shots today.”

Coetzee, who lifted the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club, racked up five birdies and was level with Macnab with one hole to play, but an untimely bogey on the closing hole for a 68 cost her a share of the lead.

“It was a good round; I kept it in the fairways, hit the greens and kept it bogey free right up to the 18th hole,” she said. “I struggled with the driver all day and on the last hole, I pulled my tee shot into the trees. I had a shot, but I didn’t execute it well and clipped a branch. I got a lucky break and had a decent lie. I hit my third on the green and two-putted, but the way I see it, it was a solid drop and it could have been much worse.”

The 21-year-old Magalies Park golfer is excited at the prospect of joining Macnab and Pace in the leading match on Friday.

“Caitlyn and I go way back and she is always a pleasure to play with, but I am really looking forward to playing with Lee-Anne. We have so much to learn from her and I’ve always admired her swing and her demeanour on the course. Anything I can learn from her will help me to level up.”

Pace once again made a slow start, but the nine-time Ladies European Tour winner kicked it up a gear coming home. She made three birdies on the bounce from the par-four 11th and picked up another shot on the par-five 15th, before also letting one slip on the par-four 18th.

“It was slow at the start, but I made a very good up-and-down for bogey on the ninth and that got me going,” she said after successive rounds of 70. “I managed to get the putts to the hole on the back nine and made some birdies, so I’m very happy with the round.

“I won’t change much going into the final round. I’ll try to take advantage of the par-fives; they are playing a little easier and you can reach them. Those are definitely the scoring holes. I am pretty aggressive with my irons, but it is vital that you drive the fairways at this course. I’ll aim for the fairways first, and work out my strategy from there.”

The outcome on Friday would be significant for all three leading players as they try to take their games to the next level.

For Pace, a 14th Sunshine Ladies Tour title and 24th professional career victory will be a big shot of confidence as she prepares for the 2021 Ladies European season. For Coetzee, a maiden win in the R600 000 showpiece would mean a major leg up in the 2021 Investec Order of Merit race and the chance to compete in the Jabra Ladies Open.

There is no financial incentive for Macnab, but to become the first amateur to win on the local professional circuit since Ashleigh Buhai won her second South African Women’s Open title in 2007, will be reward enough.

Unfortunately it was the end of the road for first round leader Kyra van Kan.

The Glendower amateur followed an opening 68 with a round of 76 to tie seasoned professionals Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Monique Smit for fourth on level-par. However, she forgot to sign her scorecard and was disqualified from the tournament. A tough lesson for Ekurhuleni junior but at 15, she has many years ahead and she will surely bounce back from the disappointment.

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


14th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

GolfRSA duo throws down gauntlet at Glendower

14 April 2021 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour challenged its participants this season to #LevelUp, but on the opening day of the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic, it was talented GolfRSA squad members Kyra van Kan and Caitlyn Macnab who stepped up to plate.

Macnab, South Africa’s No 1 ranked amateur, already sounded a warning with a fourth place finish in the season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open and, not surprisingly, the reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion laid down an early marker again.

Confident at the course where she lifted the 2019 Champion of Champions and the 2020 Ekurhuleni Womens Open titles, the 19-year-old Serengeti golfer mixed four birdies with a lone bogey for a solid three-under-par 69 to finish in second, a shot ahead of Lee-Anne Pace, second-season professional Lindi Coetzee and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne from France in joint third.

But even the country’s leading amateur was upstaged on the day by 15-year-old Van Kan, whom she beat in the 2020 SA Women’s Amateur final.

“I’m actually a little overwhelmed,” admitted the junior after a birdie-birdie finish propelled her to the summit on four-under. “I knew I was putting together a good round, but I hardly expected to be leading.”

The GolfRSA B-Squad member kept a clean card on her outward loop and turned two-under. “I had a bit of stumble after the turn, but I was able to eliminate both bogeys.

“I teethed it in the bunker on the first and made a good up-and-down for bogey, but I holed a birdie putt on the third to get back to two-under. On the fourth, I had a silly three-putt, but birdied the next hole. Going to the eighth tee I had no idea what was leading. I hit an okay drive, laid up with a 6-iron and pitched a sand-wedge close for birdie.

“When we got to the ninth tee, the nerves showed up. I smashed a drive with a baby draw and my caddie and I didn’t see where it ended up. We both burst out laughing when we found it just short of water. I guess the adrenaline was really flowing. I wedged it close and holed the putt. That’s when I found out I was leading.”

Although Glendower is her home course, Van Kan had to adjust her game considerably to navigate the set-up. “The course is playing a lot longer that I am used to, so although I know the greens and the bounces well, I couldn’t really count on the home course advantage.

“I had to adjust for the length, like on the seventh. I would usually hit driver, 9-iron or pitching wedge, but I had to hit driver, 3-wood on that hole. It was a learning curve, and I am really pleased that I could raise my game. My playing partners, Lauren Taylor from England and Lenanda van der Watt, were great and really helped me to get comfortable quickly on this the big stage.”

Joining Macnab and Pace in the leading match on day two could be intimidating, but the Bedfordview teenager is excited at the prospect of playing alongside two of her golfing heroes.

“I know Cat really well as we both play for Ekurhuleni and I’m excited to play with Lee-Anne. She has been a big inspiration for us juniors and it should be another great learning opportunity for me,” said Van Kan. “I am going to stick to my game plan and the way I approached the course today. Keep a positive mindset and play the course to the strengths of my game.”

LPGA Tour champion Lee-Anne Pace will start the second round of the Jabra Ladies Classic just two off the pace after an opening two-under-par 70 at Glendower Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Pace will be the one to watch on moving day.

The Paarl golfer has collected 13 trophies on the local circuit in addition to nine Ladies European Tour titles and success on the LPGA Tour. She started on the 10th and was two-under and bogey-free through 12 holes when she made successive bogeys on four and five, which she overturned with a brace of birdies on the seventh and eighth holes.

Spain’s Maria Beautell, Sweden’s Anna Magnusson and Michaela Fletcher share sixth on one-under, with five-time champion Stacy Bregman a further shot back in joint ninth with Nina Pegova from Poland and Belgium’s Charlotte de Corte.

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


13th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

French winners target more success at Jabra Ladies Classic

DOWERGLEN, 13 April 2021 – A six-strong French delegation led by 2019 champion Anne-Lise Caudal will be targeting more Sunshine Ladies Tour success when the Jabra Ladies Classic tees off at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April.

The French clique will be among 31 international golfers representing 13 countries hoping to deny the local line-up a home victory in the R600 000 showpiece.

Caudal will draw on the positive memories of her 2019 win at the acclaimed Dowerglen championship course.

“Winning the first Jabra Ladies Classic will definitely always stand out as one of the best weeks of my career,” said the former Ladies European Tour (LET) winner, who broke a seven-year winning drought to capture the inaugural title by two shots.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour plays such a vital role in our preparation for the LET season and we were extremely pleased when Jabra extended their fantastic support of women’s golf to South Africa. I had so many close calls on the Sunshine Ladies Tour over the years and to finally pull it through it in a Jabra event was very special. Hopefully I can do it again this week.”

Compatriot Manon Gidali is also targeting a repeat performance, following her maiden win in last week’s Cape Town Ladies Open.

The 27-year-old Parisian drained a 25-foot clutch putt on the 18th hole in a play-off at Royal Cape Golf Club to beat South Africa’s Cara Gorlei for glory in the season-opener.

“I only competed in the Investec South African Women’s Open before and I am really happy that I decided to play the full Sunshine Ladies Tour this year. The win has sunk in now and I am eager to see if I can win two this season. It would be a dream start to 2021,” said Gidali.

Young gun Ivanna Samu hopes to celebrate her comeback to professional golf with strong performance in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

South African rising star Ivanna Samu warns that the South African young guns have even more reason to raise their games this week with a fantastic incentive from Jabra on the table.

“A lot of the younger girls had planned to compete on the international mini-tours or to go to qualifying schools for the LPGA or LET and everything was put on ice by the pandemic,” Samu said. “The Sunshine Ladies Tour not only gives us an opportunity to get back on track, but the leading player in the top five this week who is not already exempt on the LET will get to play in the Jabra Ladies Open.

“That is a huge incentive, because the Jabra Ladies Open is the qualifying tournament for the Evian Championship. The international players will have to bring their A-game to keep us at bay.”

For the 20-year-old Supreme Golf Academy player the 2020 season was particularly trying, as she had to delay her comeback to competitive golf once again.

“I made a really great start to my pro career on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, but then I suffered a series of setbacks. A back injury took me out of the game for months, and I lost another year when I battled with cancer. Then the pandemic stole last year, so I am raring to go.”

Samu said the challenges over the last two years have taught her some important lessons.

“I was used to dominating and winning as an amateur, and turning pro was a much bigger learning curve than I expected. The last two years have taught me to dial back my expectations; to be patient and to take things one day at a time.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Glendower. It’s one of my most favourite courses and the layout sets up nicely for me, but I am also taking that philosophy on to the golf course. Don’t look too far ahead, but rather play shot-for-shot and hole-by-hole.”

Gorlei, too, has put the disappointment of last week’s play-off loss in the rear-view mirror.

“I drew a lot of positives from Royal Cape. I had to come from behind to get myself in the play-off. Now I just need to step it up another level,” said the 25-year-old Arkansas University graduate.

South Africa’s No 1 ranked Caitlyn Macnab, coming off a fourth place finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open, will lead the 11-strong amateur challenge at the layout where she lifted the 2020 Ekurhuleni Open and the 2019 GolfRSA Champion of Champions titles.

Other amateurs to watch include 2020 Swiss Junior National champion Elena Moosmann, Amanda Majsterek from Poland and Ekurhuleni junior Kiera Floyd, who impressed with a third place finish in the first edition of the Jabra Ladies Classic.

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


29th January 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

New dates set for 8th Sunshine Ladies Tour season

The Sunshine Ladies Tour announced its revised schedule for the 2021 season and will launch in April with a bumper run of six events, including an exciting format change for the season finale Investec South African Women’s Open.

“While the country was still in the throes of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in January, we took a decision for the safety of our players to postpone the start of our eighth season. Our amazing sponsors, partners and host venues embraced this decision and we are excited to announce the new dates, starting in April,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen.

The Cape Town Ladies Open will kick off the season at Royal Cape Golf Club from 7-9 April. Over the next four weeks, the tour will travel to Gauteng, Sun City and the Garden Route before returning to the Mother City for the season-finale.

The Jabra Ladies Classic celebrates its third season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April, followed by the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Gary Player Country Club from 21-23 April.

The sixth Joburg Ladies Open returns to its home at Soweto Country Club from 28-30 April and the annual Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – played concurrently with the Sunshine Tour’s Challenge Tour co-sanctioned Dimension Data Pro-Am – takes place from 7-9 May in George, before the tour circles back to the Mother City for the final showpiece.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open will once again be co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour,” Van Meersbergen added.

“Our flagship event will carry a prize fund of €200 000 (approximately R3.6-million) and Westlake Golf Club will host the event for a fourth consecutive year from 13-16 May. We are excited to announce that, for the first time on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the tournament will be decided over 72 holes.

“We may be starting later than originally planned, but we are delighted to offer our members nearly R6-million in prize money, some exciting incentives and the race to the Investec Order of Merit bonus prize of R100 000.”

The 2021 Investec Order of Merit is based on a points system and the race for glory commences at the Cape Town Ladies Open and wraps up with the Investec South African Women’s Open.

Peta Dixon, Head of Sponsorships Investec SA, said:

“We at Investec take great pride in our involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour since 2014: Not only as the title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Investec Order of Merit, but also through our support of our players performing on the international stage. We strive to create platforms and opportunities that further develop women’s sport in South Africa and are proud of how The Sunshine Ladies Tour has grown in the last seven years. The increase in international participation speaks volumes of the high standard of competition.

“Thanks to the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s partnership with the Ladies European Tour, the format change of the Investec South African Women’s Open is now befitting the status of South Africa’s flagship event. As a 72-hole tournament, the Investec South African Women’s Open now joins the premier events on the international calendar.”

Margie Whitehouse, chair of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, said:

“We are very pleased for all the competitors that the 2021 season is going ahead. We look forward to seeing our top talents in action, to welcome the international campaigners to our shores and to offer our new crop of rookies and the young amateurs coming through the ranks a fantastic opportunity to gain invaluable experience to further their careers.”

2021 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR REVISED SCHEDULE

APRIL
7-9 Cape Town Ladies Open
      R200 000
Royal Cape Golf Club

14-16 Jabra Ladies Classic
      R600 000
Glendower Golf Club

21-23 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
      R400 000
Gary Player Country Club

28-30 Joburg Ladies Open
      R500 000
Soweto Country Club

MAY
7-9 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
      R600 000
R100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am

13-16 Investec South African Women’s Open*
      €200 000
Westlake Golf Club
* co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour


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


6th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai completes brilliant wire-to-wire win at Glendower

6 March 2020 – Ashleigh Buhai slept on the lead for two straight nights and on Friday, South Africa’s top ranked golfer completed her march to victory in the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club in fine style.

The only player in the 77-strong international field to break the 200 mark, Buhai celebrated her 11th Sunshine Ladies Tour title – and 14th career win – with a winning total of 17-under-par 199.

The 30-year-old honorary member opened her campaign at the championship layout with a blistering 63 and retained the overnight lead with a 69 in the second round. She began the final day three shots clear of Stacy Bregman and four ahead of local fan favourite Casandra Hall.

Birdies at the first and third holes kept Bregman at bay and a third gain on the par four ninth took Buhai through the turn with a four-shot cushion.

Bregman managed to close the gap with back-to-back birdies on 11 and 12 and a Buhai bogey on the par five 13th reduced the deficit to two shots, but Buhai extinguished Bregman’s title hopes with a brilliant approach into par five 15th. After holing a confident 15-foot putt for three, she drained a 20-footer on the short 17th and closed out a five-shot victory with par at the last.

“Obviously I’m thrilled with the golf I played over the last three days; to shoot 17-under in three rounds is pretty to good golf, even if I say so myself,” said the delighted Buhai after her final round five-under 67.

“Coming home after a top 13 on the LPGA Tour in Australia and then playing the kind of golf I did here shows that the work I’ve been doing with my coach Doug Wood is really paying off.

“I knew going into the final round that Stacy and Casandra were going to come at me. Although we had sunny weather the last two days, the course was still soft and you could fire at the pins.

“The way I am swinging it, I just trusted what I was doing. They had to catch me. If I make a few birdies, they would have to make two or three more, so I felt very comfortable going out there.”

Buhai found the water on the par-five 13th but atoned for the lone bogey with a strong finish.

“Stacy pulled it back after the turn, but I just continued to hit to the spaces I needed to. I stood on the 14th after the drop and thought if I made two birdies going home I’d be good. And I made an eagle and a birdie,” she said.

“I had 194 metres to a tucked pin on the left and I went with a 5-wood. The ball was lying perfectly, just a little above my feet. I could trust what the slope would do and drew it into the flag. It came out perfectly. On 17, the pin was also tucked on the left but the wind helped off the right. It was a similar yardage to the second round. I hit a flighted 7-iron in and it held the line beautifully.”

Buhai enjoyed sharing another victory on home soil with husband David on the bag.

“Dave and I don’t do this full-time anymore, because we want to stay married,” she joked. “No-one knows my game better and there is no-one I trust more. It’s brilliant to celebrate another win with him. We almost have a full-house now. The only one I haven’t won is the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, because it doesn’t fit in with my schedule.”

Buhai also applauded Jabra for extending their investment in the women’s professional game to the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“It’s really fantastic to see a foreign company backing golf in South Africa and to have JB (Jean-Baptiste Pain – Jabra Managing Director South EMEA) driving this is incredible, because he is so passionate about growing women’s professional golf. Not only did Jabra increase our prize money from R200 000 to R600 000 this year, but they also offered the first non-exempt player in the top five a spot in the Jabra Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour. This event has two qualifying spots for the Evian Championship.

“The international interest from the players continues to increase, because our tour is perfectly positioned at the start of the season. I sincerely hope that JB and Jabra will inspire more foreign investors so we can grow the tour.”

Meanwhile Bregman may have had to settle for second after a final round 69, but the runner-up finish carried 620 points, which propelled her to the summit of the Investec Order of Merit. It’s an advantageous position for Bregman ahead of the final event – the Investec South African Women’s Open. The five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner topped the standings in 2018 and could bank the R100 000 bonus again with another strong showing at Westlake Golf Club next week.

Ladies European Tour (LET) rookie Hall was equally pleased with her performance ahead of the co-sanctioned €200 000 season-finale in Cape Town.

“It will be my first LET start and I’m taking a lot of confidence from this performance to Westlake. Hopefully the wind is merciful and I can get my foot on the Order of Merit,” the 20-year-old said.

With Buhai, Bregman and rookie Hall already exempt it was Scotland’s Jane Turner that earned the start in the Jabra Ladies Open as the first non-exempt player in the top five.

Turner, who won the Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters at San Lameer just two weeks ago, made a trio of birdies on the bounce from the 12th and a further gain at 17 to register a final round 71 that lifted her to fourth on five-under 211.

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


5th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Bregman, Hall give chase at Jabra Ladies Classic

5 March 2020 – Ashleigh Buhai signed for a three-under 69 to retain the lead on Thursday, but Stacy Bregman and local fan favourite Casandra Hall are hot on her heels with 18 holes to play in the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club.

Buhai could not quite hit the heights of a blistering 63 on day one, but another flawless trip around the championship layout kept her at the summit. She will start the final round on 12-under-par 132, four shots clear of Bregman, who returned a bogey-free 68.

Hall – the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s most recent Ladies European Tour graduate – hauled herself into the chasing pack with a joint best of the day 66 to finish four shots adrift on eight-under.

Scotland’s Jane Turner, who visited the winner’s circle just two weeks ago at San Lameer, reeled in a trio of birdies over the last six holes for a 69 to move to fourth on four-under.

Kelsey Nicholas, who rallied after a nervous bogey-bogey start to keep pace with playing partners Buhai and Bregman, signed for 73 to finish alone in fifth on three-under, while last week’s Joburg Ladies Open winner Monique Smit is tied for sixth on two-under alongside 2019 Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini from eSwatini, India’s Sharmila Nicollet and Rachel Rossel from Switzerland, who shared the low-round honours with Hall.

Ashleigh Buhai leads the 2020 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club on 12-under after rounds of 63 & 69. Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai had a great start to the season with a fine top 13 finish in Australia before she was forced to return home when the LPGA Tour cancelled events in Thailand and Singapore due to health concerns about the Covid-19 virus.

She was pleased with her form over the first two days and looking forward to the final round battle.

“If it was offered, I would have taken 12-under before I teed off. I had a number in mind; I thought if I shot three rounds of four-under, I’d have a good chance to win,” the 30-year-old Buhai said. “I’m already at 12-under, but I’ll have to keep my foot on the gas in the final round. Stacy played really well and I saw that Cas also had a great second round. Stace and I grew up playing this course and its Casandra’s home course, so the local course knowledge is definitely coming into play.

“It helps that I know where the ball is going and stayed patient, because I didn’t have to chase. The pins were a little more tucked today and I didn’t hit it as close, so you play to the big spaces and work it into the flag. If you don’t, at least you still have a putt.”

Bregman was chuffed with the result of her careful course management.

“I think nine-under is a great score. Glendower is a tough test; it’s a true test golf. You have to hit fairways and you have to put yourself on the right side of the flag to score well and I’ve done that well for the last two days,” said the Country Club Johannesburg golfer.

“It’s been a while since I struck it this good and it’s coming at the right time of the season. A win this week gets you into the Jabra Ladies Open, which is the qualifier for the Evian Championship. Next week, we have the Investec SA Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour (LET). I want to perform well at Westlake and take that form to our next LET event in Saudi.

“My wedge-play has been really good and I’m holing a lot more putts. The greens here are really good and fast and if you read it good and hold you lines, you can get it going. This course has its challenges, but it’s also fair, because there is always a side to miss it. I worked really hard in the off-season with my new coach and it’s so good to see it all come to fruition here in the Jabra Ladies Classic. I’ll need to shoot four- to five-under to beat Ash, because she is just playing fantastic golf at the moment, but I’m really happy with the direction my game is moving.”

Casandra Hall is four off the pace after a sizzling 66 on day 2 of the 2020 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club.Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Hall attributed her sizzling 66 to a strong iron-game.

“I saw my coach Robbie Stewart after I got back from the LET Q-School in Spain and we worked on my game up,“ she said. “I hit a few bad drives, but I missed it in the rights spots. I didn’t sink many amazing birdie putts, but I hit my irons unbelievably well, I was throwing darts at the pins all day.

“After all the rain the course, and the greens, are a lot softer than last week. It’s a big change and that has really helped me to attack the flags. But I also love the course. It’s my home course and it sets up nicely for me, especially the faster greens, which I love.”

The course also suited South African Longest Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt, who fired three birdies and eagled the tough par five 13th for a flawless five-under 67 that catapulted the Pretoria golfer from joint 37th to a tie for 10th.

“I drove the ball incredibly well and I hit every fairway. My wedge-play was good, too and I only missed two greens all day. I needed a low round to make the cut, and now I just have to do it all over again tomorrow so I can play myself into the field for the Investec SA Women’s Open.”

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


4th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sizzling 63 sees Buhai surge to the top in Jabra

4 March 2020 – Olympics-bound Ashleigh Buhai equalled her lowest career round at Glendower Golf Club with a stunning 63, which saw her surge into a four-shot lead in the opening round of the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Open on Wednesday.

It was a spectacular start to the penultimate event of the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour season for Buhai, who overhauled Stacy Bregman for the top spot.

Bregman had earlier ramped up the fans with a flawless five-under 67, while 21-year-old Kelsey Nicholas stunned with a four-under 68 to finish a further shot back in third.

Mimmi Bergman from Sweden and Nicole Garcia carded rounds of 69 to share fourth, but local favourite Casandra Hall missed out on the three-way tie for fifth after a late bogey on the par four 16th saw her sign for 70.

Nobuhle Dlamini – back in action after a two week stint on the Ladies European Tour in Australia – dropped two shots early in the round, but the eSwatini golfer rallied with a trio of birdies to grab a seat on the distinctly international bus on one-under.

The 2019 Investec Order of Merit winner shares seventh with Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters champion Jane Turner from Scotland, India’s Shamilla Nicollet, Caroline Rominger from Switzerland, Dutch golfer Pasqualle Coffa, Leticia Rad-Anderica from Germany and South Africa’s Nicole Schoeman, who leads the 10-strong amateur challenge.

The day belonged to three-time former Investec SA Women’s Open Champion Buhai.

After an opening pair of birdies, the 28-year-old Johannesburg golfer followed a third gain on the seventh with an eagle on the par five eighth. She atoned for a lone bogey on the ninth with five birdies on the bounce from the par four 12th, which propelled her to the summit.

Just a little over a year since Buhai picked up her 10th title on the local circuit with a wire-to-wire performance in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club, South Africa’s leading golfer was delighted to set a blistering pace in her first start of the season.

“I’ve had a couple of other 63s before – on the East and West courses at my home club (Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club), at Durban Country Club and at Greenbay on the LPGA Tour – so it’s tough to compare, but it felt great to put a 63 on the card at Glendower, ” Buhai said.

“I believe it’s the lowest score since the changes to the course, but we had placing, so it won’t be an official course record. After all the rain on Sunday and Monday, the course played long and it was challenging in the wind. I played really well in Australia so my game was in good shape and I did some work with my coach Doug Wood last week. I hit my drives and long irons really well and I could wedge it close because the greens are still soft and receptive.

“I holed a nice 20-footer on the first and nearly holed my approach on the second, so it was a really great start. The next couple of holes is a tough stretch, but I kept it going and took advantage on seven and eight. I hit a bad tee shot on nine and took my punishment.

“I hit it close on 10 and 11 and missed the putts, but on 12 holed the birdie putt and that sparked the run. I hit a great bunker shot from 30 metres to eight foot on 13, a good 9-iron on 14 and holed a downhill putt and I got a little lucky on 15 after pulling my tee shot. Just knocked it on and holed a 25-footer for birdie. I Nice birdies, but that’s what happens when things are going your way.

“On 16, I made a really good birdie. I was in the left rough and I hit a hybrid about 20 foot left of the pin where I had to hit it too, and holed the putt. The last two holes was a little scrappy, but I scrambled well and I was proud of myself for saving two great pars. Really pleased with this start.”

The round was by no means stress-free, but her more relaxed attitude took the edge off.

“I’ve worked hard to stay more relaxed during the round and it is definitely helping me to score. I knew there is an expectation for me to do well, but I try not to put pressure on myself.”

Bregman has also been working hard on improvements to her game in the off-season and began to see the fruit of her labour in the Joburg Ladies Open last week.

“I played really well at Soweto Country Club, but I got a few unlucky bounces and I couldn’t quite get the measure of the greens,” Bregman said. “I felt confident, though, with the game I was bringing to Glendower. I hit a lot of fairways and greens today and I putted really well.

“Unfortunately I lipped out for birdie on the par five eighth, but I’m happy with birdies on two. The greens are absolutely awesome; you just have to allow enough break and trust your green reading. This course is such a good test of golf and probably one of the best courses in the country. To shoot five-under in a bogey-free round; I’m pretty chuffed with that.”

Nicholas, playing in her second season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, was equally delighted with her performance. “I had four birdies on the front and I made a great birdie on 17. It was so unexpected. I was 15 metres away, but my caddie and I agreed on the line quickly and I just committed to the putt.

“It was in the whole way. I’ve never thrived at Glendower. My caddie kept saying its home course advantage and I kept saying Glendower and I don’t get along; I’m just over the moon with a 68,” said the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington golfer.

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

 

 


3rd March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai, Caudal & company ready to blast at Glendower

3 March 2020 – The LPGA Tour’s loss is the definitely the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s gain as fan favourite Ashleigh Buhai joins the star-studded line up of the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 4-6 March.

Buhai plans to play Thailand and Singapore following a top 13 finish in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open was derailed when the LPGA Tour cancelled three events in Asia due to health concerns and advisories around the coronavirus.

“I was due to play the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake next week, but things didn’t quite work out. In a sense it was disappointing, because I played nicely in Australia and I was looking forward to the next two events,” she said.

“It was like they pulled the handbrake on me just when I was catching some form, but at least it’s a win for me; I got to come home and compete in the Jabra Ladies Classic this week.”

The success of the first Jabra Ladies Classic led to an increased purse of R600 000. In addition the 77-strong player field will be also be vying for the prime prize – a start in the Jabra Ladies Open for the winner on the Ladies European Tour, which also serves the qualifying tournament for the Evian Championship.

“We are very happy and very proud to present the second Jabra Ladies Classic in partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Glendower Golf Club,” said Jean-Baptiste Pain, Managing Director South EMEA.

“We decided to raise the prize money for the second edition of this tournament from R200 000 and the  Jabra Ladies Open happening in France will also see a significant increase in its prize money and a full LET category for the 2020 edition. This shows a continuing commitment from Jabra to support women’s golf and women’s sports across the globe.”

South Africa’s top ranked Ashleigh Buhai will spearhead the local challenge in the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at Glendower Golf Club from 4-6 March; credit Shannon Naidoo.

Buhai will lead the South African challenge alongside current Investec Order of Merit leader Lejan Lewthwaite, five-time winner Stacy Bregman and in-form Monique Smit, who triumphed in last week’s Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club.

The 30-year-old’s affinity with Glendower is well-documented and she lifted the first of her 10 Sunshine Ladies Tour titles at Glendower in the 2014 Chase to the Investec Cup.

“I attended the academy at Glendower from a young age, so I’ve been playing the course for about 20 years. ‘The Old Lady’ is one of my firm favourites and it’s to be back here,” Buhai said.

“I think a little local knowledge will help, but with all the rain in the last two days, you can pretty much fire at the flags. Hopefully we don’t get any more rain and the course can dry up and really show its teeth.

“There is an expectation that I should do well here, so there is a little added pressure, but I’ve been following the tour and the girls are playing some exceptional golf. I will have to play well and I can’t take anything for granted.”

Thirty-six international competitors from 15 countries will be in action at Glendower this week, spearheaded by defending champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France, three-time Ladies European Tour winner Florentyna Parker from England and eSwatini golfer Nobuhle Dlamini – last year’s Investec Order of Merit champion.

Defending champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France will spearhead the international challenge in the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at Glendower Golf Club from 4-6 March; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Caudal is looking forward to taking up her title defence despite a niggling wrist injury.

“After a nice top six finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open I was feeling really confident about the season, but then I aggravated an old wrist injury,” said Caudal, who ended a seven-year title drought with a two-shot victory on four-under 212 last year.

“I have been resting my wrist and receiving treatment and it has improved. I couldn’t practice after I received an injection two weeks ago, but I hit the ball very well in the pro-am. The conditions were tough in the wind and the course is very wet, but I didn’t have too much discomfort.

“On this course, every aspect of your game has to be sharp. You have to drive it well to position yourself for your approach shots, your short irons and wedges have to be on point and you have to putt well. There is no hiding on this golf course. It will punish any weakness in your game.”

Dlamini has worn the bridesmaid tag twice at Glendower – losing a four-hole play-off to South Korea’s Carrie Park in 2017 and again to Caudal last year. The eSwatini golfer is also back from competing in Australia and hoping this week is third time lucky.

“I was a bit tired in my first start on the Ladies European Tour, but I was so happy to make the cut in the Women’s New South Wales Open last week. I had a few bad holes, but overall my game was solid and I was driving the ball well,” she said. “I’m dog tired after the flight from Australian, but I’m really happy we are playing Glendower this week. I love this course and I know it really well. You can’t get over-confident on this course, but if you show ‘The Old Lady’ respect, she will reward you.”

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