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14th December 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour announces 2021 schedule

14 December 2020 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour today announced its 2021 schedule and women’s golf fans can look forward to six weeks of action, capped by the Investec South African Women’s Open from 18-20 March in the City of Cape Town.

The eighth season of the local women’s professional circuit launches with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 3-5 February.

Next up is the annual Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am from 12-14 February. The eighth edition will boast a purse of R600 000, with an additional R100 000 up for grabs for the leading 10 teams in the Better Ball Pro-Am competition. The first two rounds will be played at George Golf Club and the final round will be contested at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt.

From George, the circuit travels to Sun City for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, where the immaculate Gary Player Country Club – host venue of the 2020 South African Open Championship – will once again serve up an exciting challenge from 24-26 February.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour then spends two weeks in Johannesburg for the Joburg Ladies Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic before returning to the Mother City for the season-finale showpiece.

The popular Joburg Ladies Open makes its sixth appearance on the circuit from 3-5 March and returns to the Soweto Country Club for a third successive year. The following week, the Jabra Ladies Classic celebrates its third edition at Glendower Golf Club.

Westlake Golf Club will bring down the curtain on what promises to be another exciting season of building women champions when it hosts the country’s flagship event for a fourth successive year. The Investec South African Women’s Open will once again be co-sanctioned between the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Ladies European Tour and carry a prize fund of €200 000 (approximately R3.6-million).

“Although we have a slightly shortened schedule in 2021, we are excited to offer our players some wonderful incentives next year,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen.

“The 2021 Investec Order of Merit will commence with the Cape Town Ladies Open. It will be based on a points system and the winner at the conclusion of the Investec South African Women’s Open will receive a bonus prize of R100 000.

“At this time, we are unable to confirm the incentives on offer to the winners of the Jabra Ladies Classic and the Investec South African Women’s Open.  However, once confirmed by the Ladies European Tour, they could result in life-changing opportunities for our players.

“These incentives will add up to huge rewards for the players supporting the Sunshine Ladies Tour and will undoubtedly make for another highly competitive season of inspiring feats, rousing shot-making and contests to savour.”

Sunshine Tour Commissioner Thomas Abt said it is wonderful to see the Sunshine Ladies Tour continue as strong as ever, despite the hardships golf in South Africa experienced in 2020.

“Since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, the circuit has blossomed and grown into a wonderful stage where the next generation can cut their teeth and build experience competing against the top talents from South Africa and abroad,” said Abt.

“Over the last seven years, the tour has showcased the talents of international champions Ashleigh Buhai and Lee-Anne Pace and campaigners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and our 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner Monique Smit.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour has also proven highly successful in building future champions, including Lejan Lewthwaite, Nobuhle Dlamini and Casandra Hall, who are all competing on the Ladies European Tour now. The next generation have also greatly benefitted from the experience of competing at this level, with the likes of Zethu Myeki, Kajal Mistry, Kaiyuree Moodley, Caitlyn Macnab and Kaylah Williams all excelling at amateur level.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour increasingly draws a growing pool of international competitors, who come out to South Africa to take advantage of our weather, our great golf courses and a highly competitive circuit at the start of the year. And our partnership with the Ladies European Tour provide our local players great opportunities to gain access to the international stage. We look forward to another successful Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2021.”

Margie Whitehouse, chair of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, welcomed the announcement.

“We are delighted that the Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its eight season in 2021,” said Whitehouse. “Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown, we will host a strong run of tournaments next year thanks to the incredible loyalty of our sponsors and partners.

“Globally, golf has proven itself as a sport that can be played safely. The South African golf industry has adapted quickly to manage the restrictions and has the operational experience and established GolfRSA Covid-secure practices to guarantee that the 2021 Sunshine Ladies Tour can tee off with great success next year.”

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

“Investec threw its support behind the Sunshine Ladies Tour since its inception and it has been an encouraging and rewarding journey to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last seven years,” Dixon said.

“Investec is honoured and delighted to partner the Sunshine Ladies Tour in showcasing the incredible talent of women in golf and to help our golfers achieve the opportunity to compete on the global stage. We are invested in the next generation of women and we believe that these athletes should be recognised for their dedication and achievements. As the title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Investec Order of Merit, we proudly promote the growth and development of South African women in sport.”

2021 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE

FEBRUARY

3-5        Cape Town Ladies Open
               R200 000 / Royal Cape Golf Club

12-14    Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
               R600 000 / R100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am
George Golf Club / Outeniqua Course at Fancourt

24-26    SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
                R400 000 / Gary Player Country Club

MARCH

3-5        Joburg Ladies Open
               R500 000 / Soweto Country Club

10-12    Jabra Ladies Classic
               R600 000 / Glendower Golf Club

18-20    Investec South African Women’s Open*
                €200 000 / Westlake Golf Club
* Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned


8th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Park powers to Cape Town Ladies Open victory

CAPE TOWN, 8 March 2019 – Carrie Park turned on the style when it mattered most, making crucial birdies on the final three holes at Royal Cape Golf Club to claim her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour victory by five strokes in the Cape Town Ladies Open on Friday.

With just five holes to play, the Korean shared top spot on a bunched leaderboard with defending champion Lee-Anne Pace on three-under.

Amateur Kajal Mistry and Finland’s Tiia Koivistra were within striking distance just one shot back.

Park reeled off birdies on the par-five 14th and 16th holes and notched further gains at the par-four 17th and 18th holes to triumph.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Mistry and Anne-Lise Caudal from France – last year’s runner up – tied for second on two-under, with South African Tandi McCallum, Swiss golfer Caroline Rominger and Koivisto a stroke further back in joint fifth.

Park headed into the final day one shot behind Pace and Mistry, who shared the overnight lead on four-under.

“I started the round very well and was feeling good, but I lost it a little bit at the turn,” she explained. “I felt like I couldn’t get my address right and everything started leaking right.

“The 14th was the turning point for me. I had 183 metres into the wind to the flag for my second and I hit a good 3-wood there to make a birdie. That really got me going.”

With the south-easterly wind gusting up to 50 km per hour at times, Park’s four-under-par 70 in the final round was the low score of the day. With earlier rounds of 72 and 73 at the par-74 layout, she was also the only player to break par on each day this week.

Even more remarkable is that Park only arrived in the country on the eve of the tournament and stepped into the first round without the benefit of a practice round.

“I prepared really well for the tournament. When we transferred, I did exercises to stay loose and I slept really well on the flights,” she said.

“It was really important to me to play this week. I wanted to get used to the distance at sea level and the ball flight to prepare for the Investec South African Women’s Open next week. My first Sunshine Ladies Tour win was the SA Women’s Masters. I would love to have the double.

“I don’t know Westlake. I have heard that it is also tight and tree-lined and the greens are very undulating. I plan to play at least three practice rounds to prepare well for next week.”

She often jokes that she is Korean by birth, but her heart is South African.

Her father enrolled the Seoul-born Park at Southdowns College at the age of 13. She joined Graeme Francis and the GFG Academy and soon after, began representing Gauteng North Golf Union.

A former SA Amateur and SA Stroke Play champion, Park was named Womens Golf South Africa Golfer of the Year in 2013 and she held the number one ranking for more than a year.

Following her third victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge last year, Park returned to Korea. She now plies her trade on the Korean LPGA Tour, having graduated to the tour courtesy of a win in the Phoenix Dream Tour in June last year.

Randpark golfer Kajal Mistry claimed the Leading Amateur honours for a fourth successive week with a joint runner-up finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Mistry, meanwhile, banked a second runner-up finish of the season, to go with the second place finish in the SA Women’s Masters and a further two top-10s.

It was another remarkable result for the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member, who remains in third spot on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

She has received a sponsor’s invitation to the R2-million Investec South African Ladies Open, co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and is relishing her fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour start.

“I can’t wait to play in my first Ladies European Tour event,” said the 18-year-old Randpark golfer.

“So far the season has exceeded my expectations. Originally my goal was to finish in the top 10 on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, but I think I need to reset and aim for the top three.

“I’m happy with my performance at Royal Cape. Coming second is a great result, but I was not too happy with all the fairways I missed this week. I only hit six in the final round, but my irons and short-game has been really strong. It was all a really good learning curve for next week.”

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CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
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Written and released by Lali Stander and Brendan Barratt on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


7th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Another stab at Cape Town glory for Pace and Mistry

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

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

The joint leaders top a bunched and distinctly international leaderboard.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
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Written and released by Lali Stander and Brendan Barratt on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


6th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

England’s Matharu on top at Cape Town Ladies Open

6 March 2019 – There were some familiar faces at the top end of the Sunshine Ladies Tour leaderboard as the first round of the Cape Town Ladies Open drew to a close at Royal Cape Golf Club on Wednesday.

Former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kiran Matharu fired a round of six-under-par 68 to surge to the top of the leaderboard.

The English golfer, who finished tie-sixth at the same venue a year ago, opened up a two-shot lead over last year’s runner up Anne-Lise Caudal from France, Tiia Kovisto from Finland and GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Kajal Mistry.

Former SA Women’s champion Tandi McCallum, fifth last year, was a further shot back.

Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace got her campaign off to a solid start with a round of two-under 72 to share sixth with Lora Assad and Carrie Park from South Korea.

Matharu offset seven birdies, including five on the back nine, with a solitary bogey to stamp her authority on the event. “I didn’t really see that round coming to be honest,” the Leeds golfer explained.

“I’ve been struggling over the last couple of weeks, but it all came together today. If you’re accurate off the tee, Royal Cape offers a lot of birdie chances and I managed to do that today, so I’m very happy with the start.”

Caudal – still hunting a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory – lost to Pace in a playoff last year and she was delighted to find form on a course that she feels very comfortable on.

“I played really well today,” she said. “I hit two bad drives, which cost me two bogeys and I missed two short birdie putts, but I’m very happy with four under. I just love this course.”

With the Royal Cape course set up to a par of 74 that includes no fewer than six par fives, there are lots of scoring opportunities for the players.

Finland’s Kovisto took full advantage on the back nine with a pair of eagles and a birdie en route to her 70 in her debut on the local circuit.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry is in contention for a fourth week running after opening with a four-under 70 in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Mistry also continued her fine form in the Sunshine Ladies Tour series. The diminutive 18-year-old, who is headed to the University of Arkansas in the US later this year, has had finishes of tie-20th, tie-4th, 2nd and tie-8th this season. Returning to the same venue where she won the Nomads SA Rose Bowl Championship last year sparked another positive performance and her round of 70 included three birdies, an eagle and a bogey.

“I’m really enjoying myself out here. I think it’s the relief of being finished with school and having golf as my main focus for the next few months,” explained the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member.

“I’m really excited about going to college, but until then it’s going to be golf, golf and more golf. I’ve played with a lot of good professionals and learned a lot about course management, which I’ve applied to my own game and it’s paying off.”

Pace is still very much in the hunt for a 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title after carding 72.

Two-time champion Lee-Anne Pace was happy to get her title defence off to a solid start in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“I struck the ball fantastically,” Pace said. “I just received my new Apex irons from Callaway. They go quite a bit further, but I’ve adjusted well. I had the speed of the greens, but I just wasn’t hitting them on line. If a few more dropped, I might even have been leading.”

Having experienced the course in benign conditions during the opening round, players can look forward to some challenging conditions for the rest of the week, with rain predicted for the second round and strong winds expected in the final round.

“I’m normally pretty good in windy conditions, so it won’t bother me,” explained Pace. “I’m only a few shots behind, and on a course like this anything can happen.”

Park, who led the South African Amateur rankings for two years, and holds three Sunshine Ladies Tour trophies, could be the dark horse to watch.

The petite Seoul golfer only landed in Cape Town last night and got it to four-under and co-led the opening round at one stage on four-under. “I was a little tired today, but that’s nothing a good night’s sleep won’t fix,” said Park, who took her winning form on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last year to her native Korea, where she landed a card for the Korean LPGA Tour this year with a top 20 finish on the qualifying tour.

“I timed coming back to South Africa so I could play Royal Cape this week. I’ve always loved this course. I’m just four shots behind and with six par fives, you can make that up pretty quickly if you’re driving the ball well and the putter is behaving.”

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CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
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Written and released by Lali Stander and Brendan Barratt on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


5th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini gunning for City of Cape Town success

5 March 2019 – The City of Cape Town will host two world-class Sunshine Ladies Tour events in the next fortnight. Starting on Wednesday, the Cape Town Ladies Open will set the stage for next week’s Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

The fifth Cape Town Ladies Open has drawn a field of 67 players, with a 40-strong international contingent competing in the curtain-raiser at Royal Cape Golf Club ahead of the R2-million Sunshine Ladies Tour showpiece from 14-16 March at Westlake Golf Club.

The foreign campaigners have already enjoyed a fortuitous summer, coming up trumps in three of the first five events.

Flora Peuch and Marion Duvernay from France celebrated victory in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship in February, while Jane Turner from Scotland went wire-to-wire at the Wild Coast Sun last week to capture the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International.

Well-known Nobuhle Dlamini pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to three trophies in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt three weeks ago.

Coming off a runner-up finish at the Wild Coast, Dlamini has banked 1 257 points this season and the big-hitting Swazi golfer holds the top spot in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

With her closest pursuers at Royal Cape this week Kim Williams and Ivanna Samu – respectively ranked third and fourth on 586 and 529 points – Dlamini is determined to open up an unsurmountable lead in the rankings before the circuit moves to Westlake.

“There are a lot of ranking points on offer next week, so I have to try to win it this week to increase my lead,” said the 27-year-old. “I was pipped at the post last year by Stacy Bregman. I definitely don’t want that to happen again.

“I think the field is wide open this year. Lee-Anne (Pace) is always a worry. She hasn’t played on the Sunshine Ladies Tour since the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so she will be keen to get some points in the Order of Merit race.

“She won in 2016 and she’s defending. With the Investec South African Women’s Open next week, she is going to gun for the winner’s circle again. If she gets it going early on, she’ll be very tough to catch.

“But there are a few more players to worry about. Kim Williams has been in great form this season and Ivanna Samu could definitely pose a threat, because she has a great record at Royal Cape.

“The two Scottish rookies Gabrielle MacDonald and Hannah McCook did really well over the last two weeks in KwaZulu-Natal and Jane was in a class of her own last week.

“Jessica Dreesbeimdieke from Namibia and Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands have also been impressive so far this season. And Carrie Park is back. She’s a three-time winner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and she’s been playing the Ladies PGA Tour in Korea, where she’s also won.

“There are also a number of new players this week who have arrived early to warm up for the Investec SA Women’s Open. We don’t know much about them, so they could deliver a big surprise this week.”
Dlamini is confident, though, that she can protect her number one spot in the rankings.

“I’ve come to Cape Town this year in a very different mind-set,” she said. “I’ve always had a great game, but I didn’t have the self-belief that you need to compete at the highest level. Mentally I am stronger that I’ve ever been.

“I’ve had a mixed bag of results here in the past, but I believe I’ll do well. I trust my game. I trust my ability to grind and scramble to turn a bad round around. And I believe I can win. When you take mental strength and self-belief on to the golf course, you control the way you play.”

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CAPE TOWN LADIES OPEN
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


8th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Perfection from Pace in Cape Town

Lee-Anne Pace shook off the last of the early-season rust to capture her 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title with a playoff victory in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape on Thursday.

Twelve months after losing the title to Ashleigh Buhai in extra time in the same event, the 2016 champion went full circle and made a welcome return to the winner’s enclosure.

Trailing by two shots to best friend Anne-Lise Caudal as they reached the final hole, Pace buried a long birdie putt to deny her the Frenchwoman a long-overdue trophy.

A round of 71 from Pace and a 70 from Caudal after a bogey at 18, saw the pair tie one eight-under 214. They made the return trip back to the 18th tee for a sudden-death play-off and it was almost a replay of last year’s event.

This time, though, Pace prevailed with a par.

“The last time Anne-Lise and I played together we both played awful golf, so I was scared that was going to happen again,” explained Pace. “But this time we played really well and it was awesome to see Anne-Lise make a comeback after struggling with injuries.”

Pace trailed by three strokes at the start of the day and know she needed to land some birdies in order to catch leader Ivanna Samu. She cancelled out a birdie on the first with bogeys on the second and third holes and racked up four in a row from five before dropping another shot at the ninth.

The topsy-turvy round continued down the back nine with a pair of birdies sandwiched between bogeys at 10 and 13, followed by four pars and the title-saving birdie at 18.

“The bogeys at two and three really fired me up,” said the Investec Property player.

“I was angry with myself and I reeled off four birdies in a row as a result. But it’s been that kind of week for me. I made some birdies and then gave shots back as if they were Christmas presents that I needed to return.

“I made a decent start to the season in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open, but I never really got the putter going. I was ready to fire in the Joburg Ladies Open, but then a virus struck and I was forced to withdraw after just six holes in the first round. That stung, so I really came here this week with a winning mind-set. It’s really great to be back in the winner’s circle.”

Caudal, a regular campaigner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, was pleased to get back into contention.

The two-time winner Ladies European Tour winner was four-under at the start of the final round, and level heading down the final nine holes, but a n eagle at the par five 11th kick-started a great run on the homestretch.

Birdies at the 13th, 14th and 16th propelled her into a two-shot lead, but a pulled tee shot on the final hole put the brakes on her victory charge. The ensuing bogey landed her in the play-off and another drop at 18 left Pace to swoop in for her second Cape Town Ladies Open win in the last three years.

“I played really well on the back nine and I’m happy with my week,” Caudal said.

“On the last hole I was up against the tree and had to chip out and then I left my approach shot short – but that’s golf. It’s been a long time and I struggled with my game last year, so it was fun to get into contention again.”

The pair were unaware that, behind them, the leading group overnight had run into trouble, meaning that it had effectively turned into a duel between the two best friends.

“It was tricky because the last time I saw a scoreboard was around the 14th, when eight-under was leading,” said Pace. “I assumed the players behind us was leading. Anne-Lise was going well and when a crowd started following us and the cameramen turned up, I realised one of us had a good chance of winning.”

Meanwhile South Africa’s Nicole Garcia – who lines up in title defence in next week’s Dimension Data Ladies Challenge in George – racked up three birdies in the last four holes for a 70 and sole third on seven under.

Canon Ladies Tshwane Open winner Stacy Bregman finish fourth on even-par 216, Tandi McCullum was a further stroke back and overnight leader Ivanna Samu tied for sixth on three under with Anna Sventrup from Sweden and England’s Kiran Matharu.

Rising Western Province amateur Jordan Rothman – who recently became the first girl to qualify for the popular Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series Final – carried her fine form to finish as the low amateur. The 15-year-old Durbanville golfer posted a 74 to tie for 20th on three-over, four shots ahead of Casandra Hall from Ekurhuleni.

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


6th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Samu stakes claim at Cape Town Ladies Open

Ivanna Samu must have experienced a few flashbacks as she powered her way to a six-under-par 68 lead in the opening round of the Cape Town Ladies Open on Tuesday.

The big-hitting 19-year old Ruimsig golfer made the most of perfect conditions as she birdied all six of the six par fives at Royal Cape Golf Club to grab a one-stroke lead over England’s Hayley Davis.
Two years ago, Samu upstaged Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Lee-Anne Pace, Ashleigh Buhai and Monique Smit to lead the event on the same score.

That was before the reigning Sanlam South African Amateur champion joined the paid ranks, and she has since put together a string of good performances on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in the past two seasons.

A maiden win still eludes her, but with this season’s results of tie-fifth in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and a runner-up finish in the Joburg Ladies Open last week, Samu is trending towards a first visit to the winner’s circle.

“It’s obviously something that I’m striving for,” she explained.

“I won a lot as an amateur and I really want to get that winning feeling back. But I’m not going to get ahead of myself. Last year I found that I slipped up in the first round of tournaments, so now that I’ve put myself into a good position, I just want to stay patient and play one hole at a time and if it is my time then that win will come.”

Samu bounced back from a three-putt for bogey on the second hole to reel off five birdies in succession from the third hole before a bogey at the par-three eighth ended her run of red numbers.

Three further birdies on the back nine – all on the par fives – saw her sign for the day’s best score.

“I really love my job,” Samu said. “I love being out here, doing what I do. Every day offers a new challenge and you can’t ask for a better office.”

England’s Davis, a first-time visitor to South Africa, mixed six birdies with a solitary bogey on the par-three eighth.

“I was a bit wayward off the tee, so that’s something I will work on, but other than that I was very happy with my round,” she said.

The trio of Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia, South Africa’s Nicole Garcia and Rachel Raastad from Norway finished a further shot adrift.

Former champion Lee-Anne Pace was on track for a comfortable first-round lead when she reached the 16th tee at seven-under, but the LPGA Tour campaigner stumbled to a bogey, bogey, double bogey finish to tie for third with Kim Williams on three-under.

Border golfer Yolanda Duma eagled the par-four closing hole for a seat on the bus at two-under with Canon Ladies Tshwane Open winner Stacy Bregman, Mae Cornforth, Sweden’s Anna Sventrup, Rachael Goodall from England and Mariell Bruun from Norway.

Ekurhuleni amateur Casandra Hall heads up the amateur leaderboard on three-over 75, with former SAGDB player Cassidy Williams from Stellenbosch a further shot back.


5th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Internationals upbeat at Cape Town prospects

Stacy Bregman jetted into the Mother City on Sunday riding a wave of confidence after a one-two start to her 2018 Sunshine Ladies Tour season, while a determined Lee-Anne Pace will be hunting a trophy after illness derailed her Joburg Ladies Open last week.

However, both former champions could come under pressure when the R200 000 Cape Town Ladies Open tees off at Royal Cape Golf Club on Tuesday.

Several international players showed great form in the first two events, including Carrie Park from South Korea, who claimed her rookie title in the SA Women’s Masters at neighbouring Rondebosch Golf Club last year, and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini.

Canon Ladies Tshwane Open champion Bregman is currently second in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, but Park and Dlamini are fourth and fifth respectively, while Alexandra Lennartsson from Sweden is tucked just behind Pace in sixth on the Points List.

The lanky blonde from Nykoping near Stockholm was buoyant after a tie for fifth in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open and joint sixth in the Joburg Lades Open.

“This was my best two results since I started coming to South Africa and I feel confident starting this week,” said the lanky blond from Nykopings near Stockholm, who tied for 16th and 19th in her previous two Cape Town Ladies Open starts.

“This year feel like I’ve brought a game that can compete. “Uou need a bit more club at sea level, but the course is not too long and, after two tournaments, I feel like I know where to hit and where to miss and that comes with experience. The mountain, the sea, the course – it’s all so beautiful. I think that they have done a great job to prepare the course for us given the water problems in Cape Town and I’m just excited to get started. I’m feeling very positive this week.”

Compatriot Hanna Roos has also returned for a third season.

The 29-year-old from Uppsala recorded a career-best Sunshine Ladies Tour finish with a 13th place finish at Modderfontein Golf Club last Friday and is also counting on experience to move her towards a first visit to the winner’s circle.

“I was 31st in my first year and 21st last year, so I’m moving in the right direction,” said Roos. “After last week, I’m hoping for a top 10, maybe even a win.”

Bubbly Nastja Banovec – the first-ever Slovenian golfer to debut on the Sunshine Ladies Tour – is having a ball on her first visit to South Africa.

The former Paul Lawrie Invitational champion joined the pro ranks in 2017 and competed in eight events on the European Ladies Tour Access Series. She was disappointed to miss the cut in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open, but a strong performance on the back nine at Modderfontein saw her surge to joint 18th on the final leaderboard.

“I’m heard about the Sunshine Ladies Tour from the girls on the LET Access Series and a bunch of us decided to come out this year and travel together,” said the Otočec golfer.

“It is 15 degrees below back home and there is snow everywhere, so you can imagine how much we are enjoying the sunny weather. We’ve come here to learn and improve and I’ve already learned so much in two tournaments.

“The course in Pretoria was really tight and full of trees, but my course management was poor. I didn’t make a great start at Modderfontein and I just made the cut, but I had a really solid final round. I had 10 one-putts and I chipped in for a 72. Now I am excited to start Cape Town.”

Durbanville amateur Jordan Rothman will lead the local challenge alongside fellow Western Province amateurs Tara Griebenow from Bellville, Zayb Fredericks from Royal Cape, Katia Schaff from Clovelly and Stellenbosch golfer Bianca Wernich.

The 15-year-old Rothman hit the headlines last year when she ousted the SA number one ranked Kajal Mistry in the first round of the Sanlam Womens Amateur Match Play Championship and she was one of the anchors for the victorious Western Province team in the SA Womens Inter-Provincial. Rothman also stunned recently when she upstaged the male juniors to qualify for the Bridge Fund Managers Junior Series Final.

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