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21st February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Turner triumphs in Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters

20 February 2020 – It took three trips down the 18th in a playoff before Scotland’s Jane Turner emerged victorious over South Africa’s Cara Gorlei in the Standard Bank South Africa Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club on Friday.

Starting the day with a three-shot lead, Turner struggled to a one-over 73 to finish on one-under alongside Gorlei, who carded a two-under 70.

In the playoff, Turner had the measure of the par-four 18th and narrowly missed a birdie attempt – but the tap-in was enough to give her the win.

“I had to hole a long putt to get into the playoff, which was a fantastic feeling,” said Turner.

“That was the hole we played in the playoff. Every single tee shot I hit in the playoff, there was only a three-yard difference to what I had left in for my approaches. So I had the approach dialled in by the end of the playoff.”

While Turner battled in the final round, Milnerton rookie Gorlei – who led the first round – was making a charge for the title.

The pair were tied after eight holes with Turner one-over and Gorlei two-under. On 11, Turner double-bogey to fall two behind before Gorlei moved three-ahead with a gain on the 12th. But two closing birdies for Turner, including a vital birdie on the last helped her reel her opponent in.

“Cara was three-under par at one point during her round, and I made a double bogey on the 11th – but after that I got stuck in. I knew I could still make the birdies, I just had to stay patient and calm.

“My score doesn’t reflect that I was very calm heading into the round today. I wasn’t overly nervous, and just stuck to my game plan.

“I am hugely honoured to win the Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters. A number of really great golfers have won this title in the past, and I’m so thrilled to add my name to the winner’s list.”

The Scotswoman, who celebrated her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win last season in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club, hinted that this could be the start of a strong run for her this season.

“I achieved my first win this year, but that doesn’t mean it’s my last one. My main goal was to win, but now that I’ve done it I can go on and win more. There are four more tournaments on the Sunshine Ladies Tour before I go back home to Europe, so it’s already been a great start to the season.”

And the next one could happen this weekend.

Buoyed by the victory, the confident 30-year-old was excited to hop on a plane on Friday evening, to take up her place in the limited field for the Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge – a new event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“You know, it’s a great innovation by the Sunshine Tour and Sergengeti to be hosting a unique event like this,” said Turner.

“The thing about a par three tournament is that being a big hitter isn’t necessarily an advantage, but it places a big emphasis on shot-making. We as professionals and the fans love to see what kind of shots we can come up with. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun, and there is a lot of prize money on the table. It’s definitely a new kind of excitement, because you might not get the usual suspects at the top of the leaderboard.”

Sharing third were Monique Smit and Kim Williams on one-over, with Bonita Bredenhahn and Bianca Lohbauer tied fifth on six over.

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Released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and World Sports Promotions.

 

 

 


20th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Turner gunning for victory at San Lameer

20 February 2020 – Scotland’s Jane Turner was a measure of consistency – with the help of a hot putter – as she fired a second consecutive one-under 71 to forge a three-shot lead in the second round of the Standard Bank South Africa Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

Turner leads on two-under, ahead of first round leader Cara Gorlei, who battled her way to a four-over 76 to slip to drop to one-over for the tournament.

Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Kim Williams and Monique Smit and Spains Maria Beautell are also still in the hunt.

Williams and former champion Beautell are tied on two-over in joint third after carding respective rounds of 74 and 71, while Smit is six off the pace on four-over after a second round 75.

“It was a little up-and-down compared to yesterday,” said Turner, who claimed her maiden win as a professional in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge last year just a 20-minute drive down the road at the Wild Coast Sun.

The 30-year-old Edinburgh golfer mixed five birdies and four bogeys, to ensure she nestled her name firmly at the summit of the leaderboard.

A strong wedge game to go with the red-hot putter was key for Turner. “I putted really well on the front nine; I actually only had 11 putts on the front and had 28 putts total, which was actually the same as in the first round.

”On seven and eight, I made birdie after strong wedge shots into the greens. I made a three-footer on seven and a four-footer on eight.

“My putting was strong, but my wedge play gave me lots of good chances.”

Despite better playing conditions on day two – after the first round was interrupted by heavy rain – scoring still proved difficult.

“Yesterday was pretty crazy as we had a one-hour delay because of rain. I played my first couple holes without the rain, and then it was just on-and-off the whole time. The course is very wet and it was much the same today, but at least we didn’t get any rain.

“After about eight holes, though, the wind really came up and as we came through the closing holes, there was a pretty strong wind affecting club choices quite significantly.”

Hunting her third professional win, Turner said she doesn’t intend to change anything in the final round.

“I don’t think I’m going to change anything in tomorrow’s round. I’m going to stick to my game plan and how I chose to play the course. Hopefully I’ll have the same score or better. I have no control over what anyone else does, so I’ll have to wait and see how it turns out.”

Having won at the Wild Coast in howling wind could a good omen for the Dalmahoy Country Club golfer.

“I love South Africa and having won at the Wild Coast last year brings back very positive memories. In fact, San Lameer was actually the first course I played in South Africa two years ago on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“It would be a massive step for me as a professional. It would be my third win, which would be a huge accomplishment and a great start to the year. One of my goals for this year was to win, so if I got it this early it would be fantastic.”

Emie Peronnin may have signed for 79, but the French golfer still had reason to smile…after all, it is not every day you hole out for an ace in such testing conditions. The 2018 Ladies European Tour Access Series Rookie of the Year hole out on the par three ninth.

 

Second Round Scores

(All competitors RSA unless otherwise stated and amateurs are indicated AMA)

142 – Jane Turner (SCO) 71 71

145 – Cara Gorlei 69 76

146 – Maria Beautell (ESP) 75 71, Kim Williams 72 74

148 – Monique Smit 73 75

149 – Sharmila Nicollet (IND) 76 73, Bianca Lohbauer AMA 74 75

150 – Zethu Myeki 74 76

151 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 77 74, Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 76 75, Jessica Dreesbeimdieke (NAM) 73 78

152 – Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 78 74

153 – Rachel Drummond (ENG) 80 73, Clara Pietri (SUI) 77 76, Emie Peronnin (FRA) 74 79

154 – Pasqualle Coffa (NED) 80 74, Leticia Ras-Anderica (GER) 79 75, Lauren Taylor (ENG) 75 79

155 – Lindi Coetzee 83 72, Michaela Fletcher 77 78

156 – Brittney-Fay Berger 81 75, Christina Gloor (SUI) 79 77, Jordy LaBarbera (USA) 78 78, Julie Berton (FRA) 75 81

157 – Rosie Davies (ENG) 77 80, Kelsey Nicholas 76 81

159 – Francesca Cuturi 80 79, Yolanda Duma 78 81

160 – Shawnelle de Lange 78 82

161 – Tara Griebenow 77 84

164 – Kyle Roig (PUR) 79 85

166 – Melissa Eaton 83 83

167 – Chiara Contomathios 89 78, Siviwe Duma 86 81

172 – Sunelle von Molendorff 85 87

 

Ends

 

PHOTOS – Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Cara Gorlei opened up a two-shot lead in the first round of the Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club; credit Shannon Naidoo.

NOTE: The images attached are free to use with editorial.

 

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and World Sports Promotions.

 

 


19th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Gorlei soars to summit at San Lameer

19 February 2020 – Cara Gorlei shrugged off any suggestions of pressure on the opening day of the Standard Bank South Africa Women’s Masters to surge into the first round lead at San Lameer Country Club.

With rain beating down intermittently on the coastal layout, the 24-year-old Milnerton rookie made the perfect start to her fourth event, reeling in a trio of birdies to set the tone for a flawless round and she set the early mark with a three-under-par 69.

Her target was matched by Scotland’s Jane Turner, who got it to four-under through 12 holes, but a bogey at the par five 13th and a double-bogey finish for a round of 71 left Gorlei with a two-stroke advantage and some welcome breathing room.

A former star of South African amateur golf, Gorlei spent four years on a golf scholarship at the University of Arkansas, where she represented the Arkansas Razorbacks women’s golf team. It was during this stretch that she also won the prestigious South African Women’s Amateur Championship.

After graduating with a major in kinesiology last June, the South African closed the book on a glittering amateur career and signed up for golf’s most gruelling test. She was the only South African to make the first cut at the First Stage of the LPGA Qualifying School, but a round of 79 in the final round put paid to her campaign.

“I competed in some of the Sunshine Ladies Tour events as an amateur, so I knew this would be good way to start my career before I head back to the States to compete on the Women’s All Pro Tour,” said Gorlei.

With many twists and turns still to come in this enthralling Sunshine Ladies Tour season, Gorlei was pleased to have laid down an early marker in her fourth start.

“Coming into the season, my expectations were unrealistically high, especially starting the Cape Town Ladies Open in my back yard. Nerves got the better of me, but as we have eased into the season, I’ve started to find my game a bit more. I’m starting to feel more comfortable and enjoying it a lot more.

“There is still of lot of golf to play, but a good finish this week could prove significant towards the end of the season. I’m pleased to be in an attacking position at last.”

Buoyed by a top 12 finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am on Sunday, Gorlei birdied the par four fifth and on both par threes – the 14th and 16th – while keeping her round ticking over with pars.

“With all the rain, I knew the course would be playing long. A lot of the holes were gettable, though, and I hit a lot of 4-irons and 3-woods to keep it in play. The strategy was just to hit fairways and greens and to pick up some birdies along the way.

“I was just playing good golf and making good putts. I hit a lot of fairways and I didn’t miss many greens, maybe one or two, but marginally and I managed make a lot of pars.”

Despite the unfortunate finish, Turner was in good spirits and happy to be just two shots back.

“I played really good golf and only made two mistakes that cost me three shots. I missed just three greens in regulation and I made four birdies, which I was really happy about,” Turner said.

“It was very, very wet out there and everyone was like ‘you should be used to this, coming from Scotland’. I’m sorry, but when a three-club wind blows or it’s pouring with rain, I stay indoors.

“The greens are very different to the courses we’ve played so far, but I handled it well. It always helps when you make the first few putts; that gave me a bit of confidence and I felt I could be a little more aggressive with the putter. I’m not too far off and hopefully the weather improves.”

Seasoned campaigner Kim Williams birdied the par four closing hole to finish three strokes adrift, while Monique Smit and Jessica Dreesbeimdieke from Namibia both finished on one-over-par 73.

Williams lauded the green staff at San Lameer for getting the course playable after a deluge forced the organisers to suspend the Pro-Am on Tuesday.

“It really has been bucketing down, but the staff have done an amazing job to get us on the course,” said the multiple Sunshine Ladies Tour winner. “I had to change the way I usually play the course. I couldn’t hit the big shots I would normally hit around here. I had to dial it back a little and I’m chuffed with the result. I’m just a few shots off with two rounds to go and that’s a good place to be.”

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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and World Sports Promotions.


18th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Fletcher looking for magic at San Lameer

18 February 2020 – Maritzburg rookie Michaela Fletcher is hoping the Standard Bank SA Women’s Masters will rain some of its good fortune on her rookie career when she tees off in tomorrow’s first round at San Lameer Country Club.

It happened for Carrie Park from South Korea in 2017. For Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck in 2018.

And, last year, the SA Women’s Masters it kick-started the career of recent two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Lejan Lewthwaite.

“There is something magical about the Masters and the rookies,” said Fletcher. “Hopefully the trend continues and hopefully I’m the rookie Lady Luck smiles on this week.”

After the first three events on the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour, Fletcher admits it has been a difficult start to her life as a professional.  However, a good finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-am last week – seventh place in the individual and sixth place in the betterball – has buoyed her confidence.

“I had a deflating opening 76, but a really good finish with subsequent rounds of 72 72,” said the 24-year-old. “I was really proud of the mental grit I showed on the second and third day after it was a bit of a struggle at the start.

“I’m looking forward to this week – just taking the lessons I learnt last week. It was a little bit of a mental breakthrough – which proved I do belong here and that I made the right choice to come here and play professional golf. You kind of question yourself when times are tough.”

Fletcher had a top amateur career having represented the SA Girls side as a teenager before going to America to play college golf, and she was honest about how difficult it has been making the step-up to the paid ranks.

“It’s been a really tough transition. I played in the Sunshine Ladies Tour as an amateur before I went to college in America. I played really well and had several really good finishes. I had a really good amateur career, especially in America. I kind of expected myself to be doing a whole lot better than I am. I prepared really well and I haven’t really seen the results that I wanted,” she said.

“I think that’s part of the learning experience. I’ve spoken to a lot of older girls and they had it tough when they started out as pros. I think it’s about taking it all in, and realising you might not succeed right from the get-go and just understanding it’s a long process ahead.”

While her results in her first two events on the Sunshine Ladies were not what she was seeking (19th at the Cape Town Ladies Open and 22nd at the SuperSport Ladies Challenge), Fletcher said she was working on her patience – and the results would follow in time.

“I’m only three tournaments into my professional career, and it’s not the end of the world. It definitely hasn’t been what I wanted out of my pro career so far, but I’m learning and trying to get better every day.

“I’m trying to learn every day, and just get a little bit better – even if it takes some time.”

Despite what she calls a frustrating start to her Sunshine Ladies Tour campaign as a pro, Fletcher is lying well among the rookies on tour.

Woo-Ju Son from South Korea, who topped both the Open and Junior Amateur standings in South Africa, is currently highest on the Investec Order of Merit in eighth position.

Only  Son and Tara Griebenow (10th) are ahead in the rookie standings with Fletcher in 11th.  Lindi Coetzee (13th) and former South African Women’s Amateur champion Cara Gorlei (14th) are close behind, making for an intriguing battle this season among the rookies on tour.

Already, Fletcher has changed her approach and it has reflected in her improving results.

“I tried getting off to a fast start, and I found that doesn’t suit me. I’m now trying to ease into rounds and play par golf,” she said.

“If you’re hitting greens in regulation and playing par golf it builds confidence. You’re probably going to have a couple looks at birdies early on anyway. So I’m just taking it in my stride – because you can’t win a tournament in the first round but you can lose it. At the end of the day I’m playing against the course, and my capabilities and not the other players.”

Park came out on top at Rondebosch Golf Club, but Lewthwaite and Fuenfstueck both captured their maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour titles at San Lameer.

As for the test provided by the coastal layout that is typically windswept, it should not be a problem for Fletcher who grew up playing golf in windy weather.

“Coastal golf is obviously totally different with windy conditions and the slower greens. I grew up playing golf in East London so I feel like I have a base knowledge in the wind,” she said.

“It’s about opening up your mind to playing different types of shots and not necessarily exact distances. The thing about coastal golf is that you have to be creative and not worry too much about the wind because it’s the same for everybody.”

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

 

 


23rd February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lewthwaite’s long wait ends with play-off glory

22 February 2019 – Benoni golfer Leján Lewthwaite stepped up to the Sunshine Ladies Tour winner’s circle at the South African Women’s Masters with a dramatic play-off victory over young GolfRSA amateur Kajal Mistry at San Lameer Country Club on Saturday.

The pair ended three rounds tied on one-under 215, with Lewthwaite closing with a superb five-under 67 after opening efforts of 75 and 73. Randpark’s Mistry, meanwhile, signed for a one-under 71 to go with her earlier rounds of 75 and 69.

The duo crossed irons as they headed back to the short par four 18th for a sudden death play-off. The 18-year-old Mistry went first and split the fairway, while Lewthwaite found a decent lie in the rough on the right.

Serengeti’s Lewthwaite was first to hit her approach, which nested near the back of the green some 35 feet from the pin and it was advantage Mistry, who stuck her second to 12 feet.

But it would be the true masterstroke of Lewthwaite that would have the final say as she rolled a monster putt straight into the hole for a birdie three. Mistry’s makeable birdie came up short and the title duly went to Lewthwaite.

“I was a little quick off the tee and my ball went a little right,” said the Investec golfer, who became the third successive maiden winner of the SA Women’s Masters following Korea’s Carrie Park in 2017 and last year’s success by German golfer Laura Fuenfstueck.

“I hit a great second, but the pin was sitting on a little bit of a slope and the ball just keeps going. Luckily I had that exact same putt during regulation play. I thought I needed to hit it a little bit left and a little bit harder and it just went in!

“It’s a huge confidence booster. Teaching yourself to win takes time and it’s really a good thing to have in your back pocket.”

The 28-year-old Lewthwaite had been knocking on the door the last few weeks with third at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the beginning of the month, before a second place at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am last week in George.

She’s worn the bridesmaid tag twice at San Lameer Country Club.

First in 2015, when she chased Lee-Anne Pace to the finish line in the SA Women’s Open and won the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur and again last year, when she tied for second.

“A couple people were saying 3-2-1 this week because I was third at Irene, second at DiData… So I’m happy to complete that sequence,” Lewthwaite said.

“I always come through in my final round. That’s where it matters most. So maybe if I can just get the first round nerves out a little quicker, maybe it won’t be as difficult.”

Though it is a first win on the Sunshine Ladies Tour for Lewthwaite, she has tasted success in the paid ranks before with two play-off victories on the IGT Challenge Tour last year.

“It definitely means a lot. It’s weird because I thought I would have been crying after my first victory. I kind of set myself up last year by winning on the IGT Tour and that’s kind of taught me a lot.”

Kim Williams (75 66 76) had led for most of the day, but a disastrous triple bogey six on the par three 16th dropped her out of contention. The Centurion Golf Club member went on to tie for third alongside Scotland’s Hannah McCook (72 74 71) on one-over.

It would have been another frustrating result for Williams, who was pipped at the post last week by the fast-finishing Nobuhle Dlamini.

Lewthwaite made special mention of her performance post round and who knows, perhaps Williams will get her just rewards in next week’s SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.

“I saw Kim was in the lead there. It’s the second week in a row she’s come up a bit short. I feel really bad for her. She’s a very talented player and she’ll do well in the future.”

2019 SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite with GolfRSA’s Kajal Mistry, who won the Sally Little Trophy as the leading amateur at San Lameer Country Club; credit Justin Klusener.

For Mistry, though, the agony of defeat was clear for all to see, but Lewthwaite believes the youngster is destined for a long career in the game. “Kajal is a fantastic player,” said Lewthwaite. “She’s going to do so well in the future.”

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


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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21st February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

McCook and Henriques give chase at San Lameer

21 February 2019 – On a windswept San Lameer Country Club on Thursday, just one player broke par in the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters, with Sweden’s Sofie Bringner leading the way on one-under-par 71.

Hot on her heels were Scotland’s Hannah McCook and GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Symone Henriques, who shared second with rounds of level par 72.

Scottish golfer Hannah McCook grabbed a share of second with a level-par 72 on a windy first day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Hailing from Gleneagles Golf Club in the heart of Scotland, McCook said her experience in the wind did not give her much of an advantage on the KwaZulu-Natal layout.

“Everyone was joking that because I’m from Scotland, I should be used to the wind, but this is a much warmer wind and it’s tricky,” said McCook. “Into the wind was hard, but you just have to try and control your ball flight.”

Starting on the 10th, McCook began with three pars before a birdie-bogey exchange at 13 and 14 took her back to even.

A birdie at the par five 17th saw the 25-year-old turn in one-under. Her second nine was more of a struggle with a bogey at the par three fourth and a double drop at the sixth, but the former Scottish Golf National Squad player managed gains at the two par fives – holes one and eight – to post an impressive score in difficult conditions.

“I was quite solid out of the gates,” said McCook. “I was one-under through six and two-under through 10. I did well to get it back to level par after a little bit of a mishap on six.

“The wind got stronger as the round went on, it was definitely a bit calmer at the start. It dropped a little during the middle of my round but picked up again at the end. Playing the sixth hole into the wind was extremely tricky.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad amateur Symone Henriques from Glenvista was one of only three players to break par on a windy first day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Henriques offset bogeys at the first and 12th holes with a brace of gains at five and 18.

“It was quite exhausting out there, because you really had to be patient and plan every shot,” said the Glenvista golfer. “I managed to overturn my bogeys and made some great par-saves to keep the round going. The birdie at five gave me some nice momentum and it was great to birdie 18, because that is always a very intimidating hole in the wind.”

The Hills Golf Club member Bringner said the wind placed a greater emphasis on driving it straight.

“You have to think a lot more about what kind of shots you want to play,” Bringer said. “The most important thing for sure is keeping your ball in the fairway, if you can do that you can score.”

In fact, Bringer holed a couple monster putts in her five-birdie, four-bogey round. “It was a solid round of golf and I made a few good putts. I made some longer ones, like five or six-metre ones on the 11th and fourth.”

East London Golf Club player Yolanda Duma set the early clubhouse target with a one-over 73, which was matched in the afternoon by former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kiran Matharu of Sandmoor Golf Club in England and Swede Anna Magnusson.

Magnusson said she was particularly pleased with her round.

“I’m happy with the round. I made five birdies, because I hit a lot of good shots, but also there were some bad ones thrown in there too,” said the Ullna Golf Club representative. “It was really hard playing in the wind, but sometimes I really enjoy playing in those conditions. But yeah, it was tough out there.”

Lurking ominously on two-over and by no means out of it is Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Nobuhle Dlamini. The three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner from Swaziland shares seventh place with Spain’s Maria Beautell.

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


20th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini eager to keep floodgates open at SA Women’s Masters

19 February 2019 – This time last year, Nobuhle Dlamini could be forgiven for wondering when she would get that first victory after a number of near-misses.

Now, when the 27-year-old stands on the first tee on Thursday at the South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club, it will be as a three-time winner and current leader of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Investec Property Fund Order of Merit.

It all changed at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club – just a short drive down the road from San Lameer – at the end of February a year ago.

The big-hitting Swazi golfer finally broke through for that maiden triumph in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge.

Since then Dlamini has added two victories to her tally, with the latest coming at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am in George last Sunday and it’s no surprise then, that the Glendower Golf Club talent has transformed into the form player on the local scene.

With a new-found self-confidence, Dlamini believes the wins will start mounting.

“I want more wins, and what better place to do that than this week?” said Dlamini. “I really believe I’m a winner now. Winning the First Stage of the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School and doing well in Final Stage reinforced my belief that I can compete on the global stage.”

Dlamini knows there will be no overpowering the testing layout at San Lameer.

“I love the Wild Coast and can’t wait to go back and defend my title and I would love to win here this week, but San Lameer is tricky. It’s a real test of patience when the wind is up. I think that the more you compete here under different conditions, the better you get at judging shots, reading the wind and picking the right lines,” she said.

One of her numerous close calls since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 214 in fact happened at last year’s South African Women’s Masters. She tied for second after chasing winner Laura Fuenfstueck from Germany over the closing holes.

One of the trends for Dlamini last year was one bad round, often on the first day.

That’s still in the back of her mind, but few would bet against Dlamini permanently dispelling those demons.

“I’m taking loads of confidence into the event this year,”” she said. I would love to own the SA Women’s Masters and SA Women’s Open titles, so I’m hoping to make a really fast start and not be on the back foot after round one like last year.”

Dlamini though, won’t have it all her own way.

Lejan Lewthwaite chased Lee-Anne Pace all the way to the finish line in 2015 to finish second in the SA Women’s Open and lift the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur at San Lameer. The Serengeti professional will be nipping at the Royal Swazi golfers’ heels after two top-three finishes already this season.

A third place at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open in Irene and a tied second place finish last week at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenges sees the 28-year-old former Texas University standout in second place on the Order of Merit. On 620 points, she is just 77 behind the 697-point tally of Dlamini.

Callaway golfer Ivanna Samu, meanwhile, holds third spot on the Order of Merit.

Making a return to competitive golf due to a lengthy lay-off after back surgery, the 20-year-old had a quiet start at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open with 10th place on four-over.

However, Samu finished alongside Lewthwaite at Fancourt on level-par and just two shots behind Dlamini. The result shot the Ruimsig golfer up the Order of Merit, and the confidence gained last week could mean a win is around the corner.

Young amateur Kajal Mistry could also be a factor this week.

The 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player followed a top-20 finish in Irene with a top four finish at Fancourt. The Randpark golfer tied for fourth with Kim Williams from Centurion Country Club. If Williams starts well, the three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner could also pose a threat.

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


| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dark horse Berger banking on fast start at San Lameer 

19 February 2019 – There will be a dark horse lurking in the form of Brittney-Fay Berger when the South African Women’s Masters tees off at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Kloof Country Club member will be making just her fourth start as a golf professional, but has already notched up three top-25 finishes in as many events.

With the Sunshine Ladies Tour proving to be the perfect breeding ground for tomorrow’s talent, Berger is among a new generation of young talent ready to cut their teeth on the local scene.

In 2017, former South African number one ranked amateur Carrie Park picked up her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title in the SA Women’s Masters. She is now plying her trade on the lucrative Korean LPGA Tour.

Germany’s Laura Fuenfstueck, meanwhile, tasted victory last year in the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, which paved her path to playing on to the Ladies European Tour this year.

“It’s been a bit different playing for money. I’ve been getting used to it though, and it’s really nice to have so many tournaments in a row like this. It gets a bit tiring, but if you manage your travelling it’s not too bad,” said Berger.

“It’s quite nice that I’m back home, I got back last night from the Dimension Data Challenge. I feel much better going into this week. I’m really enjoying it and playing in all these events.”

Showing little signs of nerves in her first event in the paid ranks, Berger finished 24th at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open in Irene at the end of January. A week later at the Serengeti Team Championship, she paired up with fellow rookie Casandra Hall as the duo finished tenth.

“It was amazing, and I was so happy to make the cut in my first start. That was my goal going at the start of the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I had a disappointing last round, but I was just happy to make the cut and earn some money. Once I made the cut, I just went for it on the last day – it didn’t work out but I was still really happy with my result. It makes it a bit easier for me – getting used to the players and how things are run.”

On Sunday last week in George a 16th place finish followed.

“I played at George Golf Club before, but I had never played the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt. So going into the last round, I was a bit blind. So I was happy with how it went and to be improving each week.”

The KwaZulu-Natal native could be a good bet for a first top-10 or better on the tricky and tight San Lameer layout.

“Being back home now is really nice as I know the courses,” said Berger. “I like San Lameer. It’s a very tricky course, especially when the wind comes up. I played there a couple times. I played in the ladies event there last year as an amateur and I didn’t make the cut. I’m hoping to improve on that.”

In fact, Berger has put her studies in medicine on hold to pursue her career in golf.

Few teenagers are faced with massive life decisions right after school, but it’s about living a life without regret she explained.

“I really wanted to study medicine, but it is a seven-year course so once I start there’s no real time for golf. Also I would really like to make golf my career. I decided to give myself a couple years – if I make it I’ll carry on and if I don’t I’m still not too old and I can go back and study. If I left the golf until later I might end up regretting not having tried it. It’s just trying to see if I’m good enough.

“I’m just thinking about the next five years or so. If I make quite a bit of money and I can afford to live off that, then I’ll carry on.”

There were also a host of new faces in George last week including Scotland’s Gabrielle MacDonald who made her debut on tour with an impressive sixth place finish, just five shots behind winner Nobuhle Dlamini.

MacDonald, a former member of the Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad, will hope to keep up the trend of young Scottish golfers who tend to excel on SA fairways, like GolfRSA African Amateur Champion Euan Walker.

Fellow Scottish Golf Women’s National Squad member Hannah McCook is another debutant heading to San Lameer.

The 25-year-old Gleneagles Country Club member, playing last year as an amateur, missed the cut in the SA Women’s Masters, but produced a solid top-15 finish at the Wild Coast a week later in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge. McCook could well feature this week knowing what to expect this time around on the windy south coast – much improved conditions from her native Scotland.

“Coming out this year as a professional is quite exciting. We play in the wind a lot at home, and playing here in the warmer temperatures made it a lot easier,” said the Nethy Bridge resident, who works part-time in housekeeping at a residential centre back home.

Another international hoping to make her presence felt will be Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands. The Eindhovensche Golf member was in contention for the first two rounds last week in George after rounds of 74 and 70, but was undone by a closing 77 to finish on five-over. Despite her disappointing third round, she finished only seven shots behind in 11th position on her own.

The former Dutch International Open champion could indeed be in contention in the next few weeks as she prepares for a season on the Ladies European Tour Access Series.

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


24th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour reaches momentous milestone

24 January 2019 – The continuing strength of the Sunshine Ladies Tour is splendidly illustrated today with the announcement of a new event that takes the sixth season to a record nine events for the 2019 season.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour has taken a bold step with the introduction of a Team Championship as part of its drive to broaden the support of the women’s professional circuit.

“We introduced the team championship on the Sunshine Tour last year,” said Sunshine Tour Commissioner Selwyn Nathan.

“It proved highly successful and we are confident that it will enjoy the same success on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at Serengeti Estates. We had more than 50 international players competing on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2018 and initial entries suggests we will exceed that number this year.

“With the team event early in the season, we can foster friendships and camaraderie between the international and local competitors in a fun, but competitive environment. The Betterball format is also a lot less stressful than the 54-hole stroke play events and is the perfect platform to gently induct our young amateurs onto the Sunshine Ladies Tour. The golf industry is continuously looking for new ways to make the sport attractive to new fans and draw bigger audiences, and this is our contribution.”

The Serengeti Team Championship marks the second new event to join this year’s schedule.

The 36-hole tournament will be played after the season-opening Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, which tees off at Irene Golf Club on 30 January. The Joburg Ladies Open moves to the end of the season, following the inaugural Jabra Ladies Classic in March.

City of Johannesburg Director – Event Management Bongi Mokaba welcomed the initiative.

“We applaud the Sunshine Ladies Tour for their innovation and we embrace the opportunity to move the Joburg Ladies Open to the end of the season,” said Mokaba. “We are very excited to take the Sunshine Ladies Tour to the Soweto Country Club for the very first time. This is history in the making and having the season-finale at such an iconic South African venue is a fitting way to end the season and the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit race.”

Cheryl Leicher, Head of Marketing for Investec Property, also commended the Sunshine Ladies Tour on the addition of two new events this season.

“Investec Property has been committed to grow the women’s game in South Africa since the inception of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and we are pleased to see two additional events on this year’s schedule,” said Leicher.

“Both events provide our local golfers with vital playing opportunities and, although the Serengeti Team Championship will not count towards the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, it will add to the excitement of the season and the anticipation of a thrilling finale at the Joburg Ladies Open.”

The sixth edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour will include eight counting events towards the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, plus the Serengeti Team Championship.

The season launches with the R200 000 Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club from 30 January to 1 February. Serengeti Estates will host the R100 000 Serengeti Team Championship on 5 and 6 February.

The sixth edition of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am from 15-17 February will see the competitors play the first two rounds of the R500 000 event at George Golf Club and the final round at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt. The in-tournament pro-am over the three rounds carries additional prize money of R100 000.

The circuit then moves to KwaZulu-Natal. San Lameer Country Club will host the R250 000 South African Women’s Masters from 20-23 February, while the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International returns to the Wild Coast Sun Country Club from 26-28 February.

The players will warm up for Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March in the R200 000 Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 6-8 March. Both events are supported by the City of Cape Town and the R2-million flagship event will once again co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

The inaugural Jabra Ladies Open, offering prize money of R200 000, follows at Glendower Golf Club from 20-22 March, where after Soweto Country Club will play host to the season-finale Joburg Ladies Ladies Open from 26-28 March.

The R500 000 event will also draw the curtain on the season-long Investec Property Fund Order of Merit points race, which will net the winner a R100 000 bonus prize.

This year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour also offers a number of fantastic incentives for the class of 2019.

The Investec South African Women’s Open champion will earn  exemption on the Ladies European Tour for the remainder of the 2019 season and the 2020 season and qualify for two Majors – the 2019 AIG Women’s British Open and the Evian Championships.

The Jabra Ladies Classic winner or the next best finisher not otherwise exempt up to 20th place will earn a spot in the field of the Ladies European Tour’s Jabra Ladies Open – the only European Qualifying event for the Evian Championship.

The winner of the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit will also earn a spot in one of the Ladies European Tour main events (to be determined) and automatically qualify for the Final Stage of the Qualifying School for the 2020 season.

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