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14th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Xasa tees off the Investec SA Women’s Open

SA Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa hits the official opening shot of the 2019 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Tristan Jones / LET.

14 March 2019 – South Africa’s Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa put in a surprise appearance on day one of the Investec South African Women’s Open, and hit the ceremonial tee shot to officially open the R2-million event at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday.

This year is the second successive year that the event is co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour (LET).

The field of 126 represent 26 nations and among the top starters are past and current LET champions Ashleigh Buhai and Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa, English duo Florentyna Parker and Megan MacLaren and French pair Astrid Vayson de Pradenne and Camille Chevalier.

The honourable minister was in Cape Town for cabinet meetings, but made space in her busy schedule to pop in at Westlake after a phone call from women’s sport journalist Cheryl Roberts on Wednesday afternoon.

“I was in back-to-back meetings, but I noticed a missed call from Cheryl. When I called her back, she asked me if I knew about the Investec SA Women’s Open and said I really should come to Westlake and see for myself what wonderful things the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Women’s PGA of South Africa are doing in women’s golf,” said Xasa.

“Women’s sport is very close to my heart and I like to support all initiatives that grow and develop women’s sport. I immediately confirmed with Lesley Copeman from World Sports Promotions that I would attend the opening and when they asked me if I would like to hit the opening tee shot, I thought, ‘Why not’?”

The honourable minister received a quick lesson from WPGA’s Barbara Pestana, herself a two-time former winner of the SA Women’s Open, and enthusiastically struck the ceremonial tee shot.

“It took three tries, but I got some good flight with my third shot,” laughed Xasa. “It’s a lot tougher than it looks on television.

“What a wonderful event and what a fantastic opportunity to see world class golfers in action while the young rookies and amateurs cut their teeth in a highly competitive environment. What you see her today is that golf represents much more than just a game; it is a platform that brings players from across the globe together and the Sunshine Ladies Tour helps drive South Africa forward by showcasing to the rest of the world the natural beauty and talent the country has to offer.”

3. SA Minister of Sport and Recreation Tokozile Xasa with 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player and Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member Kajal Mistry (centre) and Candice Buitendach from Investec ahead of the first round of the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Tristan Jones / LET.

The field contesting the 54-hole tournament this week also features eight amateurs, who will compete for the Jackie Mercer Trophy, awarded to the leading amateur.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry spearheads the group. Having rubbed shoulders with the professionals since the start of the Sunshine Ladies Tour season, the 18-year-old Randpark golfer has surged to second in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, courtesy of a top four, a top eight, a top 20 and two runner-up finishes.

“It was pretty special to take a selfie with the Minister of Sport and Recreation,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member.

“That’s not something that will happen every day. It was a great honour to meet her and I think it’s really cool that she came to the tournament. We watched her hit the opening shot and hopefully the golf bug has bitten her. It would be great if she could play in next year’s pro-am with us.”

SOCIAL MEDIA INVESTEC SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN’S OPEN
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INSTAGRAM – @sawomensopen
HASHTAG – #InvestecSAWomensOpen

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Written and released by Lali Stander 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.

SOCIAL MEDIA INVESTEC SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN’S OPEN
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OTHER – #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

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


9th March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai in pursuit at Investec SA Women’s Open

Karolin Lampert produced a brilliant front nine to surge into a one-shot lead on moving day at Westlake Golf Club, but Ashleigh Buhai is in close pursuit heading into the final round of the Investec South African Women’s Open.

The German had started the second round in a tie for second on two-under and a shot behind two-time champion Buhai.

On a magnificent morning tailor-made for low scoring, Lampert got off to a bogey start, but rallied with three birdies on the bounce from 13 to turn four-under. Buhai, playing behind the German, stretched her lead to five-under with birdies at 13 and 17.

Lampert bogeyed the first, but birdied the par-five fourth and the 23-year-old set the clubhouse target at five-under with a birdie at the par-four eighth. She was still perched at the top of the leaderboard as action wrapped up on Friday.

“I took advantage of the good scoring conditions, because there wasn’t really any wind to speak of,” said the Golf Club St Leon Rot golfer. “The greens were rolling really nicely, so it was the perfect conditions to post a low round.”

“I three-putted 10 and I wanted to get some shots back as quickly as possible. I had an opportunity at 12, but I missed the birdie putt from about eight feet. I stayed patient and hit some good shots into 13, 14 and 15 and the putts finally started rolling in.

“At the eighth I hit 3-wood off the tee to take the bunker out of play and I only had a wedge in to the pin that was stuck on the right. I hit it to 12 foot and one of the girls I played with, Lina Boqvist, hit it just past me. I got a really good read on her line and knocked the putt in. This is my first start of the season, so I couldn’t be happier. I’m still hunting a maiden win, and I’ve given myself a chance.”

Buhai birdied four to go six-under, but hit a major wobble when she dropped three shots in succession from the sixth.

“I played really steady on the front nine and hit some really good shots, but I got myself in to a bit of a downward spiral on my back nine with three soft drops,” said the 28-year-old. “I saw the lead was five-under coming up the eighth and I really wanted to make that last birdie.

She hit her approach to 25 feet and nailed the putt for a 71 to finish within a shot of Lampert.

“The ninth hole was playing a lot shorter, so I hit driver and a wedge into the green. I have to admit that I have some mixed emotions. I’m happy that I got it to six under and I’m disappointed that I let it slip. Coming up the last, I just wanted to make sure I am still in the mix after the wobble and I did it with that birdie.

“We were really blessed with the weather on our side of the draw for the last two days, but there is wind forecast for the final round and we’ll be off late. We may have to adapt our strategy depending on the wind. But I’m in with a shout and that’s all that matters.”

Former Sanlam SA Amateur champion Bonita Bredenhann also got it to five under with three birdies in the first four holes, but she turned level par after a trio of bogeys. The big-hitting Namibian erased a fourth bogey at 10 with a birdie at 13, and holed a 25-footer at 18 for birdie.

A round of 71 earned her sole third place on three-under.

“I can’t believe I’m in contention,” said the bubbly Namibian, a former Womens Golf South Africa number one. “I’ve just had a horrible season this year, struggling for form, but it’s shown up at the perfect time. I’m super excited to be in the mix.”

The Ladies European Tour’s top ranked player Valdis Jonsdottir was two-under coming down 18, but the Icelander had tree trouble and bogeyed the closing hole. The LET number 10 signed for 69 and will start the final round tied for fourth on one-under with Morocco’s Maha Haddioui, who shot 71.

Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace opened with a 78, but trended towards the leaders with birdies at four, seven, 13 and 17. Her par-putt at 18 just shaved the hole and a 69 puts her at three-over.

“To tell you the truth, I was worried that I’d miss the cut,” laughed Pace. “It was a little embarrassing turning up here this morning, but I got the putter going really nicely today.

“I set myself a target of four or five under, but unfortunately I got distracted as I started the putt at 18 and I ended up with a 69. The lead didn’t move much today, but I’ll have to go pretty low to win it. Anything is possible, though, and I’m really happy to be here tomorrow.”

And for Lindi Coetzee the final round is bound to be really special.

Fresh off her first provincial victory in the North West Open, the Gauteng North golfer was the only amateur to make the cut to 50 and ties with rounds of 77 and 73. Irrespective of what Coetzee shoots in the final round, she will stand next to the champion to receive the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in this year’s Investec South African Women’s Open.

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


8th March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai bolts clear in Investec SA Women’s Open

South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai reeled in three birdies on the back nine of Westlake Golf Club to race into the first round lead of the R2-million Investec South African Women’s Open on Thursday.

Buhai made the most of the tranquil conditions in Cape Town to fire a three-under-par 69 and opened up a one shot lead on the three-way tie for second.

“I saw at the turn that the leaders were on two-under, so I set myself a goal of three-under,” Buhai confessed. “We were very lucky with the conditions, because the wind didn’t blow as it did during the pro-am. I knew there would be a few under out there and I was very patient.”

Buhai leads by one shot from big-hitting Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia, who set the clubhouse target alongside fellow early starter Silvia Bannon from Spain. Germany’s Karolin Lampert joined the pack at two under in the late afternoon.

Former Canon Ladies Tshwane Open champion Kiran Matharu from England finished in fifth place with a one-under-par 71, while rising star Ivanna Samu was the next best-placed South African.

Samu tied for sixth on level par with recent SA Women’s Masters winner Laura Fuenfstueck from Germany, French pair Manon Molle and Camille Chevalier, Maha Haddioui from Morocco and three-time Ladies European Tour winner Florentyna Parker.

Buhai won the Investec South African Women’s Open twice as an amateur – first as a 14-year-old at her home club, Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in 2004 and again just before she turned pro in 2007 at Durban Country Club.

She’s made no secret of her desire to capture the prestigious title a third time over the last couple of years and came into the week with a winning mind-set.

Buhai started the 2018 Sunshine Ladies Tour season with a runner-up finish in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and claimed her eighth trophy with a commanding wire-to-wire victory in the Joburg Ladies Open a week later.

Then she jetted off to Australia for a three-week stint on the LPGA Tour. “I was a little jetlagged coming home and caught a cold somewhere along my travels, but this morning I felt right as rain and ready to go,” said Buhai.

She cancelled a bogey at the second with a birdie at eighth to turn level, and holed a 20-footer at the par-four 12th to spark some momentum on the back nine.

“I’d been very patient up to that point, but sometimes you just need to make some good pars to keep the round going,” said the 27-year-old Edenvale native. “I put a really good stroke on the putt at 12 and that got me into red numbers.

“I nearly holed out at the 15th and I was so sorry the ball didn’t drop. They’ve put up a painting as a hole-in-one prize and Dave (Buhai) and I just bought a flat, so we could use some art. I hit a really good approach into 18 and finished pin-high left, about 20 foot from the pin.

“It was quite a tricky little putt and Dave and I both had a good look. I decided to hit it inside right and it went right in. Winning this as an amateur was huge for me, but now, with two Major starts in play, it’s really something I’d like to get done this year.”

Ethel Ruthenberg from Southern Cape led the 12-strong amateur contingent with a two-over 74, while defending champion Lee-Anne Pace finished a further two strokes adrift after an opening 76.

 

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Written by 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.

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com/
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TOURNAMENT TAGS: #InvestecSAWomensOpen
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Written by and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini gunning for more glory in Cape Town

Nobuhle Dlamini no longer feels like a long shot. Still wrapped in the afterglow of her maiden breakthrough in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge last week, the big-hitting Swazi golfer jetted into the City of Cape Town on Tuesday, ready to fire in the Investec South African Women’s Open.

“Now that I got rid of the monkey on my back, I feel like I can do anything,” Dlamini said. “I’m still celebrating inside, because it was such a long time coming. There was always one thing or another holding me back; a bad first round, a cold putter in the last round, or nerves.

“I’ve been building towards a win and I knew I just needed to stay patient. Last week I had control of everything for three rounds at the Wild Coast Sun. I won so many titles as an amateur, and I’ve got that winning feeling back. Finally. It’s a great feeling to carry around.”

The Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned event gets underway at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday and the R2-million showstopper will draw the curtain on the fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour season.

The Ladies European Tour season, however, only just kicked off.

Not only will the winner bank lion’s share of the prize money worth R317 000, the trophy comes with Ladies European Tour exemption until the end of 2019 and world ranking points. Most importantly, success on Saturday will guarantee the 2018 champion starts in two of the season’s five majors – the Ricoh British Women’s Open and the Evian Championship.

“With those kind of incentives on the table, you’re going to have to play to win this week and that’s what I’m here for,” said Dlamini.

“It’s going to be tough. We played the pro-am on Wednesday in winds gusting up to 45 km per hour and that’s the forecast for all three days of the tournament. Although I never played Westlake, I played a lot of golf in the wind in Cape Town, so I’m pretty confident with my skills in the wind.”

Dlamini won the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship in a windy 36-hole final at Royal Cape in 2009 and went wire-to-wire at Umhlali Country Club in even more blustery conditions to lift the 2012

Sanlam SA Stroke Play title. And the wind didn’t seem to bother her one bit at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club last week.

“No, windy conditions doesn’t worry me,” said the 27-year-old.

“I played a practice round of Tuesday in much the same conditions. The challenge is come over the first three holes, because the wind is very strong into you. On the other holes, it either helps you or it’s off the side.

“You can actually use it to your advantage, because it’s a tight course and tree-lined. But you’ll have to keep it play. The greens are rolling very true and they’re a really nice speed. The course isn’t that long, so you can take any club in the bag, but if you don’t hit fairways and greens, you won’t score. The winning recipe this week is fairways, greens and a hot putter.”

Dlamini is just over 350 points behind Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Stacy Bregman, who is equally keen to wrap her hands around the trophy.

“Well, firstly I’d like to win the points list, because that’s worth R100 000 and it’s something really special to be the best player over a season,” Bregman said. “Obviously I already have Ladies European Tour membership, but a win would mean teeing it up in two Majors. That’s huge.

“I plan to split my time between Europe and the Symetra Tour in the United States this year. It would a massive step if I had guaranteed starts in two majors; it would take a lot of pressure off.”

Three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace will be gunning for a record fourth successive victory.

She admitted that the job got even tougher with two Majors starts on offer.

“For sure that has upped the ante this week and every one of the 123 players in the field will be playing for victory,” said Pace. “Everyone will come out the blocks firing and firing hard. There’s very little I can control other than my own game, so I’ll just have to make sure that I make a great start to put myself with the frontrunners from the get-go.”

Entry to watch the golf and partake of the food trucks and entertainment is free all days.
Spectators are invited to picnic with the champions on Saturday – just register for free entry at www.quicket.co.za/events/41338-investec-south-africa-womens-open/#/

LIVE SCORING – https://sunshineladiestour.com
Follow us on social media
TOURNAMENT TAGS: #InvestecSAWomensOpen
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour and @LETgolf / @investec and @sawomensopen
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour and @letgolf
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour

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


9th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Investec SA Women’s Open moves to Westlake

The Sunshine Ladies Tour, Womens PGA of South Africa and World Sports Promotions announced today that the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open will move to Westlake Golf Club from 8-10 March.

The venue change of the R2-million Sunshine Ladies Tour showpiece – co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour – was prompted by the damage caused at the original venue, Atlantic Beach Country Club, by the prolonged drought in the Western Cape.

“Unfortunately we have had to take the very difficult decision to move the Investec South African Women’s Open,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan.

“The decision had basically been made for us. In spite of the best environmental practices, the drought has taken its toll on the condition of Atlantic Beach Country Club, in particular the greens.

“Unfortunately, time is not on our side. We had to consider the long-term damage to the reputation of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, Ladies European Tour and Atlantic Beach in hosting an international event at a venue that is less than perfect.

“We are devastated for Atlantic Beach and sincerely hope that they can repair the damage swiftly in order to get their course back to its beautiful state.

“We are delighted that the tournament will be going forward and we extend our deepest appreciation to the management and executive committee of Westlake Golf Club for stepping forward to accommodate our national women’s championship.”

Lesley Copeman from World Sports Promotions applauded Westlake Golf Club for their swift response.

“We were in a serious predicament since the tourist season in Cape Town is at its peak and most of the golf clubs in the Western Cape are fully booked,” said Copeman.

“David Smith, the general manager at Westlake Golf Club, called us almost immediately. They have moved heaven and earth to re-schedule their diary to accommodate the Investec South African Women’s Open. The fact that Westlake makes use of effluent water is a big plus. They will be able to present us with a course in excellent condition.

“Our sincere thanks go out to Allen Usher, Tony Louw and the greens staff at Atlantic Beach for all their efforts. They did everything possible to prepare the course. We sincerely hope that they are able to restore Atlantic Beach to its usual pristine condition soon.”

Danni Dixon, Head of Marketing for Investec, commended all the parties for taking swift action to guarantee that the event goes ahead whilst ensuring minimum municipal water impact.

“This was certainly not an easy decision, but we are satisfied that the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and World Sports Promotions acted in the best interest of the players, Atlantic Beach Country Club, the championship and Cape Town’s water crisis. We look forward to hosting a top-class field at a world-class venue.”

Smith from Westlake said the club was honoured to step in and excited at the prospect of showcasing Cape Town and Westlake in the prestigious championship.

“The drought is a tough reality here in the Western Cape, but we are in a very fortunate position with our effluent water scheme,” he said. “It was unthinkable that the City of Cape Town should lose an international event of this stature.

“Westlake will be a different test to the links layout at Atlantic Beach, but the course has hosted many flagship national amateur events and professional tournaments and we are confident that it will provide a testing challenge for the players.

“We are proud to take over the hosting role from Atlantic Beach to ensure that the Investec South African Women’s Open remains in the City of Cape Town.”

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


15th January 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

LET returns for Investec SA Women’s Open

The Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Women’s PGA of South Africa (WPGA) announced today that the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open will be jointly co-sanctioned between the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and the Ladies European Tour (LET). “We are delighted to announce that the LET will be a full co-sanctioning partner to this year’s Investec South African Women’s Open,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan. “The Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA are extremely excited to welcome back the LET for the first time since the 2014 SA Women’s Open.”

“This partnership is a huge step forward in restoring the status and prestige befitting our national championship. Partnering with the LET also provides the opportunity to improve the strength of the field through the greater depth of international players currently competing on the Ladies European Tour.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open will be contested at the picturesque and challenging links layout of Atlantic Beach Country Club from 8 to 10 March.

With the full co-sanction, the field for the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open will include 60 spots for members of the LET. The prize money earned in the prestigious championship will count towards both the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit and the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit.

New title sponsor Investec boosted the prize money to R2-million, which makes it the largest purse on offer since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014.

“We are absolutely delighted with the confirmation from the LET” said Danni Dixon, head of Marketing for Investec Property. “Following our initial investment in the Sunshine Ladies Tour to aid the promotion and growth of South African women’s golf, both locally and internationally, we decided to take up the title sponsorship of the South African Women’s Open this year.”

“The Investec South African Women’s Open echoes our brand’s position of high performance and, having the Sunshine Ladies Tour partner with the LET, is another fantastic and positive milestone in our vision to promote women in sport and the ongoing development of our professional golf circuit.”

The tournament will mark the Ladies European Tour’s first visit to South Africa since 2014, when three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace from South Africa prevailed in a play-off against Holly Clyburn from England to lift her first of three titles at San Lameer Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The LET is delighted to co-sanction the Investec South African Women’s Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA” said the LET chairman, Mark Lichtenhein.

“South Africa is a proud sporting nation which has produced some of the world’s leading golfers and we would like to say a huge thank you to the Sunshine Ladies Tour for welcoming our international competitors, as well as to Investec for their support as title sponsor.”

“In terms of a tournament venue, we could not ask for more. Atlantic Beach Country Club is one of the finest and most picturesque courses in South Africa and previously hosted qualifying for The Open Championship in 2004 and 2005.”

“We are excited to bring our international players to compete alongside South Africa’s local talents and we look forward to the renewal of our partnership.”

Cherise Paxinos and Liza Gröpp-Els, the co-chairpersons of the WPGA, lauded the initiative between the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the LET and promotor World Sports Promotions.

“South Africa is known around the world as a fantastic golf destination and boasts several co-sanctioned and tri-sanctioned events on the Sunshine Tour” said Paxinos.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open is the crown jewel of the women’s professional golf circuit and it is entirely fitting that the event stands proudly alongside the world-class tournaments in South Africa. This is a very exciting time for women’s golf in our country and we would like to pay tribute to the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the LET, Investec and World Sports Promotions for their commitment to the women’s game.”

Liza Gröpp-Els added: “On behalf of our members, we thank Investec, the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the LET for investing in our national championship. We also want to applaud the City of Cape Town for embracing the South African Women’s Open and for throwing its full support behind the event.”

“The City of Cape Town joined the Sunshine Ladies Tour as the host sponsor of the annual Cape Town Ladies Open in 2015 and we were proud to play a key role in reviving the South African Women’s Masters last year, after an absence of eight years.”

“An event of this stature will also further enhance Cape Town’s status as the events capital of South Africa. With world class golfers from across the world heading to South Africa, the national championship will generate huge interest even beyond the borders of the golfing community. We look forward to hosting all the players at Atlantic Beach in March.”

SOCIAL MEDIA: HASHTAG: #InvestecSAWomensOpen
TWITTER:
@SLadiesTour / @Investec_Sport / @SAWomensOpen / @LETgolf / @SouthafricaWpga
FACEBOOK:
@sunshineladiestour / @LadiesEuropeanTour / @SAWomensOpen / @InvestecSport
INSTAGRAM:
Sunshineladiestour / letgolf / investec_sport / wpga_southafrica

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


1st December 2017 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils record-breaking 2018 schedule

1 December 2017 – A new title sponsor for the South African Women’s Open, two events upgraded, four new courses and a significant increase in prize money are among the highlights of the 2018 Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour has shown tremendous growth since 2014, when we launched with eight events, totalling R1 075-million in prize money,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan on Friday.

“Last year the total purse was just under R3-milion and the top 10 ranked professionals competed for a R1-million bonus pool in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies. However the season-long money list series has been scrapped in favour of bigger and better things.

“Instead, four of our sponsors have joined forces to offer bigger purses, and Investec took up the title sponsorship of the South African Women’s Open, raising the profile of our national championship to global status with the biggest purse ever offered on the women’s professional circuit in South Africa. The 2018 Sunshine Ladies Tour will offer a record purse of R4 450-million, plus a R100 000 incentive for the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour was launched to ensure the future of our playing professionals and the continued growth of golf. Today, the women’s professional golf circuit in South Africa is healthy, strong and growing, thanks to our key stakeholders and sponsors, including Investec Property Fund, the municipalities of Joburg, Tshwane and Cape Town, Dimension Data, Sun International, SuperSport, Canon and Pink Stig.

“Moreover, the international participation on the Sunshine Ladies Tour has tripled in the last year with more than 40 foreigners competing in 2017 alongside our top local players. The knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic. We look forward to another memorable season, culminating in the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.”

The 2018 season kicks off with the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club from 23-25 January. The Joburg Ladies Open, which moves to Modderfontein Golf Club, follows from 31 January to 2 February.

After the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 6-8 February and the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge in George from 16-18 February, the Sunshine Ladies Tour will enjoy two weeks of back-to-back action in KwaZulu-Natal.

“The Ray Nkonyeni Municipality hosted the South African Women’s Open for five years at San Lameer Country Club and last year, the City of Cape Town supported us to bring the South African Women’s Masters back to the circuit after an absence of eight years,” said Lesley Copeman of World Sports Promotions.

“With the Investec South African Women’s Open moving to Cape Town, the City of Cape Town will be supporting the national championship. We then offered the South African Women’s Masters to the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and we are so delighted that they accepted. We are incredibly grateful to the municipality and its mayor, Councillor Nomusa Mqwebu, for their unwavering and ongoing support of women’s golf.”

San Lameer Country Club will once again play host to the Sunshine Ladies Tour when the South African Women’s Masters tees off from 22-24 February.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour travels a little further south the following week for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club from 28 February to 2 March.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour then heads back to Cape Town for the season finale at Atlantic Beach Golf Club from 8-10 March.

“We are very pleased that Investec have chosen to take up the title sponsorship of the South African Women’s Open,” Copeman said. “An event of this stature deserves a strong, stand-alone brand and their confidence and support will take the championship from strength to strength. We also applaud the City of Cape Town and its mayor, Councillor Patricia de Lille, for welcoming the Investec South African Women’s Open to Cape Town.”

Players will also compete for an additional R100 000 in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit that will earn the outstanding player of the season an invitation to compete in a main event on the Ladies European Tour and Final Stage exemption into the 2019 Qualifying School.

Nathan added: “With a strong field, a fantastic challenge in Atlantic Beach Golf Club and the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit incentive, the R2-million Investec South African Women’s Open promises to end the 2018 season on an exciting and exhilarating note.”

2018 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE

23-25 January
R400 000 Canon Ladies Tshwane Open
Pretoria Country Club

31 January-2 February
R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open
Modderfontein Golf Club

6-8 February
R200 000 Cape Town Ladies Open
Royal Cape Golf Club

16-18 February
R500 000 Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge
R100 000 Pro-Am prize fund
George Golf Club (16/17 February)
The Outeniqua Course at Fancourt (18 February)

22-24 February
R350 000 South African Women’s Masters
San Lameer Country Club

28 February-2 March
R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International
Wild Coast Sun Country Club

8-10 March
R2 000 000 Investec South African Women’s Open
Atlantic Beach Golf Club

 

PHOTO – South Africa’s top international performer in 2017, seven-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion Ashleigh Buhai, will target a hat-trick of titles in the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open Championship; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour. Please Note – the image supplied by the Sunshine Ladies Tour is rights-free.

SOCIAL MEDIA:
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
INSTAGRAM – sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – SunshineLadiesTour

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


30th November 2017 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

SA Women’s Open receives huge boost from Investec

30 November 2017 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour today announced a new title sponsor for the most prestigious tournament on the South African women’s professional golf circuit and record prize money for the 2018 national women’s Open Championship.

The R2-million purse is a marked increase from the prize fund in 2017 and a huge milestone for women’s golf.

Players will also compete for additional R100 000 in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit that will also earn the outstanding player of the season an invitation to compete in a main event on the Ladies European Tour and Final Stage exemption into the 2019 Qualifying School.

“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Investec as the title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open Championship next year,” said Sunshine Tour Executive Director Selwyn Nathan.

“Investec have constantly raised the bar since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014 and has given us unequivocal and unwavering support as a partner and sponsor for the last four years, in addition to backing three of our top international competitors: Lee-Anne Pace, Stacy Bregman and Nicole Garcia.”

“We are extremely delighted and proud to announce this new initiative with the Sunshine Ladies Tour,” said Danni Dixon, Head of Marketing for Investec Property.

“We want to position the Investec South African Women’s Open as a platform that can aid the promotion and growth of South African women’s golf both locally and internationally. High performance resonates with our brand and we want to elevate women’s golf.”

Dixon added: “We have a very strong track record in supporting women’s sport in South Africa. The Sunshine Ladies Tour was a natural fit for us. We have evolved the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies to the next level by becoming the title sponsor of the South African Women’s Open.

“We want to continue to support this beautiful game that gives our top women players and new local talent coming on the tour the opportunity to showcase and develop their skills against top international players.”

Thanks to the record prize money of R2-million, the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open will rank among the world’s top national opens. The Investec South African Women’s Open at Atlantic Beach Golf Club will bring down the curtain on the 2018 season from 8-10 March.

South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace will be targeting a historic fourth consecutive victory next March.

“The South African Women’s Open is the one championship every golfer dreams of winning,” said the Investec Property player.

“Investec Property has played a major role in establishing and developing the Sunshine Ladies Tour and with their support, the Investec South African Women’s Open will regain the top tier status it deserves. I am definitely going to try to win number four, but with such an attractive purse, I believe we will attract top international golfers and I will have my work cut out.”

The full 2018 Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule will be announced at noon on Friday, 1 December.

SOCIAL MEDIA:
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour / @Investec_Sport / @SAWomensOpen
INSTAGRAM – sunshineladiestour
FACEBOOK – Sunshine Ladies Tour
HASHTAG – #InvestecSAWomensOpen

PHOTO – Three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace will target a fourth consecutive victory in the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

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