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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


24th December 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dagar aiming for Investec SA Women’s Open double

24 December 2019 – Defending champion Diksha Dagar is eager to recreate the performance that propelled her to instant stardom when she takes up her title defence in the Investec South African Women’s Open from 12-14 March 2020.

The 18-year-old deaf golfer became the youngest Indian woman to win on the distinguished Ladies European Tour with a popular and emotional maiden victory last March.

In a stellar amateur career, during which she won silver at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics and represented India at the 2018 Asian Games, Dagar earned a reputation for her brand of fearless and aggressive golf.

The left-hander entertained the crowds on the final day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour showpiece when she edged out three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace with a three-under-par 69. A one-shot triumph in just her fourth start in the paid ranks was a dream debut for the New Delhi rookie, who is ready to draw on the fond memories of her last visit to Westlake Golf Club as she bids for a second career win.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open is very special to me and will always remain so for the rest of my life, being my first professional win,” Dagar said.

“For me, this Ladies European Tour event happens to be the door to a world of golfing opportunities and I would love to come back and play the Westlake golf course. Greetings and best wishes to the sponsors, Investec, the Sunshine Ladies Tour, organisers and everyone associated with the event.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open, established by the Women’s PGA of South Africa (WPGA) in 1988, is the oldest and most prestigious professional women’s golf tournament in South Africa.

The 2020 edition, hosted by the City of Cape Town at Westlake Golf Club for a third successive year, will offer prize money of €200 000 (approximately R3 160 288).

Chair of the Women’s PGA of South Africa Margie Whitehouse said: “The Investec South African Women’s Open is our flagship event and the 32nd anniversary coincides with the sixth time we are co-sanctioning this event with the Ladies European Tour.

“We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation once again to Investec for not only their title sponsorship, but also for all they are doing for women’s golf, as well as to the City of Cape Town for their continued support.”

Westlake Golf Club might be a happy hunting ground for Dagar, but following the new joint venture between the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, the stakes have been significantly raised in 2020.

“It’s very exciting to be part of the Investec South African Women’s Open and we are extremely proud to continue our collaboration with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA,” said Ladies European Tour Acting CEO Alexandra Armas. “We would like to recognise the important contribution of Investec and the City of Cape Town, whose support is providing a platform that aids the promotion and development of talented women in sport.

“We recently announced a new joint venture partnership with the LPGA and have already seen a dramatic impact on our 2020 schedule – an impact that will benefit all local and international players who compete in LET sanctioned tournaments, allowing them to pursue their dreams through the game of golf.”

Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan believes the collaboration between the Sunshine Ladies Tour, WPGA and the Ladies European Tour significantly elevates the status of the event and golf development in Southern Africa.

“The 2020 champion will not only walk away with the lion’s share of the prize money and Rolex World Golf Ranking points, but will also earn a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship,” Nathan said.

“These incentives befit the status of the WPGA’s flagship event and we sincerely hope that one of our Sunshine Ladies Tour members will step up to the challenge in our season finale to secure a major boost for her career.”

Lesley Copeman from promoters World Sports Promotions commended all the parties involved in elevating the status of the national championship to a world-class event.

“Partnering with the Ladies European Tour ensures that the WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour present a world-class championship with the strength of the field through the greater depth of the international players currently competing in Europe,” Copeman said.

“We are very pleased that Investec and the City of Cape Town continue to back our flagship event, taking it from strength to strength. Not only do our South African golf enthusiasts get to watch high quality women’s golf, but we also have the opportunity to showcase Cape Town, one of the best travel destinations in the world, to our international guests.”

City of Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato said the City of Cape Town is delighted that the Investec South African Women’s Open will again be teeing off in the Mother City as part of the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“As host city and sponsor of the tournament, we are proud to be associated with an event that elevates women in sports. In addition to the professional golfers, this event provides an opportunity to young talented sportswomen to showcase their gifts on an international stage.  We are looking forward to welcoming all the participants to Africa’s Leading Festival and Event Destination.”

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


17th December 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour poised for glorious run in 2020

CAPE TOWN, 17 December 2019 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its seventh season in early 2020 with a bumper schedule, exciting incentives, including a R100 000 bonus for the 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner and record prize money of nearly R6-million on offer.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is a very attractive proposition at the start of the season and we are extremely proud of the tremendous growth the local circuit has enjoyed since we launched in 2014,” said Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan.

“In addition to increases in prize money and events, the Sunshine Ladies Tour attracted foreign investment and our international participation has tripled in the last three years, with over 40 foreign players competing in South Africa in 2019.

“The local professional circuit is healthy, strong and growing thanks to the continued commitment of Investec and our other key stakeholders and sponsors, including Jabra, Dimension Data, Sun International, SuperSport, Canon, the cities of Joburg and Cape Town, the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and Serengeti Estates.

“We are excited to offer great playing opportunities for the local and international professionals and a great stage for the rising stars in the amateur ranks to gain experience with eight events, including the co-sanctioned Investec South African Women’s Open in 2020.”

The seventh edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour will feature seven Investec Order of Merit counting events, plus the new limited field Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge.

The 2020 season launches at the end of January with the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club and returns to the Mother City, where the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open will fittingly draw the curtain on the seventh season in mid-March.

“This November, the LPGA and Ladies European Tour announced an exciting new 50-50 partnership with the joint goal of further developing women’s professional golf in Europe and we are thrilled to be a part of this development,” Nathan said.

“The Ladies European Tour will once again co-sanction the Investec South African Women’s Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the WPGA. In addition to the lion’s share of the €200 000 purse, the 2020 champion will receive a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into two of the five Majors in 2020 – the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship.

“The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic will also earn exemption for the Jabra Ladies Open, which is the final qualifying event for the Evian Championship. These are fantastic incentives for our players to gain an advantage on the global stage. We look forward to crowning a new Investec Order of Merit champion at the end of what promises to be another exciting and exhilarating season.”

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

“It has been very exciting to be part of the launch of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last six years,” Dixon said.

“The partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that these golfers are recognised for their dedication. We are invested in the next generation of women, and we are thrilled with the Investec South African Women’s Open as a platform that aids the promotion and growth of South African women in sport.

“It is further encouraging to see that our local professional and amateur women golfers benefit from our partnership with Sunshine Ladies Tour, by giving them an opportunity to compete on a global stage.”

2019 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE
29 – 31 January
Cape Town Ladies Open
King David Mowbray Golf Club
Prizemoney: R200 000

4 – 6 February
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
Gary Player Country Club & Lost City Golf Club at Sun City
Prizemoney: R400 000

14 – 16 February
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
George Golf Club & Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Professional Prizemoney: R600 000 / Pro-Am Prizemoney: R100 000

19 – 21 February
South African Women’s Masters
San Lameer Country Club
Prizemoney: R200 000

22-23 February
Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge
Serengeti Estate Par 3 Course
Professional Prizemoney: minimum R150 000 / Team Calcutta Prizemoney: R50 000

26 – 28 February
Joburg Ladies Open
Soweto Country Club
Prizemoney: R500 000

4 – 6 March
Jabra Ladies Classic
Glendower Golf Club
Prizemoney: R600 000

12 – 14 March
Investec South African Women’s Open
Westlake Golf Club
Prizemoney: €200 000

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


14th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Xasa tees off the Investec SA Women’s Open

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


12th March 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lewthwaite pitching for Sunshine Ladies Tour double

12 March 2019 – Lejan Lewthwaite has her sights set on a Sunshine Ladies Tour double in the 2019 Investec South African Women’s Open, which tees off at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday.

The Benoni golfer already enjoyed a stellar start to her 2019 campaign with a play-off victory in the SA Women’s Masters and is riding a wave of confidence after a top 10 finish in her second start on the Ladies European Tour last Sunday.

Lewthwaite had been knocking on the door since the start of the sixth season with a third place finish in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open.

She tied for seventh with partner Nobuhle Dlamini in the Serengeti Team Championship and then chased the Swazi golfer all the way to the finish line in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge in George the following week.

A week later, the 28-year-old Investec standout celebrated her maiden win at San Lameer and now she is relishing the prospect of doing it all over again at Westlake Golf Club.

“I’m definitely a much better golfer now than I was a year ago heading into the Investec SA Women’s Open,” said the Serengeti golfer following her tie for 10th in the Women’s New South Wales Open in Australia.

“I am handling a big stage a lot better than I was last year. Competing on the IGT Challenge Tour last year and winning twice taught me a lot on how to keep your perspective when you get into contention and how to win.

“In my previous starts on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and in Europe, I let the status of the event dictate my game and frustration got the better of me. This time, I didn’t paint the Women’s NSW Open as such a big event. I just treated as any other golf tournament and I was able to play my own game. I went into the Women’s NSW Open with a strong mind-set and that’s what I’m bringing to Cape Town this week.

“I’m looking forward to playing Westlake again. I am a lot more confident in my course management and on a tight, tree-lined layout like this, your positioning off the tee is crucial in setting up scoring opportunities. I’m looking forward to good week.”

Lewthwaite will join a host of local and international champions in the R2-million event, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

Defending champion Ashleigh Buhai, a 10-time winner on the local circuit and three-time Ladies European Tour champion, will be gunning for a fourth victory.

South Korea’s Carrie Park claimed her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour title with a five-shot victory in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape last week and Dlamini, who leads the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, has also been in threatening form this season.

England’s Meghan MacLaren will be flying high after successfully defending her Women’s NSW Open title with a three-stroke victory on Sunday, while Christine Wolf from Austria and Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland – fourth and sixth respectively – could also be on the radar in Cape Town.

German golfer Karolin Lambert and last year’s runner-up also showed some great form with a top eight finish in the Australia last week.

Other top contenders inside the top 30 on the Ladies European Tour Order of Merit to keep an eye on include Olivia Cowan from Germany, Sweden’s Julia Engstrom, Spanish pair Noemi Jimenez Martin and Silvia Banon and the French pair of Manon Molle and Isabelle Boineau.

Several Sunshine Ladies Tour rookies have also laid down a marker this season for success in the national Open.

Jane Turner claimed a four-shot victory in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club, while fellow Scot Gabrielle Macdonald has climbed to fourth in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit in just four starts.

Entry is free to all three rounds of the Investec SA Women’s Open and there is ample public parking.

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

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

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


25th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

More to play in #InvestecSAWomensOpen

25 February 2019 – Four weeks into the sixth season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the Investec South African Women’s Open is inching ever closer. The flagship event, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, returns to Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town from 14-16 March.

In a massive boost for women’s golf in South Africa, the winner this year stands to receive far more than just the lion’s share of the R2-million purse.

As a Ladies European Tour (LET) event, the champion will be exempt on the LET for the remainder of 2019.

Victory also comes with starts in the final two Majors of the year – the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf and Country Club and the Evian Championship at the Evian Resort in France.

With such incentives on offer, competition is set to be fierce, and the winner will have to hold off a strong field of local and international players.

With half the field coming from the LET, golf fans can expect to see the likes of Lee-Anne Pace and Becky Brewerton – both former LET Order of Merit winners – as well as past LET winners Astrid Vayson de Pradenne and Florentyna Parker from France and England’s Meghan Maclaren in action.

Three-time champion Ashleigh Buhai flew to Australia after winning the season-opening Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open. She tied for 11th in the LPGA Tour’s Vic Open and was joint 15th in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open two weeks ago.

Buhai is competing in the LET Australian Ladies Classic this week, trying to continue building form for her title defence at Westlake.

“It’s always great to return to a tournament as the defending champion, especially when it is played on the same course,” said Buhai. “I love the Westlake layout and I can’t wait to defend my title.

“I played really nicely in the two LPGA Tour events and I’m happy that my game is moving in the right direction. I’ve had some positive results after the work I did at the start of the season and I am motivated for another good performance this week,”

Last year’s Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner Stacy Bregman is also lining up in the starting-field at the Bonville Golf Resort.

A fourth place finish at Westlake last year clinched the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit for the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and she showed some great form at Irene, finishing second in the season-opener.

The 2019 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit stretches over eight Sunshine Ladies Tour events and is based on a points system.

The overall winner at the conclusion of the season receives a bonus prize of R100 000.

The top three placed professionals on the final Investec Property Fund Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open and the champion will be granted a start in Ladies European Tour School Final Stage in December 2019.

“The 2019 champion will also receive an invitation to complete in one of the Ladies European Tour premier events,” said LET Chairman Mark Lichtenhein.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open holds an important place on the LET calendar and our players are thrilled to be heading back to Westlake in the wonderful City of Cape Town after such a fantastic Investec South African Women’s Open in 2018.

“We applaud the important sponsorship commitment from Investec Property and the City of Cape Town, which empowers women’s golf and helps to elevate the game and build champions. We look forward to collaborating with our friends at the WPGA, Sunshine Ladies Tour and World Sports Promotions on another successful event.”

Entry is free for all spectators attending the Investec SA Women’s Open from 14-16 March 2019 at Westlake Golf Club.

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

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

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


1st February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhai goes wire-to-wire at Irene

1 February 2019 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai went wire-to-wire at Irene Country Club to complete a convincing four-shot victory on eight-under in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open on Friday.

She could not match her opening two rounds of 67 and 68, but with a lone bogey over three rounds, the win was never in doubt and she pushed her winning tally on the local circuit to 10 with a final round one-over 73.

Defending champion Stacy Bregman soared up the leaderboard with a closing four-under 68 to finish second on her own at four-under.

Yet another South African Lejan Lewthwaite also made strides with a third round 68 to take third on two-under. England’s Lauren Taylor was fourth on one-under and former Investec South African Women’s Open champion Tandi Mc Callum from South Africa completed the top-five on level par for the week.

“I’m very happy to pull off the win this week in the first tournament of the year,” said Buhai, whose only drop in the tournament was a soft bogey at the 52nd hole.

“Today was quite scrappy, but that’s just what you have to do to try win. Thank goodness there were no pictures on the scorecard. I learnt that I just had to stay patient and keep grinding.

“The course I played a little tougher. There were some low scores, but thank goodness I had that seven-shot lead starting the round. I knew I had that comfort zone. After nine, I knew I wasn’t going to hit it close, so I just started going for the big part of the greens and taking my two-putts to make as many pars as I could coming in.

“I think a few years ago I would have got more frustrated with myself, and probably made quite a few more bogeys. Today, I trusted my ability, especially with my putter. I made one bogey in 54 holes, so I’m really chuffed with that.”

Despite the comprehensive triumph, the 29-year-old Buhai said she was not totally satisfied.

“My goal was to get to double-figures, and then push on from there. When I had a six-shot lead with nine to go, it was just about grinding it so no one could catch me. Double figures was still my goal, even coming down the last. I was still trying to make birdie even though I just bogeyed 17.

“Overall, it was a good tester to see where I’m at and where I can improve. The main positive is that if I’ve got a sharp short game when I’m not hitting it well, I can still score.”

Buhai had just hit her tee shot into the par three 13th when play was suspended due to lightning. It turned out to be a short delay, with the players resuming within the hour. The disruption was far from ideal, but Buhai was still up to the task of closing out an emphatic victory.

“On 13, I hit one of the few iron shots that I flushed the whole day,” she said. “I thought I finally got something going and then we went off. I just had to accept it. Luckily we weren’t called off for too long. My first drive back, my hand slipped in the rain and I hit it out right. I had to punch out but I got it up-and-down from 60 metres to keep the momentum going. Overall, I’m happy with the week but disappointed with today.”

“Any time you shoot under par, you take the positives out of that,” said Buhai. She paid tribute to the sponsors for helping the event proceed.

“A huge thanks to Canon for coming on board and for sticking with us these last three years,” said the world number 116. “Without sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible. And to Investec, they have been our biggest supports and it’s great to have them on board again. The Sunshine Ladies Tour is growing every year and that’s what we want to see.”

Buhai leaves on Saturday to compete in two LPGA events and one LET event in Australia and returns in March to take up her title defence in the R2-million Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake, which is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

Bregman, who won the 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit last year and former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who withdrew after nine holes in the second round after the onset of a migraine, will also be making the trip down under.

Eighteen-year-old Symone Henriques was second after an opening round 70.

She slipped from contention with an 80 in the second round, but bounced back to overtake fellow GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry with a final round 74 to win the amateur honours on eight-over 224.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour moves to Serengeti Estates next for the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on 5 and 6 February. Teams of two will compete in the Betterball format for the lion’s share of the R100 000 prize fund. 

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

SOCIAL MEDIA CANON SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR OPEN
TWITTER – @CanonRSA
FACEBOOK – @CanonSouthAfrica
INSTAGRAM – @canonrsa
HASHTAG – #CanonSLTOpen

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


28th January 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

SA’s Best primed for Glory Battle at Westlake

28 January 2019 – Ashleigh Buhai’s seven-year wait for a third Ladies European Tour (LET) title ended in Cape Town when she won the Investec South African Women’s Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last March.

South Africa’s leading international golfer became the third player to achieve a hat-trick of triumphs and she will take up her title defence when the R2-million LET co-sanctioned showpiece returns to Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.

The world number 116 hopes to join Lee-Anne Pace with four victories, but believes it will be a tougher task to reach the winner’s circle this year.

“When Investec took up the title sponsorship last year and put the Investec South African Women’s Open back on the LET schedule, the interest in the event really sparked and the tournament drew a strong field of international golfers,” said Buhai.

“I really had to work for the win and now that this year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour has two new events – the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower and the Team Championship at Serengeti – the depth of the field will be even stronger.

“With spots into two LET events, courtesy of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic, we can expect an even bigger presence of LET players. Several Sunshine Ladies Tour players like Lejan Lewthwaite and Nobuhle Dlamini have also made huge strides over the last 12 months. Lee-Anne Pace and Stacy Bregman are always dangerous and, if you factor in the international entries, the level of competition will be even higher.

“I am coming back with the goal of defending the title, but it won’t be a walk in the park. I will have to bring my A-game to Westlake to finish in front.”

Pace will also be back, chasing title number five, and Bregman, now the third highest ranked South African in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings at number 306, is targeting a maiden win.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open trophy is definitely on my bucket list,” said the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion and last year’s Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

“I didn’t practice much ahead of the first event on the LET in Abu Dhabi and I got the bad end of the draw for the first two days, so I was really pleased to finish in the top 16. I plan to defend at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the end of January and then I am heading to Australia.

“I will be playing four events, including the Australian Women’s Open and I hope to build up some good form for Westlake. The Investec South African Women’s Open is the one title we all aspire to win and I came close last year. I went low on the final day to finish fourth and this year, I’m aiming for the winner’s circle.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open has enjoyed the support of the City of Cape Town since regaining co-sanctioned status last year and moving to the Mother City.

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, said, “In December last year, Cape Town was named as the ‘World’s Leading Festival and Events Destination’ at the World Tourism Awards. Being able to host fantastic sporting events such as the Investec SA Women’s Open further confirms why we are able to celebrate this title.

“Big events being held in Cape Town mean fantastic entertainment for our residents and visitors, and at the same time bring with them skills development and job creation opportunities for our communities. I want to wish the event organisers and all participants a successful event and I’m looking forward to seeing Cape Town come out to support our South African sporting stars.”

The tournament promoter, Lesley Copeman from World Sports Promotions, applauded Investec and the City of Cape Town for their continued investment in the women’s professional game and commitment to women’s golf development.

“The South Africa Women’s Open is the showpiece of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and deserves strong, committed sponsors like Investec and the City of Cape Town,” Copeman said. “However, Investec and the City of Cape Town have also invested in the growth of women’s golf through their continued support of the women’s professional circuit.

“Since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, Investec has sponsored several events and initiatives, while the City of Cape Town joined the circuit in 2015 with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.  The City of Cape Town also extended its support and hosted the South African Women’s Masters at Rondebosch Golf Club in 2017 and last year, the City of Cape Town fully supported our decision to take the SA Women’s Masters to San Lameer and to bring the crown jewel of the Sunshine Ladies Tour circuit to Westlake.

“In addition, Investec added a R100 000 incentive last year for the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner. This kind of commitment is a strong endorsement of the exciting growth and development of the women’s professional game in South Africa.”

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

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

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.

SOCIAL MEDIA SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR
TWITTER – @SLadiesTour
FACEBOOK – @sunshineladiestour
INSTAGRAM – @sunshineladiestour
HASHTAG – #SunshineLadiesTour
OTHER – #buildingwomenschampions #itstartshere #empoweringwomensgolf

SOCIAL MEDIA SERENGETI TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
TWITTER – @SerengetiEST
FACEBOOK – SerengetiEstates
INSTAGRAM – @serengetiestates
HASHTAG – #SerengetiTeamChamps

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


10th March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Hat-trick Hero Buhai Signs off in Grand Style

Ashleigh Buhai wrote her name in the record books of the Investec South African Women’s Open once again, thanks to a two-stroke victory at Westlake Golf Club in Cape Town on Saturday.

The only amateur to win the national championship twice – and the youngest champion to boot – fired a flawless final round 67 to realise a dream she’s nurtured since she joined the pro ranks in 2007.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic. I knew I had to play really well today and that’s what I did. I just felt really focused the whole day and hit all the shots I needed to and holed a few good putts,” said Buhai, who triumphed on -under-par 207.

“No matter what country you’re from, you want to lift your national title. Having won it twice as an amateur was a bit crazy, because the first time I won it I was just 14. The older you get, the more you realise what it means to you. To finally win it as a professional is priceless. I’m very chuffed.”

Five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Stacy Bregman edged out Investec South African Women’s Open champion Ashleigh Buhai by a slender 130 points to win the 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit; credit Michael Edwards for Investec

Compatriot Stacy Bregman also had 100,000 reasons to celebrate.

The Johannesburg golfer hit a magnificent bunker shot to three feet to up-and-down for par at the 18th to bank the R100 000 bonus as the Sunshine Ladies Tour Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

Bregman, who won the season-opening Canon Tshwane Open, also closed with a 67.

“I didn’t have the best start to the week, but I came out today and wanted to do really well,” said Bregman, who finished in fourth place on three-under 213. “I knew that I had nothing to lose and to finish off the way that I did, it teaches me a lot about myself, that I have what it takes at clutch moments like that. I knew what I had to do and to pull it off was just magical.”

Buhai started the day on four-under and one shot off the pace, behind Karolin Lampert.

The German overhauled Buhai for the second-round lead with a 69, but Lampert didn’t hold on to pole position for long. Making the most of the tranquil conditions, Buhai closed the gap with a birdie start and moved to seven-under with back-to-back gains at the fifth and sixth holes for a two-stroke lead.

Long-hitting Lampert birdied the par-5 seventh to narrow the gap, but missed an opportunity to tie for the lead when her birdie putt on the ninth from five feet moved below the hole.

Buhai then birdied the 10th to regain her two-stroke advantage and stretched that to three strokes when Lampert bogeyed 11. Both players birdied the long 13th and Lampert made a fantastic putt from the back of the 14th green, only to drop a shot on the short 15th.

Buhai had birdie chances on 16, 17 and again at 18, where her birdie putt slipped past the hole, leaving her a tap-in for par.

Lampert was thrilled with a strong start to her season after she signed off with a 70.

“I wanted to post a sub-par round and I was really pleased to do that,” said former LET Access Series winner Lampert, who now has her sights set on a Ladies European Tour title in 2018. “Ashleigh played really well, a 67 and more chances on the back nine, so it was really hard to keep up with her. I’ve been pleased with my game all week and happy to finish second.

“I’m so pleased that I decided to start my season at the Investec SA Women’s Open. I’ve been working on my swing in the off-season to get some more length off the tee and I did that here, so it was a good decision to stay a bit longer off the course. Today I hit it longer than I expected, even with my irons.”

Moroccan Maha Haddioui ended in third place on four-under-par, which was her best result since she earned her Ladies European Tour card in 2013.

“It feels really good. I had a tough time in Australia and didn’t play great. I loved being in South Africa. Finishing third here and having my best finish on the LET is really awesome. The course suited my game and I think the key was just playing smart. I played chicken a lot of the time and didn’t go for the pins, but I putted well and it really helped me this week.

“It’s more special to be in Africa, on my home continent. Even though I’m really far from home, I still feel at home, somehow. I really like being in South Africa and I haven’t been for a few years. I’m going to go and see the penguins today, so I’m really excited.”

Three-time LET winner Florentyna Parker closed out the top five. The English golfer carded a final round 70 to finish at two-under-par 214.

Sunshine Ladies Tour Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner Stacy Bregman, Investec South African Women’s Open champion Ashleigh Buhai and Lindi Coetzee, who won the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the national open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Thinus Maritz / Sunshine Ladies Tour.

The final trophy during the prize giving was awarded to Gauteng North golfer Lindi Coetzee.

The 18-year-old used the experience gained from playing with professionals in five Sunshine Ladies Tour events to make the cut and lift the Jackie Mercer trophy as the leading amateur in this year’s national open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by and released by Lali Stander and Bethan Cutlet on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, European Ladies Tour and WPGA.