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31st January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace seals Cape Town Ladies Open hat-trick in style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


30th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini edges ahead in Cape Town Ladies Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lee-Anne Pace; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tara Griebenow; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

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

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

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


29th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Classy Pace credits young caddie for Cape Town lead

29 January 2020 – Lee-Anne Pace was right where she loves to be when action wrapped up on day one of the Cape Town Ladies Open in the Mother City on Monday.

Confirming the old adage that form is temporary, but class is permanent, Pace went around King David Mowbray’s 5,622 metre course in level par 72 to open up a one-shot lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour 2020 season-opener.

The former LPGA Tour winner and nine-time Ladies European Tour champion was delighted to lay down a marker in the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour season-opener.

“I played maybe four competitive rounds in the last six months and I haven’t played the course before, so my expectations was pretty low,” Pace said. “I made a really bad start with a double on the second hole and a quick bogey after on the fourth.

“I got one shot back on the sixth and had a pair of birdies coming home to get it back to level. But really, my caddie was the hero of the day. He was absolutely brilliant.”

Lee-Anne Pace credited her 16-year-old caddie, Durbanville amateur Jere Brits, for guiding her to the first round lead in the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Sixteen-year-old Jere Brits, a Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series winner who plays out of Durbanville Golf Club, is the son of one of Pace’s close friends.

“Jere knows the course really well and I asked him to take the bag. The course is definitely interesting. It is heavily tree-lined and with the wind gusting at 45 km per hour, it was playing very tight. He was brilliant with clubbing, the lines and the greens. I couldn’t have done it without him. Jere wanted to get a little taste of the pro circuit, and it’s nice that he is learning a little bit from me, but really, it’s the other way around. He is teaching me a great deal.”

Pace leads by one shot from a group of four players, including last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini.

Fresh from securing her card for the 2020 Ladies European Tour season, the Dlamini lived up to her billing as the pre-tournament favourite when she turned two-under, but fatigue caught up with the big-hitting eSwatini golfer on the homeward stretch.

A series bogeys coming home will see Dlamini start the second round in joint second on one-over with Astrid Vayson De Pradenne from France, Durbanville rookie Tara Griebenow and Silver Lakes amateur Larissa du Preez.

“I was driving the ball really well at the start of the round, but definitely felt myself fading on the back nine,” she said. “I hit some bad shots, including the 7-iron that landed me in the water on 18. I am not too unhappy with the score, though.

“I arrived back from Spain on yesterday morning and only checked into the hotel here in Cape Town close to midnight after some delays with my flight. I could feel my focus slipping on the back nine, but I love this course. It really suits my eye and my game. Hopefully I get a really good night’s sleep and I can give Lee-Anne a run for her money in the second round.”

Reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite and 2019 SuperSport Ladies Challenge winner Jane Turner from Scotland – who both broke through for maiden titles on the windy KwaZulu-Natal south coast last year – carded matching 74s to tie seventh.

Catherine Lau from Woodhill, 2019 Jabra Ladies Classic winner Anne-Lise Caudal from France and American Jordy LaBarbera, making her debut on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, rounded out the top 10 on three-over 75.

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For more schedule information or to follow the live scoring, log on to 

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

20th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Friendship put aside for Cape Town showdown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.

15th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Rookies in pursuit of Pace at Westlake

15 March 2019 – Former champion Lee-Anne Pace took control of the Investec South African Women’s Open on Friday and opened up a two-shot lead on the chasing pack at Westlake Golf Club on Friday.

The nine-time Ladies European Tour winner mixed five birdies with a solitary bogey for a four-under-par 68 and she will start the final round in familiar territory, having previously lifted the SA Open title in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Playing alongside Pace in the final group on Saturday will be two fearless rookies, both of whom navigated the tight, tree-lined layout with flawless performances.

Indian left-hander Diksha Dagar took route 66 to move into second on two-under with a low round of the tournament and Esther Henseleit, whose five-under 67 lifted the German to third on her own on one-under.

Pace set herself a second round goal of four-under after an even-par 72 in the windy conditions on the first day. “I really wanted to be in contention, especially here in Cape Town where I have some family and friends watching,” said Pace. “I’m so pleased I was able to achieve it.”

After struggling in strong winds on day one, the morning starters arrived to sunny, wind still conditions, but Pace was one of only a handful of players to take advantage of early the scoring opportunities.

In what should serve as an ominous warning to her pursuers, the 11-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner feels that the hard work she had put in over the off-season has given her complete control of her game. “I’m shaping the ball nicely both ways and I’m feeling like I have a lot of control on my approach shots, which is key because some of these greens are quite small,” she explained.

“I didn’t miss many shots today. I left a few putts out there and didn’t take advantage of the par fives I hit in two, so there is still room for improvement.”

Indian rookie and former World Deaf Championship winner Diksha Dagar fired a tournament low six-under-par 66 in the second round to finish within two shots of leader Lee-Anne Pace in the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Dagar was four-over after the first three holes in her opening round, but she settled quickly after the nervous start and signed for a 76. The 19-year-old former World Deaf Championship winner and 2017 Summer Deaflympics silver medallist showed none of the first round nerves as she went around the course in 66 strokes.

“I was on fire today,” said Dagar, who earned her Ladies European Tour card at Qualifying School last December and is making only her fifth start in the pro ranks in Cape Town.

“I only missed one green so I had a lot of birdie opportunities. I had trouble reading the greens in the first round, but I read them really well today. The grain slopes away from the mountain to the sea.

“I really attacked the flags and I hit almost every approach inside 15 feet. I’m happy that I was able to make some putts. It’s the first time that I’m playing in the leading group, so I am just going to shut out what the others are doing and play my own game.”

Rookie Esther Henseleit from Germany fired a five-under-par 67 at Westlake Golf Club to pull within three shots of Investec Investec South African Women’s Open leader Lee-Anne Pace in the second round; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Twenty-year-old Henseleit is another exciting young talent, who turned professional with an impressive handicap of plus seven.

The German racked up birdies on two, seven, eight, 13 and 16 to put herself in contention to claim her maiden Ladies European Tour title. “I’m really happy to be where I am,” beamed the former PING Junior Solheim Cup player. “It’s only my fourth start and I can’t wait to play in the final group. I’m going to go out there and have fun.”

Former Ladies European Tour winners Lydia Hall of Wales and Astrid Vayson de Pradenne of France sit a shot behind the German at level par, alongside England’s Charlotte Thompson.

Two-time Ladies European Tour champion Carly Booth and Meghan MacLaren, who defended her Women’s New South Wales Open title in Australia last week, are within five shots of Pace.

Defending champion Ashleigh Buhai is the next best-placed South African. The three-time winner carded a level-par 72 to finish at three-over, one shot ahead of compatriot Stacy Bregman, who returned a 74.

Meanwhile GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry was the only amateur to make the cut to 50 and ties, which fell at 10-over.

The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member is five over after rounds of 73 and 76. Mistry is the guaranteed winner of the Jackie Mercer Trophy for the leading amateur and she could overtake Lejan Lewthwaite for second in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit if she finishes in the top 40 after the SA Women’s Masters champion missed the cut.

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

7th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Another stab at Cape Town glory for Pace and Mistry

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

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

The joint leaders top a bunched and distinctly international leaderboard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

25th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

More to play in #InvestecSAWomensOpen

25 February 2019 – Four weeks into the sixth season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the Investec South African Women’s Open is inching ever closer. The flagship event, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, returns to Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town from 14-16 March.

In a massive boost for women’s golf in South Africa, the winner this year stands to receive far more than just the lion’s share of the R2-million purse.

As a Ladies European Tour (LET) event, the champion will be exempt on the LET for the remainder of 2019.

Victory also comes with starts in the final two Majors of the year – the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf and Country Club and the Evian Championship at the Evian Resort in France.

With such incentives on offer, competition is set to be fierce, and the winner will have to hold off a strong field of local and international players.

With half the field coming from the LET, golf fans can expect to see the likes of Lee-Anne Pace and Becky Brewerton – both former LET Order of Merit winners – as well as past LET winners Astrid Vayson de Pradenne and Florentyna Parker from France and England’s Meghan Maclaren in action.

Three-time champion Ashleigh Buhai flew to Australia after winning the season-opening Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open. She tied for 11th in the LPGA Tour’s Vic Open and was joint 15th in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open two weeks ago.

Buhai is competing in the LET Australian Ladies Classic this week, trying to continue building form for her title defence at Westlake.

“It’s always great to return to a tournament as the defending champion, especially when it is played on the same course,” said Buhai. “I love the Westlake layout and I can’t wait to defend my title.

“I played really nicely in the two LPGA Tour events and I’m happy that my game is moving in the right direction. I’ve had some positive results after the work I did at the start of the season and I am motivated for another good performance this week,”

Last year’s Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner Stacy Bregman is also lining up in the starting-field at the Bonville Golf Resort.

A fourth place finish at Westlake last year clinched the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit for the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and she showed some great form at Irene, finishing second in the season-opener.

The 2019 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit stretches over eight Sunshine Ladies Tour events and is based on a points system.

The overall winner at the conclusion of the season receives a bonus prize of R100 000.

The top three placed professionals on the final Investec Property Fund Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open and the champion will be granted a start in Ladies European Tour School Final Stage in December 2019.

“The 2019 champion will also receive an invitation to complete in one of the Ladies European Tour premier events,” said LET Chairman Mark Lichtenhein.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open holds an important place on the LET calendar and our players are thrilled to be heading back to Westlake in the wonderful City of Cape Town after such a fantastic Investec South African Women’s Open in 2018.

“We applaud the important sponsorship commitment from Investec Property and the City of Cape Town, which empowers women’s golf and helps to elevate the game and build champions. We look forward to collaborating with our friends at the WPGA, Sunshine Ladies Tour and World Sports Promotions on another successful event.”

Entry is free for all spectators attending the Investec SA Women’s Open from 14-16 March 2019 at Westlake Golf Club.

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

1st February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai goes wire-to-wire at Irene

1 February 2019 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai went wire-to-wire at Irene Country Club to complete a convincing four-shot victory on eight-under in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open on Friday.

She could not match her opening two rounds of 67 and 68, but with a lone bogey over three rounds, the win was never in doubt and she pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to 10 with a final round one-over 73.

Defending champion Stacy Bregman soared up the leaderboard with a closing four-under 68 to finish second on her own at four-under.

Yet another South African Lejan Lewthwaite also made strides with a third round 68 to take third on two-under. England’s Lauren Taylor was fourth on one-under and former Investec South African Women’s Open champion Tandi Mc Callum from South Africa completed the top-five on level par for the week.

“I’m very happy to pull off the win this week in the first tournament of the year,” said Buhai, whose only drop in the tournament was a soft bogey at the 52nd hole.

“Today was quite scrappy, but that’s just what you have to do to try win. Thank goodness there were no pictures on the scorecard. I learnt that I just had to stay patient and keep grinding.

“The course I played a little tougher. There were some low scores, but thank goodness I had that seven-shot lead starting the round. I knew I had that comfort zone. After nine, I knew I wasn’t going to hit it close, so I just started going for the big part of the greens and taking my two-putts to make as many pars as I could coming in.

“I think a few years ago I would have got more frustrated with myself, and probably made quite a few more bogeys. Today, I trusted my ability, especially with my putter. I made one bogey in 54 holes, so I’m really chuffed with that.”

Despite the comprehensive triumph, the 29-year-old Buhai said she was not totally satisfied.

“My goal was to get to double-figures, and then push on from there. When I had a six-shot lead with nine to go, it was just about grinding it so no one could catch me. Double figures was still my goal, even coming down the last. I was still trying to make birdie even though I just bogeyed 17.

“Overall, it was a good tester to see where I’m at and where I can improve. The main positive is that if I’ve got a sharp short game when I’m not hitting it well, I can still score.”

Buhai had just hit her tee shot into the par three 13th when play was suspended due to lightning. It turned out to be a short delay, with the players resuming within the hour. The disruption was far from ideal, but Buhai was still up to the task of closing out an emphatic victory.

“On 13, I hit one of the few iron shots that I flushed the whole day,” she said. “I thought I finally got something going and then we went off. I just had to accept it. Luckily we weren’t called off for too long. My first drive back, my hand slipped in the rain and I hit it out right. I had to punch out but I got it up-and-down from 60 metres to keep the momentum going. Overall, I’m happy with the week but disappointed with today.”

“Any time you shoot under par, you take the positives out of that,” said Buhai. She paid tribute to the sponsors for helping the event proceed.

“A huge thanks to Canon for coming on board and for sticking with us these last three years,” said the world number 116. “Without sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible. And to Investec, they have been our biggest supports and it’s great to have them on board again. The Sunshine Ladies Tour is growing every year and that’s what we want to see.”

Buhai leaves on Saturday to compete in two LPGA events and one LET event in Australia and returns in March to take up her title defence in the R2-million Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake, which is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

Bregman, who won the 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit last year and former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who withdrew after nine holes in the second round after the onset of a migraine, will also be making the trip down under.

Eighteen-year-old Symone Henriques was second after an opening round 70.

She slipped from contention with an 80 in the second round, but bounced back to overtake fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry with a final round 74 to win the amateur honours on eight-over 224.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour moves to Serengeti Estates next for the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on 5 and 6 February. Teams of two will compete in the Betterball format for the lion’s share of the R100 000 prize fund. 

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

28th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

SA’s Best primed for Glory Battle at Westlake

28 January 2019 – Ashleigh Buhai’s seven-year wait for a third Ladies European Tour (LET) title ended in Cape Town when she won the Investec South African Women’s Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last March.

South Africa’s leading international golfer became the third player to achieve a hat-trick of triumphs and she will take up her title defence when the R2-million LET co-sanctioned showpiece returns to Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.

The world number 116 hopes to join Lee-Anne Pace with four victories, but believes it will be a tougher task to reach the winner’s circle this year.

“When Investec took up the title sponsorship last year and put the Investec South African Women’s Open back on the LET schedule, the interest in the event really sparked and the tournament drew a strong field of international golfers,” said Buhai.

“I really had to work for the win and now that this year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour has two new events – the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower and the Team Championship at Serengeti – the depth of the field will be even stronger.

“With spots into two LET events, courtesy of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic, we can expect an even bigger presence of LET players. Several Sunshine Ladies Tour players like Lejan Lewthwaite and Nobuhle Dlamini have also made huge strides over the last 12 months. Lee-Anne Pace and Stacy Bregman are always dangerous and, if you factor in the international entries, the level of competition will be even higher.

“I am coming back with the goal of defending the title, but it won’t be a walk in the park. I will have to bring my A-game to Westlake to finish in front.”

Pace will also be back, chasing title number five, and Bregman, now the third highest ranked South African in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at number 306, is targeting a maiden win.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open trophy is definitely on my bucket list,” said the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion and last year’s Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

“I didn’t practice much ahead of the first event on the LET in Abu Dhabi and I got the bad end of the draw for the first two days, so I was really pleased to finish in the top 16. I plan to defend at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the end of January and then I am heading to Australia.

“I will be playing four events, including the Australian Women’s Open and I hope to build up some good form for Westlake. The Investec South African Women’s Open is the one title we all aspire to win and I came close last year. I went low on the final day to finish fourth and this year, I’m aiming for the winner’s circle.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open has enjoyed the support of the City of Cape Town since regaining co-sanctioned status last year and moving to the Mother City.

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, said, “In December last year, Cape Town was named as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the World Tourism Awards. Being able to host fantastic sporting events such as the Investec SA Women’s Open further confirms why we are able to celebrate this title.

“Big events being held in Cape Town mean fantastic entertainment for our residents and visitors, and at the same time bring with them skills development and job creation opportunities for our communities. I want to wish the event organisers and all participants a successful event and I’m looking forward to seeing Cape Town come out to support our South African sporting stars.”

The tournament promoter, Lesley Copeman from World Sports Promotions, applauded Investec and the City of Cape Town for their continued investment in the women’s professional game and commitment to women’s golf development.

“The South Africa Women’s Open is the showpiece of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and deserves strong, committed sponsors like Investec and the City of Cape Town,” Copeman said. “However, Investec and the City of Cape Town have also invested in the growth of women’s golf through their continued support of the women’s professional circuit.

“Since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, Investec has sponsored several events and initiatives, while the City of Cape Town joined the circuit in 2015 with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.  The City of Cape Town also extended its support and hosted the South African Women’s Masters at Rondebosch Golf Club in 2017 and last year, the City of Cape Town fully supported our decision to take the SA Women’s Masters to San Lameer and to bring the crown jewel of the Sunshine Ladies Tour circuit to Westlake.

“In addition, Investec added a R100 000 incentive last year for the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner. This kind of commitment is a strong endorsement of the exciting growth and development of the women’s professional game in South Africa.”

TWITTER – @SAWomensOpen
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OTHER – #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

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


7th March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace has double vision in Cape Town

South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace has duel objectives on the mind ahead of the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 8-10 March in Cape Town.

Last year, the 12-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner completed a hat-trick of titles with her third successive victory at San Lameer Country Club to join Mandy Adamson as a three-time national Open winner.

Winning the title four times is her first big aspiration.

“My goal this week is simple; I want to win,” said Pace. “I’d really like to lift that trophy. I will try to get good scores in the first two rounds to put myself in contention. But we’ll have to see what the weather does. Sometimes level par can be a good score if the wind really blows.”
The Investec South African Women’s Open is the marquee event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

This year’s edition is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour for the first time since 2014 and offers a purse of R2-million, with the winner getting the lion share worth R317 000.

Pace also has the season-long points list on her mind.

At 15th with 590 points, the Boschenmeer golfer is some way off top of the pile Stacy Bregman on 1710 points but with 2400 points up for grabs for the winner, the motivation is certainly there and Pace could make the jump to claim the points list title and continue to dominate the money list title she claimed in the 2014, 2015 and 2016,

A number of permutations are possible with third place this week worth 1550 points which interestingly is just 160 less than Bregman has earned from six events.
For Pace though, the task is simple – win the tournament and whip out the calculator later.

“I’d love to win both and end the season on a high note,” said Pace, who lost the Chase to the Investec Cup title fight to Ashleigh Buhai last year.

The field boasts 123 players with a total of 26 countries represented and the 37-year-old LPGA winner and nine-time Ladies European Tour champion knows it will be a tough task to come out on top in a strong field.
“Carly [Booth] is good, but there are a lot of other quality players playing this week,” said Pace.

“Flory Parker loves the wind, so I expect her to perform well this week. There are a number of new players I have never compete against, so there is the unknown factor. And our girls are coming off six weeks, so they are highly competitive.

“It’s fantastic to have such a strong field here in Cape Town, but it will be tough to win. I’m just really happy we have a co-sanctioned event again and I’m excited about where the Sunshine Ladies Tour is heading.”

Pace will be facing stiff competition from her peers, but she has dug out her old Scotty Cameron putter and, having found some great pace with ‘old faithful’ in the last couple of days, she is rearing to go.

“I played decently in Australia two weeks ago, but I didn’t putt well at all,” she said. “So as soon as I got back, I went looking for my Scotty. I’ve just bought a house at Boschenmeer and I am busy moving, so it was no easy task tracking down my Scotty.

“I putted my whole career with the Scotty Cameron and then suddenly last year I didn’t feel comfortable. I think it got bent on the same flight my driver broke, because it was around that time that I lost confidence with my putting.

“Instead of getting a new putter, I just went with something different. I tried the mallet for half the season last year, but I just can’t get comfortable with it. So I just went back to what I know.”
Pace took third in the season-opening Canon Ladies Tshwane Open, but was forced to withdraw in the first round of the Joburg Ladies Open.

“That was a huge blow, I was playing really well at the time as well,” Pace said. “I just woke up that morning and had really bad stomach flu, I couldn’t even lift my arm. I tried to play, but I just couldn’t swing the golf club – it was too heavy.”
Bregman won at Pretoria Country Club and Buhai triumphed at Modderfontein Golf Club, but Pace did not wallow in disappointment. In the third event, she returned to the winner’s circle when she beat good friend Anne-Lise Caudal of France in a playoff for the Cape Town Ladies Open title.

“Winning in Cape Town was really fun. I always enjoy playing in Cape Town because my friends and family always come out and watch. I happened to also play against my best friend in a playoff and won. It was a really good week, and that win there will set me up well for Westlake.

“It was funny because we didn’t even know there was going to be a playoff,” she said. “I asked Anne-Lise what score did you finish on, and she said eight-under and I said I was the same. It was only then that we realised we were going to be in a playoff. We just started laughing.  At the end of the day it’s nothing personal and you just try and do your best.”

Though Pace has not played Westlake Golf Club this millennium, she was still confident she could compete for the title.

“I haven’t played Westlake since I won a Western Province amateur event here; it was probably 20 years ago,” she said, laughing. “I like the course. It’s a tough layout, especially when the wind blows and according to the forecast, the wind is going to blow. It will be interesting because it’s a tight little golf course with small greens, so you really have to control the ball flight in the wind.”

Pace is always a heavy favourite, as is Bregman and Buhai, but a number of younger players coming through the ranks coming through the ranks could turn this year’s Investec South African Women’s Open into an intriguing battle.

Look out for second ranked Nobuhle Dlamini, who picked up her maiden victory at the SuperSport Ladies Challenge last week, second season professionals Ivanna Samu and Lora Assad and a slew of Ladies European Tour rookies, including Marita Engzelius and Silvia Bañon, who tied for second in the Women’s New South Wales Open.

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