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17th December 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour poised for glorious run in 2020

CAPE TOWN, 17 December 2019 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its seventh season in early 2020 with a bumper schedule, exciting incentives, including a R100 000 bonus for the 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner and record prize money of nearly R6-million on offer.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is a very attractive proposition at the start of the season and we are extremely proud of the tremendous growth the local circuit has enjoyed since we launched in 2014,” said Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan.

“In addition to increases in prize money and events, the Sunshine Ladies Tour attracted foreign investment and our international participation has tripled in the last three years, with over 40 foreign players competing in South Africa in 2019.

“The local professional circuit is healthy, strong and growing thanks to the continued commitment of Investec and our other key stakeholders and sponsors, including Jabra, Dimension Data, Sun International, SuperSport, Canon, the cities of Joburg and Cape Town, the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and Serengeti Estates.

“We are excited to offer great playing opportunities for the local and international professionals and a great stage for the rising stars in the amateur ranks to gain experience with eight events, including the co-sanctioned Investec South African Women’s Open in 2020.”

The seventh edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour will feature seven Investec Order of Merit counting events, plus the new limited field Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge.

The 2020 season launches at the end of January with the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club and returns to the Mother City, where the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open will fittingly draw the curtain on the seventh season in mid-March.

“This November, the LPGA and Ladies European Tour announced an exciting new 50-50 partnership with the joint goal of further developing women’s professional golf in Europe and we are thrilled to be a part of this development,” Nathan said.

“The Ladies European Tour will once again co-sanction the Investec South African Women’s Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA. In addition to the lion’s share of the €200 000 purse, the 2020 champion will receive a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into two of the five Majors in 2020 – the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship.

“The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic will also earn exemption for the Jabra Ladies Open, which is the final qualifying event for the Evian Championship. These are fantastic incentives for our players to gain an advantage on the global stage. We look forward to crowning a new Investec Order of Merit champion at the end of what promises to be another exciting and exhilarating season.”

Danni Dixon, Head of Marketing Investec SA, said Investec is proud of their continued involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“It has been very exciting to be part of the launch of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last six years,” Dixon said.

“The partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that these golfers are recognised for their dedication. We are invested in the next generation of women, and we are thrilled with the Investec South African Women’s Open as a platform that aids the promotion and growth of South African women in sport.

“It is further encouraging to see that our local professional and amateur women golfers benefit from our partnership with Sunshine Ladies Tour, by giving them an opportunity to compete on a global stage.”

29 – 31 January
Cape Town Ladies Open
King David Mowbray Golf Club
Prizemoney: R200 000

4 – 6 February
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
Gary Player Country Club & Lost City Golf Club at Sun City
Prizemoney: R400 000

14 – 16 February
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
George Golf Club & Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Professional Prizemoney: R600 000 / Pro-Am Prizemoney: R100 000

19 – 21 February
South African Women’s Masters
San Lameer Country Club
Prizemoney: R200 000

22-23 February
Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge
Serengeti Estate Par 3 Course
Professional Prizemoney: minimum R150 000 / Team Calcutta Prizemoney: R50 000

26 – 28 February
Joburg Ladies Open
Soweto Country Club
Prizemoney: R500 000

4 – 6 March
Jabra Ladies Classic
Glendower Golf Club
Prizemoney: R600 000

12 – 14 March
Investec South African Women’s Open
Westlake Golf Club
Prizemoney: €200 000

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

20th April 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Garcia Gets off to Great Start in Morocco

South African Nicole Garcia fired an opening round of four-under-par 68 in ideal conditions to take a two-stroke lead on day one of the Lalla Meryem Cup at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Morocco.

Garcia made a steady start with 11 straight pars but a run of four birdies in six holes from the 12th put her two ahead of her best friend and roommate, Stacy Bregman, as well as German duo Isi Gabsa and Laura Fuenfstueck.

Three of the four players at the top of the leader board have enjoyed success on the South African Sunshine Ladies Tour this season. Garcia posted four top 10s finishes, while Fuenfstueck won the SA Women’s Masters in February. Bregman secured the season-opening Canon Tshwane Open and then the Sunshine Ladies Tour Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, following the co-sanctioned Investec SA Women’s Open last month.

Garcia and Bregman have practised together at home in Johannesburg every day since then, on courses with kikuya grass, although it was Garcia who had the edge on the opening day in the Moroccan capital.

“The grass on the courses here is quite similar to back home and I think that does help, especially around the greens,” said the 27-year-old, who won the LET’s stage one Lalla Aicha Tour School qualifier by 13 shots on the Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in 2014 and then tied for second in the 2015 Lalla Meryem Cup at Golf de L’Ocean in Agadir.

“Every year I’ve had a few good rounds here and a few tough ones, so I’m hoping it’s going to be more consistent.

“I started off a little rocky and I don’t think I hit a green until maybe the sixth hole, so I had a lot of up and downs and some good saves and that got the momentum going. On the back nine, I hit a few good shots, but the putting was good. I’m very pleased, especially after the front nine.”

Garcia said she and LET travel partner Bregman had a bet going that they would both go to Mauritius if they won events this season and as Bregman has already won in South Africa, it’s her turn now.

According to Bregman, she had promised to pay for Garcia’s trip. “I owe her a trip to Mauritius because I won an event and the order of merit. Hopefully I can win here and still take her to Mauritius and somewhere else or if she wins, she can take me somewhere.”

The 23-year-old Fuenfstueck said that her win at San Lameer Golf Resort in South Africa, followed by a top-10 finish on the LET Access Series at Terre Blanche a fortnight ago, had helped her to banish the nerves on the first tee in only her second LET event.

She made three birdies on the front nine but dropped a shot on the 18th and said afterwards: “I had a good start but had to fight a bit on the last couple of holes. I think on the last shot into the green I hit it a bit too good, so it ended up being a bit long but I’m happy with two under.”

Fittingly for a finance graduate, of Charleston University, she said that her goal was to break even this year.

“I just want to play as much as I can. Obviously, this is an amazing event and I’m still a bit mind-blown. I’m trying not to get lost between all the tents and everything. I’m trying to enjoy myself. It’s a bit of a dream come true, I think. You always want to play alongside the men and with the top people in Europe and the world. I’m trying not to get too excited and stick to my game plan.”

Meanwhile, European Solheim Cup team member Florentyna Parker, who played with HRH Prince Moulay Rachid, Chairman of the Hassan II Golf Trophy Association and the Moroccan Golf Federation in the Pro-Am on Tuesday, was a stroke back in a large group of players on one-under-par.

The defending champion Klara Spilkova opened with a one-over-par 73 and was happy with her score.

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