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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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HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour

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

 


27th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Is Dlamini the player to beat in Cape Town?

27 January 2020 – In-form Nobuhle Dlamini will be bidding for a second Investec Order of Merit title when she launches her 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour season  in the Cape Town Ladies Open this week.

The R200 000 season-opener, hosted by the City of Cape Town for a sixth successive year, will be contested at King David Mowbray Golf Club from 29-31 January.

Coming off a superb showing in the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Spain, few would bet against the big-hitting eSwatini golfer starting her seventh season in the pro ranks on a winning note.

As an amateur, Dlamini was a dominant force, but she struggled to transition to the pro ranks.

The pedigree was there, though. She racked up 16 top 10 finishes over the first three years and finally broke her professional duck at the Sun SuperSport Ladies Challenge in 2018.

The self-belief that took her to number two in the amateur world rankings came flooding back and a wave of confidence propelled Dlamini to the top of the standings in 2019.

She won the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and Joburg Ladies Open, had runner-up finishes in the Jabra Ladies Classic and SuperSport Ladies Challenge and confirmed her dominance with further success in the Investec Royal Swazi Ladies and victory in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Ladies Final.

Dlamini said the key to her overnight success was simple. She didn’t try so hard.

“I’ve been hitting the ball for a very long time and I was just waiting for a break, but I was also trying to force things all the time. I just decided to stop forcing it. I focused on letting the winning come through the process. As a result, I was much more relaxed and the trophies started piling up,” Dlamini said at the end of the 2019 season.

“My mistake when I turned pro was that I tried to change and get my game perfect. But you are not perfect. My advice to any amateur out there would be to not try to change too much. As an amateur, you get to where you are because it works, so don’t change when you turn pro.”

That self-belief – illustrated most emphatically at Fancourt, where she drained a 25-footer at the final hole in the last round with authority to win the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – was on display once again in Spain.

Dlamini took her blistering form to Europe, but playing on a limited card proved frustrating. She struggled to build momentum with sporadic starts and weeks off between events and narrowly missed the top 80 cut-off at the end of the 2019 on the Ladies European Tour (LET) season.

Forced to make a return trip to Q-School this January, she landed a top 10 spot with an opening round of 71 on the South Course at the Real Golf La Manga Club and kept her foot on the pedal throughout the gruelling 90-hole test to clinch her card for 2020 with a top eight finish.

With her future in Europe secure, Dlamini has set some lofty goals for 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour – a second Investec Order of Merit title and the ultimate prize: in the season-finale Investec South African Women’s Open at West Lake Golf Club in March.

After a week of challenging weather conditions in Spain, the infamous Cape Town South Easter could further strengthen her chances.

Dlamini won the SA Women’s Amateur Championship in a windy 36-hole final at Royal Cape in 2009. She went wire-to-wire at Umhlali Country Club in even more blustery conditions to lift the 2012 SA Women’s Stroke Play title. She braved gale force conditions at the Wild Coast Sun for her maiden success on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. And gusty conditions put a premium on her skills in the wind during both of her victory marches on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour last year.

“Windy conditions doesn’t worry me,” said the 27-year-old.

“You have to play the holes into the wind well. On the other holes, if it comes off the side or from behind, you can use it to your advantage. King David Mowbray is a tight course and heavily tree-lined. The greens usually roll true and have a nice speed. You just have to keep the ball in play. The course isn’t that long and if you are hitting it well, you can score. The key this week to winning is fairways, greens and a hot putter.”

To get the first win in the bag though, Dlamini will have to stave off some stiff competition all seeking a winning start in the City of Cape Town.

Former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace is hunting a hat-trick of Cape Town Ladies Open titles and last year’s Jabra Ladies Classic champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France hopes to convert successive runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019 into gold, while former Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Kim Williams and Jane Turner from Wales, and reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite are also primed to pose a significant challenge.

SOCIAL MEDIA
HASHTAG – #CapeTownLadiesOpen / #sunshineladiestour
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
OTHER – #itstartshere #InvestecGolf

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

 

 

 


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.”

2019 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE
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.


17th October 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini in ascendancy again at VOG Selborne

16 October 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini’s dream season continued with a three-shot victory in the Women’s Competition of the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series on Wednesday.

Last year, the big-hitting Eswatini golfer showed off her expertise in the wind when she broke her Sunshine Ladies Tour duck with a wire-to-wire win at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club and those same skills earned her the first round at Selborne Golf Estate, Hotel and Spa Club.

Dlamini fired a two-under-par 70 in testing conditions and started the final round three shots clear of the field.

The 2019 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner staved off spirited challenges from British pair Lauren Taylor and Jane Turner and South Africa’s Lejan Lewthwaite on the last day and clinched her fourth victory of the season with a birdie finish.

“It was a strange two days,” said Dlamini, who closed with a 73 to win by three shots on one-under-par 143. “In the first round, the wind was strong, but it was blowing in the right direction. I was pretty accurate off the tees and put myself in good positions to score.

“In the final round, the wind blew from the opposite direction and the course played really tough. I did hit the ball well, but the putter was cold. I’m thrilled with the win, though. It’s great to have this series for the younger professionals and for players like myself and the others who are on a break from the Ladies European Tour (LET). It’s really good to stay competitive.”

Taylor clinched the runner-up spot with successive rounds of 73, while 2019 SA Women’s Masters champion Lewthwaite and reigning reigning SuperSport Ladies Challenge champion Turner from Scotland shared third on one seven-over.

Dlamini was in imperious form during the 2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour, reeling in titles in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt, the Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club and the Investec Royal Swazi Open for Ladies at her home course in May.

She arrived at Selborne after enjoying her best two finishes on the Ladies European Tour.

“With my status, I had to make the most of every start this year to try and secure my playing privileges for next season,” Dlamini said. “I got into eight events, but I missed a few cuts so the pressure was on. Then I had a top 12 in France and top 15 in Spain, which boosted my ranking. I didn’t perform great in India, but a 64th place finish took me to 83rd in the rankings.

“The top 80 on the Order of Merit will keep their cards, so hopefully I make it. I’m still on the reserve list for the Spanish Open at the end of November, but I am into the last event, the new Magical Kenya Ladies Open. The ladies who haven’t played six events will fall out and if I do well in Kenya I should be okay for next year.

“That’s why I’m looking forward to the Vodacom Origins Series final at Simola Country Club. It’s one more chance to stay competitive and from what I hear, it will be a strong field.”

Dlamini will be facing stiff competition at Simola Country Club on 29-30 October with the celebrated Lee-Anne Pace making a welcome return to South African shores alongside French golfer Anna-Lise Caudal, who denied Dlamini in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower and five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman, among others.

“It should be a really good contest between us,” Dlamini said. “I’ve been told that Simola is very beautiful, but being a Jack Nicklaus design, you know it will be very good test. I’ll spend the next couple weeks working on my game and I’ll be ready for the final.”

Result
143 Nobuhle Dlamini SZW 70 73
146 Lauren Taylor ENG 73 73
151 Lejan Lewthwaite RSA 75 76; Jane Turner SCO 76 75
161 Casandra Hall RSA 82 79
164 Brittney-Fay Berger RSA 83 81

PHOTO: Vodacom Origins of Golf Series Selborne winner Nobuhle Dlamini receives her trophy from Eleni Kwinana from Vodacom; credit Tyrone Winfield.

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


16th October 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini dominates in wind to lead at Selborne

SELBORNE, 15 October 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini lined up her fourth victory this season when she tamed the wind to take the lead in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series at Selborne Golf Estate, Spa and Hotel on Tuesday.

Teeing off in a three-to-four club wind that raced around the championship layout on the KwaZulu-Natal coast, the big-hitting Swazi golfer was in imperious form.

Dlamini fired six birdies, including three over the four closing holes, to offset a double bogey at the par five third and further drops on six and 17 and a two-under-par 70 propelled the 2019 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner straight to the top of the leaderboard.

The 36-hole women’s event is played concurrently with the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am and serves as the curtain-raiser for Sunshine Tour’s main tournament.

Dlamini leads by three shots from Sunshine Ladies Tour regular Lauren Taylor and is five shots clear of reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite.

Taylor got off to a birdie start and eagled the third. The English golfer three-under after 10 holes, but she gave shots back to the field with successive bogeys on 12 and 13 and dropped a further three shots after a final birdie on the par four 14th to post  a one-over 73.

Lewthwaite overcame a bogey-bogey start with birdies on three and nine and made two more on the bounce after the turn to dip two-under, but her good work was undone with double bogeys on 14 and 15 and a third bogey on 16 will see the Serengeti golfer start the final round on three-over.

Jane Turner withstood the wind for three days at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club to win the 2019 SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, but the Scottish golfer also had trouble navigating the strong winds on Tuesday and carded four-under 76 to finish fourth.

Serengeti’s Casandra Hall – already a two-time winner in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series – posted 82 and fellow rookie Brittney-Fay Berger from Kloof Country Club signed for 83.

More wind is forecast for today’s final round, but a later start could see the chasing pack go low enough to catch Dlamini.

Written and released by Lali Stander.


28th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Double delight for Dlamini in Soweto

28 March 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini put an exclamation mark behind a dominant season with an emphatic four-shot victory in the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club on Thursday.

Her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory – and her second win this season after her Dimension Data Ladies Challenge success last month – confirmed Dlamini as the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit champion for the 2019 season and earned the 27-year-old a bonus worth R100 000.

The big-hitting Swazi national carded a final round two-under 70 to triumph on a two-under 214 total.

“It’s a massive victory for me,” said a delighted Dlamini. “I didn’t expect to win the Joburg Ladies Open, but I put in a lot of work for this season.

Nobuhle Dlamini from Eswatini celebrated a double victory when she claimed the 2019 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit with an emphatic four-shot win in the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“Coming into the final event, I knew I didn’t have to win at Soweto to win the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, but I really wanted it After the first two rounds, I knew I could win. The order of merit title would be even sweeter if I picked up a win. Two wins this season and the order of merit. I am really proud of what I’ve achieved.

“I was very excited about trying to win the Order of Merit, I think my performance at Glendower sort of sealed it for me, although it was still close. I knew I didn’t have to win the tournament to win the Order of Merit. I was really excited, but I still had a tournament to play. I’m happy to have won both.”

Dlamini began the final round on even-par with a one-shot lead over SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite and two shots clear of Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Casandra Hall.

She fired seven straight pars before dropping two shots at the par four eighth. Back-to-back birdies at nine and 10 took her back to level, and she erased another double bogey at the 11th with three birdies on the bounce from the par four 13th.

Dlamini finished two shots ahead of former South African Women’s Open champion Tandi Mc Callum, whose final round 70 earned her a runner-up finish and bumped the Parkview golfer second in the season-long points race.

Ebotse’s Hall finished solo third on six-over following a third round 76.

The round of the day – and the tournament – belonged to Lora Assad. The Johannesburg golfer scorched her way around the Gary Player-designed championship layout in 67 strokes and rocketed to joint fourth on seven-over alongside Monique Smit from Southern Cape.

Dlamini picked up her maiden pro win in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International at the Wild Coast just over a year ago and it proved a watershed moment for the Glendower professional.

“This season has been the best of my life, but the Wild Coast was the pivotal moment. That’s when I knew for certain that I could compete against the best and beat them. It changed my mind-set and I’ve just become mentally stronger since.

“I made changes to the preparation for my tournaments, and since that first win last year things have changed. I’ve been more relaxed. I trust my process and my decisions on the course. I commit to my shots and I feel much more confident.”

Playing in the heart of Soweto, made the double triumph even sweeter for the 27-year-old.

“When they first told us that the Joburg Ladies Open would be hosted here I couldn’t believe it,” Dlamini said. “I played here three years ago and it was not looking good. The greens were not good and the fairways were bumpy. It was like coming to a whole different course when we played the pro-am here on Monday. I was so pleasantly surprised and impressed.

“We owe a huge debt to Selwyn Nathan for championing the refurbishment of this course. The Sunshine Tour rallied the support of the City of Joburg, the PGA Tour and the European Tour, the R&A and sponsors like Investec, Dimension Data, Telkom, SuperSport and PPC Cement to create something incredibly special here.

“I know a lot of golfers who live in Soweto and who had to travel by taxi to go and practice at the better courses in Johannesburg. One of them lives two minutes away from the course. He came to support me in the first round and cannot wait to start practicing here.

“Selwyn, together with the sponsors have created jobs here and a fantastic legacy for the people of Soweto. The course is young, but already a great layout. It will just get better and better, and I really believe this is a championship course.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Zethu Myeki carded rounds of 80, 76 and 73 to claim the leading amateur honours on 13-over. The Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member tied for 13th with Lewthwaite, who finished third on the order of merit after closing with a final round 84.

Kim Williams finished fourth and Hall fifth to make it an all-Southern-African sweep of the top-five in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

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


| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini poised for success in Soweto

27 March 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini fired three birdies on the bounce down the back nine of Soweto Country Club to line up a fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory in the Joburg Ladies Open on Wednesday.

Dlamini began the second round tied for the lead with reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite, but she opened up a one-shot lead with a second successive level par 72.

The Investec golfer is still nipping at her heels on one-over following a second round 73, while Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Casandra Hall lies a further stroke adrift on two-over, courtesy of a brace of 73s.

Former SA Women’s Open champion Tandi Mc Callum got into the mix at four-over with an even-par 72.

India’s Tvesa Malik followed a one-over opening round with a 76 on day two to slip to a tie for fifth with 2019 SA Women’s Longest Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt, who returned a 74.

Yolanda Duma fired a one-under-par 71 for the shared low round of the day. The Border golfer rocketed to joint seventh on six-under, and will have former Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Stacy Bregman and Monique Smit for company in the final round.

Dlamini is justifiably in a confident frame of mind.

She will be gunning for the double in Thursday’s final round – win the R500 000 Sunshine Ladies Tour season-finale and bank the R100 000 bonus for winning the season-long points race and it will take something special to stop her.

“I’ve had two good days as I’ve played solidly from tee to green,” said the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader.

“If I play like this tomorrow and make a couple more putts I should take it home “I’m looking forward to the incentive, but it would be great to win the Joburg Ladies Open.”

Dlamini followed a birdie start with a trio of bogeys and went out in two-over.

Coming home, the Glendower golfer birdied the 10th but a careless double-bogey on 11 got her into the right frame of mind. She fired three birdies in a row from the par four 13th to steady the ship and cemented herself at the top of the leaderboard with solid pars over the last three holes.

“I dropped on two of the par threes on the front nine, which was annoying,” Dlamini said.

“I made a good birdie on 10 over I overshot the green, but at the next hole I pitched it too close to the pin and it flew off the back. I chipped it short of the green two-putted for a double. I hit a great drive, so to drop two shots after being 78 metres from the hole hurt. But I’m proud of the way I came back after that.

“The greens were slightly softer in the second round, but not by much, so you really have to think your way around the course. My short game, especially the shorter pitches, was really good. If you can get it inside 12 foot, you’ve got a look at birdie, because the greens are very true.”

Aside from her obvious title ambitions, Dlamini was pleased to be playing an important golf event in the heart of Soweto.

“Whoever took the decision to make this a championship golf course has done so much for the people of Soweto, for the nation. I’ve got a lot of friends from Soweto, so they have to travel a long way to the nicer courses. Most of them can’t afford to play so it’s great to have a championship layout in their back yard.

“One of my friends actually lives a two-minute walk away from here and he came through yesterday and he said he can’t wait to play after we finish.

“A big thank you goes out to the sponsors for helping development. I’m happy that people from Soweto have jobs now, working at their own club. Hopefully we look after it, and it leaves a long lasting legacy.”

Lewthwaite, meanwhile, couldn’t replicate the fireworks from the first round, but she usually saves her best golf for the final round and could be strong contender on the last day.

“It was a little boring; no holes-in-one today,” Lewthwaite joked. “I played steady golf and I’m right where I want to be – within one shot of the leader.

“I don’t know what it is about final rounds, but I always seem to get going. Hopefully I can do the same tomorrow. I feel different in the body and the mind, I love the pressure and the tight competition at the end.”

Hall made a disastrous start with a triple bogey seven at the opening hole, but the Ebotse golfer rallied with a trio of birdies after the turn to stay firmly in contention.

“I hit it left on the first and paid the price and I was a bit panicky after that seven, but I just trusted my swing after that and I began to feel comfortable over the ball,” said last year’s SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion.

“I held it together for the rest of the front nine and I was feeling great after the birdie run, but unfortunately I let another one slip at 17. I’m quite happy being two behind. Anything can happen in the final round, especially on this golf course.”

SOCIAL MEDIA JOBURG LADIES OPEN
Hashtag – #joburgladiesopen
TWITTER – @CityofJoburgZA
FACEBOOK – @CityofJoburg
INSTAGRAM – @cityofjoburg
HASHTAGS – #jabraladiesclassic

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
Hashtags
#sunshineladiestour #buildingwomenchampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour

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


26th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lewthwaite & Dlamini set Soweto pace

26 March 2019 – The cream really did rise to the top on Tuesday as the two main protagonists on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit – Nobuhle Dlamini and Lejan Lewthwaite – both carded level par 72 to share the first round lead in the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club.

Dlamini and Lewthwaite hold a one-shot advantage over Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Casandra Hall and India’s Tvesa Malik, who tied for third on one-over.

Fifth on her own on two-over is another rookie campaigner, Brittney-Fay Berger, while former champions Stacy Bregman and Bertine Faber share sixth with reigning South African Women’s Long Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt on three-over 75.

Coming off a runner-up finish in the Jabra Ladies Classic last week at Glendower, Dlamini has forged an almost unsurmountable lead on 1 597 point. Second placed amateur Kajal Mistry is skipping the season-finale to compete in the Western Province Amateur Championship. Lewthwaite is nipping at Dlamini’s heels in third, but another strong push in Soweto will see the Swazi national seal the deal and pocket to the R100 000 bonus in the season-long points-race.

Lewthwaite, who claimed her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title in the SA Women’s Masters at San Lameer last month, set the course on fire during the early stages of the opening round.

A steady two-under start through six holes was good, but her round quickly turned spectacular with an ace at the par three 17th.

“I had 173 metres to the pin playing downhill, downwind – and you have to pitch it short. If you pitch it on it’s going over. I caught a lucky bounce with a six-iron and it went in,” said the Serengeti golfer. “I said after the hole-in-one I didn’t really care what my score was, but it was fun getting my first one.”

The ‘perfect fluke’ helped Lewthwaite to go out in four-under 33, but coming home she dropped shots at the fourth and seventh before a disastrous double on her final hole (the ninth) saw her lead evaporate.

Despite her poor finish, Lewthwaite remained positive about her opening salvo in Soweto.

“It’s a pity I couldn’t finish better, but it’s the best position I’ve been in after the first round this season so I’m right where I want to be,” Lewthwaite said.

“I hit a perfect tee shot down the middle of the fairway, and actually hit a great second shot with the ball probably pitching pin-high with a gap wedge with 92 metres to the pin. I might have pitched it around 88 metres and the ball just rocketed over the green. Then I hit a bad chip and a bad putt to make double.”

Nobuhle Dlamini in action during the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini, meanwhile, produced a quieter scorecard with just two bogeys offset by two birdies. That was despite overpowering a number of holes as she cut doglegs with the driver and even driving the par four 16th – where she could only manage par.

“I hit quite a few drivers, there are some holes where you can take a Tiger-line,” said Dlamini. “You can still find the ball if you miss the fairway, the challenge is just how close you can get it to the hole with your approaches. The second shots are the challenge.

“On the 16th hole I hit driver on the green. So I was hitting it really nicely. I’ll take 72 today as it was playing tough out there. It would be good for me to finish strong here. I’m going to keep pushing and hope for the best.”

Malik was more than pleased with her effort in just her third start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour after debuting in the Investec SA Women’s Open in Cape Town and contending in the Jabra Ladies Classic last week.

“I thought I played a little bit better than my score suggested. I made a few silly mistakes, but I’m happy with my score,” said Malik.

“I’m focussing on my game, I’m not really worried about my position with 36 holes to go.”

Former SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Hall was equally pleased with an opening 73.

“I made a really good start in my debut in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open and then I set my expectations too high,” said the Benoni golfer. “The next six events were a steep learning curve, but I felt my confidence return at Glendower last week.

“It’s tough course and I’m happy to be within striking distance of the leaders. The greens are new and still very firm, so the biggest challenge here is to get the ball as close as possible to the pins. If you come in too hard, you fly the green and it’s tough to recover. It’s another great learning experience for us young pros this week.”

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

 


20th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini jets to Jabra Ladies Classic lead

20 March 2019 – Nobuhle Dlamini fired a flawless four-under-par 68 to get off to a flying start in the inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic in Wednesday’s opening round at Glendower Golf Club.

It was a real statement of intent from the reigning Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader, whose local knowledge came into good use on day one as she laid down a marker for a fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory – and the start in the Ladies European Tour’s Jabra Ladies Open that comes with the trophy and winner’s share of the R200 000 prize fund.

The big-hitting Swazi national leads by three strokes from French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal and Lora Assad.

Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry – second in the points race – carded a level-par 72 to tie for fourth with Kim Williams and India’s Tvesa Malik.

Emilie Alonso from France and reigning SA Women’s Long Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt finished a further shot back.

Two years ago, Dlamini fired a final round 67 to force the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon into extra time at Glendower. She traded pars with Carrie Park for the first three trips down the 18 before the South Korean won at the fourth play-off hole.

“I wanted a fast start to put some space between myself and the field because I I don’t want to go down that road again,” admitted the home crowd favourite.

Dlamini started with three straight pars from the 10th hole, but three birdies on the bounce from the par five 13th left the field in her wake. She set the uncontested first round target with a final birdie at the par five eighth.

“I was a little frustrated after I hit it close on the first two holes and missed both birdie putts, but I told myself to relax; I had a lot of holes left,” Dlamini said. “On 13, I hit driver down the middle, 4-iron into the green and two-putted for birdie. If I’d hit the first putt harder, it would have gotten to the hole.

“I had 143 metres at the par three and I hit a 9-iron that pitched and spun back to a foot. On 15, I got caught in the rough with my second, but I nearly holed my chip shot. Made the short putt for birdie and then pars to the turn.

“I made seven straight pars coming home before I birdied the par five (eight). I hit a big drive and 8-iron from 158 metres on the green and two-putted for birdie. I hit lots of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of chances, but the putting wasn’t great. I didn’t have any three-putts, but I had nine two-putts. I wasn’t comfortable with the putter, but I stayed patient.

“If you hit fairways and greens at Glendower, you will roll one in eventually. It could have been better, but I’ll take 68. I controlled the ball pretty much how I wanted to and I got the cushion I wanted.”

French golfer Anne-Lise Caudal has leader Nobuhle Dlamini in her sights after an opening one-under-par 71 in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Caudal, a two-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, offset an early bogey at 12 with birdies at 14 and 17 and negated a second dropped shot at the fifth with a birdie at eight to finish under par.

“It was just a solid round. Nothing spectacular; no stretches of brilliance, just a consistent round of golf,” said the Jabra ambassador. “I would love to go home with the trophy on Friday, but I need to get the putter to warm up. I struck the ball well, hit a lot of greens, but just couldn’t get the putts to drop.”

Assad, who is hunting a maiden win, was four-over after seven holes, but got her round back on track with a brace of birdies before the turn and racked up more gains at 14, 15 and 17 for her 71.

“I was a little bit hit and miss on the front, but holed quite a lot of nice putts from the eighth,” said the Texas State graduate. “I just tried to keep hitting fairways and greens to give myself chances and I knew if I got into a rhythm that some would fall and they did. Now I just need to keep it going for two more days.”

Mistry won the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the Investec SA Women’s Open, heads up the amateur challenge for a sixth successive week.

The GolfRSA Elite Squad player lost the advantage of a birdie start at 10 to a bogey at the par four 12th but turned level par with steady golf over the next six holes. She birdied the first to dip under par again, but bogeyed six and seven before a birdie at eight landed her a share of third. The next best-placed amateurs are 14-year-old Kiera Floyd from Ebotse, Symone Henriques from Glenvista and Nadia van der Westhuizen from Serengeti, who all signed for 74.

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


18th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Big incentive drives up Jabra Ladies Classic stakes

18 March 2019 – Current Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Nobuhle Dlamini will be looking over her shoulder when the inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic tees off at Glendower Golf Club on Wednesday.

Dlamini knows there is a target on her back after her lead was trimmed with a frustrating tie for 47th in the Investec South African Women’s Open last weekend, but with two events to go, the big-hitting Swazi national is determined to cement her position at her home course ahead of the season-finale Joburg Ladies Open at Soweto Country Club next week.

Dlamini returned to a happy hunting ground and was on the course at first light on Monday morning to fine-tune her game.

The Jabra Ladies Classic is the new addition to the 2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule and this week’s winner will not only bank the lion’s share of the R200 000 purse, but will also join the field in the Jabra Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour in May.

Gunning for her fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title, Dlamini said a win would be a game-changer.

“I don’t have full status on the Ladies European Tour yet, right now, so I am on the reserve list for the Jabra Ladies Open,” explained the 2019 Dimension Data Ladies Challenge Tour champion.

“To get the spot in the Jabra Ladies Open is huge. A good performance at the Evian Golf Resort Golf Club can boost your ranking on the Ladies European Tour and that’s another step closer to full status.”

Dlamini came close to victory at Glendower two seasons ago when she lost in a play-off to four-time champion Carrie Park from South Korea and although a firm favourite this week, she expects stiff opposition from Benoni golfer Lejan Lewthwaite, who is targeting the same goal.

Lejan Lewthwaite will spearhead the field in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 20-22 March 2019; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

The reigning SA Women’s Masters champion was hoping for another strong performance on home soil after a top-10 finish on the Ladies European Tour in Australia, but she missed the cut and was overtaken by Randpark amateur Kajal Mistry, who moved into second in the rankings with a top-30 finish at Westlake.

“Six weeks in a row took its toll and I was dead-tired, but I know I can turn it around for the last two events,” said the Investec supported player.

Dlamini leads the rankings on 1 397 points. Mistry is second on 963 points and Lewthwaite third with 940 points, but the GolfRSA Elite Squad player will miss the season-finale to defend her Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl title, leaving the way clear for Lewthwaite to challenge Dlamini in the points race.

“There is a lot to play for in the last two events,” the Serengeti golfer explained.

“Victory gets you into the Jabra Ladies Open. I’m 11th on the reserve list, so that’s the first goal. The Jabra Ladies Open is also the qualifying event for the Evian Championship. The winner and the runner-up get starts in the Evian and another Major, the AIG Women’s British Open. Plus full category status on the Ladies European Tour for 2020.

“A win this week is worth 250 points, first place next week earns you 650 points. That’s the other big incentive this week. But the stakes are high and everyone wants to win.

“I’m not sure, but I think Stacy Bregman might be the only player in the field with full LET exemption. She had a great final round at Westlake to finish 12th, and she won’t cut us any slack. At least Jabra will give the spot to the next best finisher who isn’t exempt up to 20th place.”

Lewthwaite believes fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams and Scottish player Jane Turner, who won the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, could pose a serious threat.

“Both of them are strong ball-strikers with incredible short-games and that’s scoring at Glendower. Good, straight tee shots and good putting. I’ve played a ton of golf here and it’s definitely one of my favourites. It’s a great test of golf and I’m looking forward to a strong finish to the last two events.”

Sweden’s Emma Westin – a three-time winner on the LET Access Series – also made a strong case for victory this week with a top-20 finish at Westlake, as did Ellie Givens from England, whose final round 71 boosted her to a tie for 36th.

Two-time LET winner Anne-Lise Caudal, Williams, former SA Women’s Open winner Tandi McCallum and big-hitting Namibian Bonita Bredenhann – also lining up this week – finished a further stroke adrift.

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