22nd February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Williams takes route 66 to join Bringner at the top
22 February 2019 – Kim Williams scorched her way around a breathless San Lameer Country Club with a superb six-under 66 to join Sweden’s Sofie Bringner in the lead on three-under overall after two rounds of the South African Women’s Masters on Friday.
In contrast to the first round where heavy winds swirled about for the entire day, hot and calm conditions greeted the players on day two.
The Centurion Country Club golfer made best use of the easier conditions to find 17 greens in regulation, and made eight birdies and just two bogeys as a result.
“It was a nice round, the last week I felt like my game was heading in the right direction. And for everything to work out today was nice,” said three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Williams.
“My putter is starting to warm-up. I’ve been struggling with that since the beginning of the season. I made a few clutch putts, nice par-saves and then towards the end the birdie putts started dropping. My putting was definitely key today.
“Yesterday was really tough with the wind swirling quite a lot, so club selection was quite tough. I was happy with my score after yesterday. Yesterday I didn’t make a birdie, today I think I had eight birdies. The key is when you’re making drops, is to be able to come back.”
Williams led for most of the final round at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge last week in George, before she was ultimately overtaken by Nobuhle Dlamini who ended with a two-stroke victory.
There will definitely be a hint of unfinished business for Williams, hoping to put that disappointment behind her.
“The last two holes today were pretty key. I saw four-under was the lead, so I knew if I had a strong finish I would have a better chance tomorrow,” Williams said. “I’m excited. I was in contention last week as well. I just hope I can keep it together and have a round like I had today.”
Overnight leader Bringner had led for most of the day, at one stage by three with an opening nine that included five birdies, and just two bogeys.
One of the key holes for The Hills Golf Club member was the par five eighth. There she was just short of the putting surface in two, but a poor chip from 30 metres left her with a monster putt over a steep ridge.
The hot-putter worked once more as the ball raced up the slope before taking a final left turn into the hole. “It was a good day on the course, and the first nine was very good. The putter was really hot today,” Bringner said.
“The putt on eight was about 20 metres, and very difficult with lots of slope and I just gave it a good roll and it went in.”
Just three shots behind the leaders were amateur Kajal Mistry (75 69), who tied for fifth with Williams at Fancourt, and last Sunday’s champion Nobuhle Dlamini (74 70).
Randpark’s Mistry produced an impressive three-under round which featured an eagle two at the par four sixth, which sent one interested spectator mad – her father Nilesh Mistry.
“I hit every fairway today and if I missed a green I was just in the first cut. So it was a stress free-round except for two three-putts I had,” said the 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite squad member. “I eagled number six. I hit three-wood off the tee and had 95 to the flag, so I hit a little knockdown gap wedge. It took two hops and dropped. My dad made a lot of noise with his screaming and clapping.”
Kiran Matharu from England, another former Sunshine Ladies Tour champion, is a further shot adrift after rounds of 73 and 72.
Scotland’s Hannah McCook and GolfRSA Elite Squad player Symone Henriques started the second round one off the overnight pace. McCook posted 74 to finish on two-over and Henriques returned a 75 to tie for seventh on three-over 147.
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
13th December 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils 2019 schedule
JOHANNESBURG, 13 December 2018 – Another bumper season awaits the leading lights of South African women’s golf, and international participants from around the globe, when the Sunshine Ladies Tour tees off in 2019.
The tour launches on 30 January, and the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open will fittingly draw the curtain on the sixth season in mid-March. The crown jewel of South African women’s golf will once again carry Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned status and boast a purse of R2 million.
“When we launched the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2014, we could not anticipate how incredibly well the circuit would be supported by players and sponsors alike,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan.
“Thanks to initial investment and the ongoing commitment from Investec Property and support from the primary key stakeholders and sponsors Dimension Data, Sun International, the City of Joburg, the City of Cape Town, the City of Tshwane, SuperSport, Canon and the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, the Sunshine Ladies Tour has shown tremendous growth over the last five years.
“Participation has increased tenfold, with more than 40 international golfers playing the full circuit last year. Prize money has quadrupled from the first season, and the knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic, with many young golfers flourishing on the international stage over the past two years.
“Investec Property has been with us every step of the way since the first season and has continued to find ways to make the Sunshine Ladies Tour more attractive.
“The 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, raised the profile of our national championship to global status. The Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, which was launched in 2018 with a bonus pay-out of R100 000 to the leading player at the end of the season, cultivated a well-supported and highly competitive circuit.
“We are confident of hosting another memorable season in 2019, culminating in the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.”
Cheryl Leicher, Head of Marketing for Investec Property, said the partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour aptly showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that the athletes are recognised for their dedication.
“We are thrilled that the Investec South African Women’s Open is a platform that can aid the promotion and growth of South African women in sport. It’s encouraging to see that our partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour is giving local players the opportunity to compete on a global stage and further the growth of the sport as we continuously strive towards building women champions,’ said Leicher.”
The 2019 season kicks off with the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club from 30 January to 1 February.
The Soweto Country Club makes its first appearance on the women’s professional circuit as the host venue for the Joburg Ladies Open from 6-8 February. The Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am returns in its regular slot opposite the Dimension Data Pro-Am from 15-17 February in George.
The Sunshine Ladies Tour then swings through KwaZulu-Natal for the South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club from 21-23 February and the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club from 26-28 February.
The Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 6-8 March will precede the season-ending Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.
Margie Whitehouse, the returning chair of the Women’s PGA of South Africa, added:
“As the oldest and most prestigious professional women’s golf tournament since 1988, the Investec South African Women’s Open is the WPGA’s flagship event. On this 31st anniversary, we would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Investec Property for their sponsorship, as well as to the City of Cape Town for their continued support.
“We would also like to express our gratitude to all our other partners and sponsors as we look forward to a successful 2019 season.”
2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour Schedule
30 January – 1 February
Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open
Irene Country Club
Prize fund: R200 000
6 – 8 February
Joburg Ladies Open
Soweto Country Club
Prize fund: R500 000
15 – 17 February
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
George Golf Club and the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Prize fund: R500 000
Pro-Am Prize Fund: R100 000
21 – 23 February
South African Women’s Masters
San Lameer Country Club
Prize fund: R250 000
26 – 28 February
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
Wild Coast Sun Country Club
Prize fund: R400 000
6 – 8 March
Cape Town Ladies Open
Royal Cape Golf Club
Prize fund: R200 000
14 – 16 March
Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour
Westlake Golf Club
Prize fund: R2 million
Sunshine Ladies Tour 2019 hashtags: #buildingwomenchampions #sunshinesadiestour
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Written and released on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
24th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
SA Women’s Masters joy for Fuenfstueck
Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Laura Fuenfstueck produced a stunning fightback to win the SA Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club on Saturday.
The German golfer staved off South African Lejan Lewthwaite, Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and 18-year-old Scottish amateur Shannon McWilliam to claim a maiden victory in just her fifth start in the pro ranks.
The 23-year-old Fuenfstueck took a big leap towards the breakthrough victory when she seized the outright lead with a second round 69.
She began the final day with a handy two-shot cushion over Gemma Batty – another member of the visiting Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad – while Port Shepstone golfer Melissa Eaton and Lewthwaite were three shots back and Dlamini lagged five off the pace.
Fuenfstueck began with two solid pars, but backpedalled fast with double bogeys at three and six, where her ball stayed up in one of the tall palm trees, and further bogeys at nine and 10 dropped her to one-over.
“I was so fortunate to have Rachel (Rossel – Switzerland) on the bag,” said Fuenfstueck.
“She missed the cut and she immediately offered to take the bag. I played decent golf and she kept me going. I wasn’t playing badly; I just didn’t hit it close enough. So I stayed patient in the wind and tried to hit some good shots.”
Dlamini, meanwhile, racked up three successive birdies from the eighth to move to two-under, but a double bogey at 15 put paid to the big-hitting Swazi golfer’s maiden title hopes. She parred her way home and signed for a 72 to set the clubhouse target at even-par 216.
Lewthwaite offset bogeys at six and nine with birdies at seven and 13, but bogeyed both short holes on the back nine. The Benoni golfer carded a 74 to join Dlamini in the clubhouse and McWilliam made it three on level par when she returned a 73.
Fuenfstueck was six-over after 11 holes, but showed great courage to fight her way back into contention with birdies at 12 and 14. A bogey at 15 and par at 16 put her in a three-way tie for second with two holes to play.
“I hit a great tee shot at 17 and a good second and I laid it up where I wanted to,” Fuenfstueck said.
“I had a good yardage in and I knew exactly where I wanted to hit it. The shot came out perfect. I had a 15-footer left for birdie and I saw the line clearly.
“I had a one shot lead, but still had 18 to go. I had a bogey finish in the second round in the back of my mind, so I just tried to hit two good shots into the green. My approach landed right at the back of the green, but my lag-putting was really good this week and didn’t let me down. It was a huge relief to tap-in for the win, and not have to stand over another three-foot putt.”
Fuenfstueck said a top 10 finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am changed her mind-set.
“When I came out here, all I wanted was to gain experience and to make the cut,” she said.
“I was really happy when I made my first cut in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and I improved every week. After Fancourt I thought that I shouldn’t focus on the cut anymore; I should raise my expectations. It looks like that was the right move.”
Fuenfstueck will join the field next week in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club and finish the season in Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 8-10 March.
“I hope I have another good week at the Wild Coast to take momentum to Westlake,” she said. “I only have conditional status on the Ladies European Tour, so I have to make the last event count for me in the rankings. But first things first; we’re going to party tonight.”
McWilliam, meanwhile, will be gunning for a hat-trick of trophies at the Wild Coast Sun.
The 18-year-old, who won the Border Championship by three strokes at East London Golf Club last week, lifted the Sally Little Trophy as the Leading Amateur in the SA Women’s Masters.
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Written by and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.