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6th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

French Flair seals success at Serengeti Teams

6 February 2019 – Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch became the first French winners on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a wire-to-wire performance in the inaugural Serengeti Team Championship on Wednesday.

The French pair posted rounds of 46 and 38 for a total of 85 points to win the first golf team event with a three-point margin at Serengeti Estates.

Duvernay and Peuch made a fast start to the tournament as they burned up the front nine of the Jack Nicklaus signature course on day one. They fired five birdies and surged into the lead with an eagle from Duvernay at the par five eighth. Another eagle from the Evian Resort golfer and further brace of birdies earned them a three-point lead over English pair Kiran Matharu and Ellie Givens.

South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and partner Lauren Taylor from England finished a further shot adrift.

Admittedly, the French duo couldn’t replicate their first round fireworks on the last day, but they staved off the chasing pack with birdies at three, five, eight, 11 and 15.

“Things went a bit south for us at 16,” said Peuch, a third season Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner.

“Marion hit her drive in the bush and of course, I followed her. We had to make a recovery, but it’s a pretty long par five. She went for the green from 235 metres, but didn’t make it. She had to take a penalty drop after going in the water, so I laid up and chipped in.

“Then I three-putted and Marion didn’t make her bogey putt either, so we had to take a zero for the double bogey. We took it on the chin and just tried to play the last two holes in pars and make no more mistakes.”

Peuch made sure of a par at 17 and Duvernay, whose approach pitched on the lower tier of the huge green, lagged her birdie putt to two inches from the hole. She tapped in for par to seal the win.

“We are so excited about this win,” gushed Duvernay, who made her debut on the South African circuit with a top eight finish in last week’s Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open.

“When the team event was added to the schedule, we entered immediately. We played a lot of team golf as amateurs, but there are just a few team events on the pro circuit. It was a great tournament on a fantastic golf course and we are thrilled to own our first Sunshine Ladies Tour trophies.

“The vibe was fantastic and it was a great way for us foreigners to meet the South Africans and other internationals. We saw a lot of high fives and hugging and laughing going on. Flora and I are travelling together for the full nine weeks, so this was a very good test for our friendship, too.

“Flora has told me that the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am is another great event, but the courses are quite tough. This has been a really good warm-up for George and hopefully one of us can keep the winning streak going.”

Samu and Taylor shared second on 83 points with Shawnelle de Lange and Pasqualle Coffa.

Rookies Catherine LauGeorgia Oboh from Nigeria tied for third on 82 with Givens and Matharu, as well as Tandi McCallum and Kim Williams from South Africa.

South Africa’s De Lange and Coffa from the Netherlands fired a staggering nine birdies on the last day to take the low round honours with 45 points. “I met Shawnelle last week at Irene and we clicked straight-away,” said Coffa. “We decided to pair up for the team event and we really dovetailed well, especially in the final round.

“For every birdie I sunk, she answered with one. I struggled a bit last week and shot 80 in the final round at Irene, but this tournament gave me a chance to hit more free and to fire at the pins. I feel much more confident for George Golf Club and Fancourt next week.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Ebotse Links and Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay Golf Club posted rounds of 39 and 41 to take the Amateur honours with a top 10 finish on 80 points.

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


5th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Fire and Ice lead Serengeti Team Champs

5 February 2019 – Golf may not be the most popular sport in France, yet French golf fans flocked to the Le Golf National for the Ryder Cup last year and it’s the French who led the revolution as team golf made its first appearance on the Sunshine Ladies Tour on Tuesday.

Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch were untouchable in the opening round of the inaugural R100 000 Serengeti Team Championship.

French pair Marion ‘Fire’ Duvernay and Flora ‘Ice’ Peuch led the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Serengeti Team Championship with 46 points at Serengeti Estates; credit Tyrone Winfield / Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Taking advantage of the Betterball format, the French duo racked up no less than seven birdies and fired two eagles at the Jack Nicklaus Signature Course at Serengeti Estates.

A total score of 46 points propelled Duvernay and Peuch to the top of the leaderboard and they will start Wednesday’s final round with a 3-point cushion.

English pair  Ellie Givens and former Tshwane Ladies Open champion Kiran Matharu edged out South Africa’s Ivanna Samu and Lauren Taylor from England by 1 point for second, while another French national – two-time Ladies European Tour winner Anne-Lise Caudal – and her South African partner Bertine Faber collaborated for 41 points to finish fourth.

 

The class of 2019 also impressed in their second start on the local circuit.

Johannesburg rookies Chiara Contomathios and Kelsey Nicholas combined for 40 points, as did first-timers Brittney Fay-Berger from KwaZulu-Natal and Benoni golfer Casandra Hall, who were flawless around the championship layout.

Former Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Tandi Mc Callum and Kim Williams made it a three-way tie for fifth when they rallied with five birdies over their last nine holes.

The early clubhouse target belonged to amateur pair Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay and GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kiera Floyd from Benoni, who also fired the opening salvo. They were overhauled by Contomathios and Nicholas until the French pair hit their stride.

“Marion and I both played our own games, but we always had each other’s backs. We dovetailed incredibly well,” said Golf De Valescure’s Peuch. “I contributed birdies at three, seven and 15 and I hit it to six feet at the eighth to have an eagle chance, but she denied me…her putter was on fire”

Duvernay birdied two and five, but left her approach into the par five well short of the pin.

“I had 25-foot left for eagle, but Flora was close, so I guided the ball towards the cup,” said the Evian Resort golfer. “And it dropped. That’s the beauty of this format.”

The French woman notched two more gains at nine and 11 and pencilled a second three on their card with an eagle at the par five 15th, followed with another birdie at 16.

“It’s a great golf course and you can score well if you hit it in the right spots,” said Duvernay. “We both hit it great from tee to green and we made the most of our chances. We had only the one bogey. We didn’t really look at our score, but I had a feeling that we were doing well.”

Winning the tandem won’t earn them Investec Property Order of Merit points, but the French pair are still going all out for glory.

“We are playing for the trophy, the honour and the prize money,” said Peuch. “We love coming here.

“It’s a great tour. It is very well run, and we are treated really well by the players, the staff and the South Africans. It will be a great honour for us to go home as Sunshine Ladies Tour winners.”

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


4th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pairs ready to rumble in Serengeti Teams

4 February 2019 – Double trouble from the Duma sisters. French flair from Marion Duvernay and Flora Peuch. An English assault from Kiran Matharu and Eleonor Givens. The sparks are bound to fly when the inaugural 36-hole Serengeti Team Championship tees off on Tuesday.

The 36-hole team event at Serengeti Estates will see 24 teams of two vie for the lion share of the R100 000 prize money. Home course favourite Lejan Lewthwaite has boosted her chances of a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win by roping in two-time champion Nobuhle Dlamini.

The Benoni golfer believes they have what it takes to win the Betterball tournament.

“With my course knowledge and Nobby’s huge drives, how can we fail? We are all extremely excited to get going. Betterball is so much fun and, with the best score to count on each hole, you better believe the girls will be firing at the pins,” said the Benoni golfer.

Lewthwaite and Dlamini made the trip to Morocco together to compete in the Final Stage of the Ladies European Tour in December. “We got along brilliantly and it was a no-brainer that we would team up for the Serengeti Team Championship,” said Dlamini from Swaziland.

“Lejan is the spokesperson and I am the quiet strength of this partnership. We know the strengths of each other’s games. She knows the greens really well and she’s coming off a third place finish in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so she is really fired up. That’s half the battle won.”

Lewthwaite believes her partner’s booming drives will give them the edge.

“The fairways are quite generous, but the course is heavily bunkered, so you need to be accurate off the tee and manage your second shots well,” said the Investec golfer. “Nobby drives it long and straight, which is key to scoring at this course. My short game really came alive at Irene Country Club and the putter went hot, so I believe we are in with a shout.”

Yolanda and Siviwe Duma from East London are equally confident of their chances.

“Siviwe and I started playing golf together as kids, so I don’t think there is another pairing in the field that know each other as well as we do,” said Yolande. “She has the long game and I am the better putter. We will play to our strengths. Usually its sibling rivalry, but we’re playing for each other this week. It would be amazing to win with my sister.”

Swiss golfer Clara Pietri kicked off her last two seasons on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

As soon as the new event was announced, she booked three-time champion Monique Smit as a partner. “Monique is one of the most consistent players on the tour and it’s wise to play with someone local that can guide you,” Pietri said. “We’ve known each other for a while now, and I knew we would have a lot of fun.

“We had a great practice round and made a bunch of birdies. The course is immaculate and the greens are rolling so true. They are big, with a lot of slope, so you will need to put your approach shots close. I’m looking forward to the tournament. It’s a fantastic concept.”

Two players to watch are Anne-Lise Caudal from France and Benoni golfer Casandra Hall, who were both in contention in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open last week. Caudal, a two-time Ladies European Tour winner, will partner South Africa’s Bertine Faber and former SA Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Hall will team up with fellow rookie Brittney-Fay Berger.

Another rookie pairing to watch are Nigerian rising star Georgia Oboh and South Africa’s Catherine Lau, who earned a card for the LPGA Tour of China with a third place finish at Q-School in January.

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TWITTER – @SerengetiEST
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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.