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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.