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15th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Macnab on the march in Jabra Ladies Classic

15 April 2021 – Reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab will look to resist rising star Lindi Coetzee and seasoned champion Lee-Anne Pace as she bids for the Jabra Ladies Classic title in Friday’s final round at Glendower Golf Club.

The 19-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player fired a sparkling four-under-par 68 on a cool, but windless conditions to charge to a one-shot lead, ending the day on seven-under. She leads Coetzee by one shot, and finished three shots ahead of Pace.

Macnab began the second round one shot behind early leader Kyra van Kan and superb approach play saw her notch four birdies in the first five holes. She sandwiched a birdie between bogeys on the seventh and eighth holes and interrupted a string of pars on the homeward loop with a lone birdie on the par-five 13th.

But Macnab was quick to state that she hadn’t been at her best.

“I hit it long on seven and had a very difficult chip, and I hit a bad approach shot into nine that resulted in another bogey, but it was a pretty solid run over the first nine holes,” said Macnab. “After the turn I struggled to get the putts to drop and I had to scramble for pars on 16 and 17, but all in all, a decent round.”

Macnab will stick to the same winning game plan in Friday’s final round that won her the Champions of Champions title at Glendower in 2019 and the Open, Closed and Junior honours in the Ekurhuleni Women’s Open in October last year.

“The course is in beautiful condition, but it is set up quite a bit tougher than I am used to playing it on the amateur circuit. But I won’t adjust my game plan; I’ll just try to limit the mistakes and avoid the errant shots that cost me some shots today.”

Coetzee, who lifted the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club, racked up five birdies and was level with Macnab with one hole to play, but an untimely bogey on the closing hole for a 68 cost her a share of the lead.

“It was a good round; I kept it in the fairways, hit the greens and kept it bogey free right up to the 18th hole,” she said. “I struggled with the driver all day and on the last hole, I pulled my tee shot into the trees. I had a shot, but I didn’t execute it well and clipped a branch. I got a lucky break and had a decent lie. I hit my third on the green and two-putted, but the way I see it, it was a solid drop and it could have been much worse.”

The 21-year-old Magalies Park golfer is excited at the prospect of joining Macnab and Pace in the leading match on Friday.

“Caitlyn and I go way back and she is always a pleasure to play with, but I am really looking forward to playing with Lee-Anne. We have so much to learn from her and I’ve always admired her swing and her demeanour on the course. Anything I can learn from her will help me to level up.”

Pace once again made a slow start, but the nine-time Ladies European Tour winner kicked it up a gear coming home. She made three birdies on the bounce from the par-four 11th and picked up another shot on the par-five 15th, before also letting one slip on the par-four 18th.

“It was slow at the start, but I made a very good up-and-down for bogey on the ninth and that got me going,” she said after successive rounds of 70. “I managed to get the putts to the hole on the back nine and made some birdies, so I’m very happy with the round.

“I won’t change much going into the final round. I’ll try to take advantage of the par-fives; they are playing a little easier and you can reach them. Those are definitely the scoring holes. I am pretty aggressive with my irons, but it is vital that you drive the fairways at this course. I’ll aim for the fairways first, and work out my strategy from there.”

The outcome on Friday would be significant for all three leading players as they try to take their games to the next level.

For Pace, a 14th Sunshine Ladies Tour title and 24th professional career victory will be a big shot of confidence as she prepares for the 2021 Ladies European season. For Coetzee, a maiden win in the R600 000 showpiece would mean a major leg up in the 2021 Investec Order of Merit race and the chance to compete in the Jabra Ladies Open.

There is no financial incentive for Macnab, but to become the first amateur to win on the local professional circuit since Ashleigh Buhai won her second South African Women’s Open title in 2007, will be reward enough.

Unfortunately it was the end of the road for first round leader Kyra van Kan.

The Glendower amateur followed an opening 68 with a round of 76 to tie seasoned professionals Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Monique Smit for fourth on level-par. However, she forgot to sign her scorecard and was disqualified from the tournament. A tough lesson for Ekurhuleni junior but at 15, she has many years ahead and she will surely bounce back from the disappointment.

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


13th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

French winners target more success at Jabra Ladies Classic

DOWERGLEN, 13 April 2021 – A six-strong French delegation led by 2019 champion Anne-Lise Caudal will be targeting more Sunshine Ladies Tour success when the Jabra Ladies Classic tees off at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April.

The French clique will be among 31 international golfers representing 13 countries hoping to deny the local line-up a home victory in the R600 000 showpiece.

Caudal will draw on the positive memories of her 2019 win at the acclaimed Dowerglen championship course.

“Winning the first Jabra Ladies Classic will definitely always stand out as one of the best weeks of my career,” said the former Ladies European Tour (LET) winner, who broke a seven-year winning drought to capture the inaugural title by two shots.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour plays such a vital role in our preparation for the LET season and we were extremely pleased when Jabra extended their fantastic support of women’s golf to South Africa. I had so many close calls on the Sunshine Ladies Tour over the years and to finally pull it through it in a Jabra event was very special. Hopefully I can do it again this week.”

Compatriot Manon Gidali is also targeting a repeat performance, following her maiden win in last week’s Cape Town Ladies Open.

The 27-year-old Parisian drained a 25-foot clutch putt on the 18th hole in a play-off at Royal Cape Golf Club to beat South Africa’s Cara Gorlei for glory in the season-opener.

“I only competed in the Investec South African Women’s Open before and I am really happy that I decided to play the full Sunshine Ladies Tour this year. The win has sunk in now and I am eager to see if I can win two this season. It would be a dream start to 2021,” said Gidali.

Young gun Ivanna Samu hopes to celebrate her comeback to professional golf with strong performance in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

South African rising star Ivanna Samu warns that the South African young guns have even more reason to raise their games this week with a fantastic incentive from Jabra on the table.

“A lot of the younger girls had planned to compete on the international mini-tours or to go to qualifying schools for the LPGA or LET and everything was put on ice by the pandemic,” Samu said. “The Sunshine Ladies Tour not only gives us an opportunity to get back on track, but the leading player in the top five this week who is not already exempt on the LET will get to play in the Jabra Ladies Open.

“That is a huge incentive, because the Jabra Ladies Open is the qualifying tournament for the Evian Championship. The international players will have to bring their A-game to keep us at bay.”

For the 20-year-old Supreme Golf Academy player the 2020 season was particularly trying, as she had to delay her comeback to competitive golf once again.

“I made a really great start to my pro career on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, but then I suffered a series of setbacks. A back injury took me out of the game for months, and I lost another year when I battled with cancer. Then the pandemic stole last year, so I am raring to go.”

Samu said the challenges over the last two years have taught her some important lessons.

“I was used to dominating and winning as an amateur, and turning pro was a much bigger learning curve than I expected. The last two years have taught me to dial back my expectations; to be patient and to take things one day at a time.

“I’m really looking forward to returning to Glendower. It’s one of my most favourite courses and the layout sets up nicely for me, but I am also taking that philosophy on to the golf course. Don’t look too far ahead, but rather play shot-for-shot and hole-by-hole.”

Gorlei, too, has put the disappointment of last week’s play-off loss in the rear-view mirror.

“I drew a lot of positives from Royal Cape. I had to come from behind to get myself in the play-off. Now I just need to step it up another level,” said the 25-year-old Arkansas University graduate.

South Africa’s No 1 ranked Caitlyn Macnab, coming off a fourth place finish in the Cape Town Ladies Open, will lead the 11-strong amateur challenge at the layout where she lifted the 2020 Ekurhuleni Open and the 2019 GolfRSA Champion of Champions titles.

Other amateurs to watch include 2020 Swiss Junior National champion Elena Moosmann, Amanda Majsterek from Poland and Ekurhuleni junior Kiera Floyd, who impressed with a third place finish in the first edition of the Jabra Ladies Classic.

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


8th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

First Sunshine Ladies Tour showdown set in Cape Town

CAPE TOWN, 8 April 2021 – Amateur Caitlyn Macnab lived up to her No. 1 billing when she surged into a share of the lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Serengeti golfer fired a flawless five-under-par 69 at Royal Cape Golf Club to finish alongside overnight leader Cara Gorlei.

Milnerton’s Gorlei lost some traction over the first 10 holes, but re-ignited her campaign with an eagle-birdie combination at the 11th and 12th holes. She regained a seat at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie finish for a two-under 72.

Sitting at five-under, both golfers will look to make history in Friday’s final round with a maiden victory on Africa’s premier professional women’s golf circuit.

Macnab, a champion for the strength of the women’s amateur game in South Africa, backed up her successful title defence in the South African Women’s Amateur Championship in February with victories in the KwaZulu-Natal Championship and Free State Open.

Ahead of the first event, the GolfRSA Elite Squad member said she was looking forward to raising her game and soaking up experience competing against the professionals before she took up a golf scholarship at Texas Christian University in August.

So far, her game has held up rather nicely and she doesn’t plan to change a thing.

“I am not going to change a thing,” said the 19-year-old Elite Squad player. “I came into the tournament with a strategy for this course and I am going to stick with it. I will try to capitalise on the par fives and to keep the ball in play. The greens are rolling very true and if I can position myself well off the tees, the birdie opportunities are out there.”

Cara Gorlei kept her bid for a maiden title on track with a second round 72 to tie for the lead on five under in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

For Gorlei, the putter will be key.

“I was putting beautifully before the round, but I left everything short over the first nine holes. After another close miss on the 10th, I took out another ball. I told my coach Wayne Bradley, who is on the bag this week, hopefully this one won’t be afraid of the dark,” said the 25-year-old.

“Then I eagled the 11th and the momentum changed right there. I made a few more birdies coming in and that’s what I need to bring to the final round. The rest of the game is in good nick and I’m looking forward to going head-to-head with Caitlyn. She was in the group ahead of me and playing really well, so I’m looking forward to a great battle on Friday.”

The young guns will have to bring their A-game, though, with Frenchwoman Manon Gidali and three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace in hot pursuit.

Gidali, who tied for fourth in the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake in her last visit to South Africa, is looking for a strong start to her first full Sunshine Ladies Tour season and will start the final round two shots behind the joint leaders.

“I played really nicely in the first round, but I just didn’t score, so that was the focus today,” said the 27-year-old Ladies European Tour campaigner, who had a lone bogey in her round of 71.

“I didn’t even know what I shot today; the focus was just to keep the card clean and to pick up some shots on the field. It’s been four months since I last played competitive golf, which is why I came out to make an early start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. It’s really great to have this tour where we can prepare for the start of the LET season. And playing in the sun is just fantastic.”

Former LPGA Tour winner Pace closed the gap on the frontrunners with a four-under 70.

“I’m really happy with the way my game is shaping up,” said Pace, the winner in 2016, 2018 and 2020. “The start was a bit scrappy but got it to level before the turn and everything fell into place on the back nine. I’m striking the ball well and I’m close. I’m pleased that I made four birdies and didn’t drop a shot over the last nine holes.

“I have always loved this tournament and this course and it would be great to start the season on a winning note again after such a disappointing 2020.”

Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Lejan Lewthwaite returned a 73 to finish alone in fifth on one-under.

Dutch golfer Pasqualle Coffa matched Macnab’s low round of the day to move to sixth position on one-over, with Scottish pair Jane Turner and Rachael Taylor, Emie Peronnin from France and Stacy Bregman rounding out the top 10 on two-over.

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


7th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Gorlei soars to Cape Town Ladies Open summit

CAPE TOWN, 7 April 2021 – Milnerton golfer Cara Gorlei topped a crowded leaderboard after the first day of a new Sunshine Ladies Tour season as her three-under-par round of 71 earned her a one-shot lead in the Cape Town Ladies Open on Wednesday.

Her local knowledge came into good use and Gorlei showed her intent with a flying start, opening with a birdie at Royal Cape Golf Club and notching another at the par five third.

She cancelled two bogeys with another brace of birdies, but the testing conditions on the back nine offered fewer opportunities to score. A fifth birdie on the par-five 16th edged the 25-year-old to a slim advantage over Scotland’s Rachel Taylor.

Thrilled to take the early lead, Gorlei is unlikely to get too comfortable with 36 holes to go.

Apart from Taylor on her heels, Manon Gidali from France, rookie Nadia van der Westhuizen and GolfRSA’s No 1 ranked amateur Caitlyn Macnab lurk at level-par, while a further six players assembled on one-over. Even defending champion Lee-Anne Pace, who suffered an untimely double bogey on the short 15th hole, poses a threat at two-over.

Gorlei closed the door on a stellar amateur career in 2020 after four years at the University of Arkansas. It was during this stretch that she also won the prestigious South African Women’s Amateur Championship.

She came close to a maiden win during her pro debut on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and a runner-up finish in the SA Women’s Masters helped the Capetonian to close out her rookie season ranked ninth in the Investec Order of Merit.

“Four years playing on the Arkansas Razorbacks Golf Team to convince me that I have what it takes to pursue a career in golf and making a strong start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour just further strengthened my resolve to take my game to the next level,” Gorlei said.

“I was very lucky that I didn’t have to press pause on my 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I was able to get on an expatriate flight to the United States and I spent five months competing on the Womens All Pro Tour and the Symetra Tour. I gained so much insight and experience competing abroad and hopefully I can put it all into practice this season to get into the winner’s circle.”

She came to South Africa to escape the harsh winter cold in Scotland – can you blame Rachel Taylor for taking a minute to enjoy the sun on her face during the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club?

Taylor, meanwhile, was pleased as punch with her first competitive round on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“I decided to join some of my fellow Ladies European Tour Access Series campaigners and spend some time in the sun,” said the Glaswegian. “It’s really cold back home and I don’t enjoy the cold, so I thought I’d make my first trip to South Africa and have some fun before the season kicks off in Europe. I had no idea I had done so well

“I just made three pretty standard birdies going out. You know, fairway, green, putt … nothing fancy. It was a wee bit windier coming home. I dropped a shot on the sixth, but that happens. I was just enjoying myself and looked what happened. I’m really quite pleased about that.”

Macnab, who cemented her No 1 billing with two provincial victories since defending her SA Women’s Amateur title in February, cancelled a trio of birdies with three bogeys for a level-par round, but the Serengeti golfer hopes to step it up over the next 36 holes.
“I could have been better, but I struggled a little bit with the driver,” said the 19-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad member. “You have to hit fairways on this course to position yourself for your shots into the green. I made a few putts and a lot of good swings, but there is definitely room for improvement.”

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6th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Young guns ready to raise the bar on the Sunshine Ladies Tour

CAPE TOWN, 6 April 2021 – Alice Hewson’s winning putt in last year’s Investec South African Women’s Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour summed it all up.

The 23-year-old English professional represented the emerging breed of young golfers primed to become a dominant force in the game for many years to come.

Casandra Hall – one of eight South Africans campaigning on the Ladies European Tour (LET), says Hewson’s winning performance at Westlake definitely inspired the country’s young talents to raise their game.

“Alice won the 2019 English Ladies Amateur, turned pro and won on debut here in South Africa. We definitely got the message that if you work hard and you make the most of the opportunities that come your way, the world can be your oyster.

“It may take some of us a little longer, but it was inspiring to watch someone our age defy the odds. She beat some seriously seasoned players at Westlake a lot of younger golfers like myself were motivated to level up this year.”

Hall finished her rookie season in 2019 in sixth spot on the Investec Order of Merit and her second season was equally solid.

A few months after a top 25 finish at Westlake, the Glendower golfer took a page out of Hewson’s book. The new kid on the block held off LET campaigners Nicole Garcia, Monique Smit, Stacy Bregman, Nobuhle Dlamini and Lejan Lewthwaite for her maiden success in the Investec Royal Swazi Open at Sun City.

“Although I won twice on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Series, we had spent so many months waiting out the lockdown, so to beat Sunshine Ladies Tour winners with my game still a bit rusty was the greatest feeling ever. It was great to tick that box,” said the 21-year-old Glendower golfer.

“It was frustrating to sit with a new LET card and not being able to travel to Europe, but 2020 was still a great year for me. I had the win at Sun City and I was the first woman to play on the Virtual Sunshine Tour series. In November I made the field for the Saudi Ladies International and although I didn’t do well in the individual competition, I did hole the winning putt for the International Team in the Team Competition and I flew home after a pretty decent pay-day.

“I am so excited to step it up another gear this season and win one of the six tournaments, if not two. I’d really like to win the Investec SA Women’s Open. It’s the one title we all want, but it also comes with some incredible perks, like the LET exemption. The prize money is huge and, as a South African, you’d also bank the R100 000 Investec Homegrown Award. That would go a long way in setting me up for Europe this season.”

Hall will start her title chase in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club on Wednesday, but she expects some tough competition.

“Besides all the seasoned pros, you have the likes of Ivanna Samu, Zethu Myeki, Cara Gorlei, Michaela Fletcher and Brittney Fay-Berger, who will all looking for a fast start,” said Hall.

“Ivanna was one of our best amateurs and she made a great start in the pro ranks, but then she suffered a back injury and a battle with cancer. She fought really hard to come back and she will be so eager to push the reset button.

“The others had all just started their pro careers when the pandemic struck so they will be just as keen to get out of the blocks fast. It’s going to get interesting this week.”

Randpark’s Myeki is also ready to push the reset button, especially after losing her brother to the corona virus just before New Year.

“The vibe this morning at Royal Cape during the practice round was electric. You could literally feel the excitement in the air. We are all amped to get the season going and I think this year we will see a lot of players’ answer the Sunshine Ladies Tour to level up,” she said.

“I am personally really excited about this season. I had to put my plans for Europe on ice, so I am going all out. I want to learn as much as I can. I want to soak up experience and I want to win.”

Myeki, who represented South Africa on the international stage seven times, was thrilled to see a 17-strong amateur field led by reigning SA Women’s Amateur and GolfRSA No.1 Caitlyn Macnab tee it up in the season-opener.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is the best platform for these girls to test themselves and get a realistic look at where their games are, and of course, to gain experience. We lost so many great amateurs because there wasn’t a professional circuit around to transition from amateur golf up to 2014. I was so fortunate that I could play the circuit as an amateur to prepare me for the next level and I hope they also embrace this opportunity with both hands,” Myeki said.

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23rd March 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Investec announces new SA winner’s prize incentive

The condensed 2021 Sunshine Ladies Tour is set to be the best yet as Investec introduces the Investec Homegrown Award. The award will see a South African winner of the Investec South African Women’s Open take home an additional R100 000.

2014 saw Investec launch the Chase to the Investec Cup, which was inclusive of the 100,000 rand bonus prize for the Investec Order of Merit winner. Several years later, Investec further entrenched their golfing presence by claiming naming rights to the Investec South African Women’s Open, with a prize pool of 200,000 euro.

Investec’s Head of Sponsorship, Peta Dixon says that Investec is committed to its values of equality, inclusion and diversity and is focused on enabling more women to thrive.

“With this in mind, we’ve added an additional prize incentive of 100,000 rand. Simply put: If a South African professional wins the Investec South African Women’s Open, she will win the 100,000 rand Investec Homegrown Award as well as her portion of the Investec South African Women’s Open prize pool. She can of course potentially take the Investec Order of Merit too.

“Investec looks to continue promoting and backing local South African talent which is in line with our recently launched campaign of ‘Women on the rise,’ focusing on the strength of female athletes and gender equality. While there’s still a long way to go before gender pay parity in golf is a reality, we are proud of the contribution that we’re making to that cause.”

Investec sponsored golfers Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Lejan Lewthwaite will all be competing on the 6-tournament tour, with their eyes on the prize says Bregman:

“It’s another wonderful incentive by Investec and I speak on behalf of all the pro’s when I say that we’re extremely grateful. Personally, I’ve worked hard throughout the off-season and lockdown because there is a lot of money at stake when factoring in the Investec Order of Merit, tournament wins and now the Investec Homegrown Award on offer at the final tournament. All these contribute towards a hugely competitive circuit: growing our game and golfers; and we just cannot wait to tee-off.”

The eighth season of the local women’s professional circuit launches with the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 7-9 April; and concludes with the ISAWO at Westlake Golf Club from 13 – 16 May 2021.

Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen:

“As a partner and sponsor, Investec has made an immeasurable contribution to the Sunshine Ladies Tour since the circuit launched in 2014 and has consistently upped the ante with additional incentives to promote the development of women’s professional golf in our country.

“They have done it again with this wonderful Investec Homegrown Award. Winning the Investec South African Women’s Open comes with a two-year exemption on the Ladies European Tour, where the 100,000 rand cash injection will go a long way in covering costs for the champion. We applaud Investec for their innovation and dedication to growing women’s golf and for always finding ways to give our South African golfers an opportunity to take the next step and level up.”

2021 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR REVISED SCHEDULE

APRIL
7-9 Cape Town Ladies Open
R200 000
Royal Cape Golf Club
14-16    Jabra Ladies Classic
  R600 000
  Glendower Golf Club
 
21-23    SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
  R400 000
  Gary Player Country Club
 
28-30    Joburg Ladies Open
  R500 000
  Soweto Country Club
 
MAY
7-9 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
  R600 000
  R100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am
 
13-16 Investec South African Women’s Open*
  €200 000
  Westlake Golf Club
  * Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned
  **2021 U.S. Women’s Open Qualifier

#investec #sunshineladiestour #levelup


29th January 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

New dates set for 8th Sunshine Ladies Tour season

The Sunshine Ladies Tour announced its revised schedule for the 2021 season and will launch in April with a bumper run of six events, including an exciting format change for the season finale Investec South African Women’s Open.

“While the country was still in the throes of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in January, we took a decision for the safety of our players to postpone the start of our eighth season. Our amazing sponsors, partners and host venues embraced this decision and we are excited to announce the new dates, starting in April,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen.

The Cape Town Ladies Open will kick off the season at Royal Cape Golf Club from 7-9 April. Over the next four weeks, the tour will travel to Gauteng, Sun City and the Garden Route before returning to the Mother City for the season-finale.

The Jabra Ladies Classic celebrates its third season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at Glendower Golf Club from 14-16 April, followed by the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Gary Player Country Club from 21-23 April.

The sixth Joburg Ladies Open returns to its home at Soweto Country Club from 28-30 April and the annual Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – played concurrently with the Sunshine Tour’s Challenge Tour co-sanctioned Dimension Data Pro-Am – takes place from 7-9 May in George, before the tour circles back to the Mother City for the final showpiece.

“The Investec South African Women’s Open will once again be co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour,” Van Meersbergen added.

“Our flagship event will carry a prize fund of €200 000 (approximately R3.6-million) and Westlake Golf Club will host the event for a fourth consecutive year from 13-16 May. We are excited to announce that, for the first time on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the tournament will be decided over 72 holes.

“We may be starting later than originally planned, but we are delighted to offer our members nearly R6-million in prize money, some exciting incentives and the race to the Investec Order of Merit bonus prize of R100 000.”

The 2021 Investec Order of Merit is based on a points system and the race for glory commences at the Cape Town Ladies Open and wraps up with the Investec South African Women’s Open.

Peta Dixon, Head of Sponsorships Investec SA, said:

“We at Investec take great pride in our involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour since 2014: Not only as the title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open and the Investec Order of Merit, but also through our support of our players performing on the international stage. We strive to create platforms and opportunities that further develop women’s sport in South Africa and are proud of how The Sunshine Ladies Tour has grown in the last seven years. The increase in international participation speaks volumes of the high standard of competition.

“Thanks to the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s partnership with the Ladies European Tour, the format change of the Investec South African Women’s Open is now befitting the status of South Africa’s flagship event. As a 72-hole tournament, the Investec South African Women’s Open now joins the premier events on the international calendar.”

Margie Whitehouse, chair of the Women’s Professional Golf Association, said:

“We are very pleased for all the competitors that the 2021 season is going ahead. We look forward to seeing our top talents in action, to welcome the international campaigners to our shores and to offer our new crop of rookies and the young amateurs coming through the ranks a fantastic opportunity to gain invaluable experience to further their careers.”

2021 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR REVISED SCHEDULE

APRIL
7-9 Cape Town Ladies Open
      R200 000
Royal Cape Golf Club

14-16 Jabra Ladies Classic
      R600 000
Glendower Golf Club

21-23 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
      R400 000
Gary Player Country Club

28-30 Joburg Ladies Open
      R500 000
Soweto Country Club

MAY
7-9 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
      R600 000
R100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am

13-16 Investec South African Women’s Open*
      €200 000
Westlake Golf Club
* co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour


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


14th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

LET Rookie Hewson wins Investec SA Women’s Open

14 March 2020 – Alice Hewson could not have wished for a better start to launch her professional career on the Ladies European Tour.

On a warm and tranquil Saturday in the City of Cape Town, the 22-year-old rookie from Hemel Hempstead in England lifted the Investec South African Women’s Open title in her first start, coming from behind to triumph by a shot at Westlake Golf Club.

“It feels absolutely incredible and it really is a dream come true. I don’t have words, really. Growing up as a kid, all I could ever dream of was playing on the Ladies European Tour and to win in my first event is just indescribable,” said Hewson, who turned professional in September and finished fifth at LET Q-School in January.

“This has definitely happened a lot quicker than I thought it would. I was hoping to get off to a nice steady start, but this is definitely a good thing!”

Hewson lagged three strokes off the pace from the overnight leader Olivia Cowan from Germany at the start of the final day.

She sacrificed a birdie at the first hole with a bogey on the third, but she quickly clawed back the gain on the five-under-par. She entered a four-way share of the lead after nine holes and then took pole position after all three players in the final group bogeyed the 10th hole.

With a bogey of her own on the 11th, Hewson dropped back into a share of the lead, but then broke away from the pack when she holed a 20-footer for birdie on the par five 13th.

From that point until the closing hole, no-one could catch her.

What could have turned into disaster for a lesser player turned into triumph after Hewson found the trees with her tee shot on the 18th.

Her second shot hit some branches, causing the ball to drop back down into the rough, but she played a gutsy chip shot up to the green and then holed a seven foot putt for par to complete a round of 71, ending on five-under-par.

“The 18th was a highlight because I was still in trouble after my third shot, and the other highlight of my round was the long putt I sunk on 13,” said the 2019 European Ladies’ Amateur Champion. “Most of the week my putting has been very good, and my driving. I just went out there to play my own game. This golf course can play pretty tough and it’s going to give some shots back to you so I tried to keep my game super steady and make some birdies.”

When asked if she was concerned about whether the tournament should have been played, given the Coronavirus pandemic, Hewson replied: “I think it was definitely the right decision that we continued playing this week and it’s also the right decision that future tournaments have been cancelled. Everyone was already here and there is a very low risk here so it was nice to be able to play some golf, because we don’t know how long it’s going to be now before we will again.”

South Africa’s Monique Smit sealed the 2020 Investec Order of Merit title with a joint runner-up finish in the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

South Africa’s Monique Smit recorded a career best finish on the LET when she holed a clutch putt for par at the last for a round of 71 to share second with Sweden’s Emma Nilsson.

Smit, who claimed the final card on offer at the LET Q-School in Spain in January when she edged out three players in a sudden-death play-off, not only bagged R276 000 for her joint runner-up finish, but also edged out Stacy Bregman for the R100 000 bonus that came with winning the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Investec Order of Merit.

“Right now, this is very surreal. Standing over the final putt, I knew I had to hole it and I just felt extremely confident. That one putt earned me my travel money for the year,” said the Oubaai golfer.

“We lost mom last year and in every tournament this season, I’ve thought of her. She caddied for me in every season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour since it launched in 2014. Today, standing over that final putt, I really felt her. That putt was for my mom.”

Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald, Manon de Roey from Belgium and Manon Gidali from France tied for fourth, while overnight leader Olivia Cowan from Germany tied for seventh.

Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley claimed the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur – and only amateur to make the cut – in the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley was the only amateur to survive the cut to 60 and ties and was the proud recipient of the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur. The 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad member and Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation carded a final round 75 to tie for 46th.

FOLLOW THE 2020 INVESTEC SA WOMEN’S OPEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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FACEBOOK:
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.


13th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Cowan takes control of Investec South African Women’s Open

13 March 2020 – Germany’s Olivia Cowan took control of the Investec South African Women’s Open on Friday, firing a second round 67 to lead on seven-under-par heading into the final round in the City of Cape Town.

The 23-year-old began the afternoon session in hot and sunny conditions on the 10th tee at Westlake Golf Club and picked up her first birdie at the par five 13th.

She then made three birdies on the bounce from the 15th and, although she gave a shot back to the field on the par-four second hole, further gains on the fourth and fifth holes kept her well clear of the chasing pack.

The fourth-year Ladies European Tour campaigner dropped another shot the ninth, but will still sleep on a three-shot cushion.

Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald, Alice Hewson from England and Italian Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso are three strokes back in joint second.

Recent Joburg Ladies Open winner Monique Smit leads the local challenge. The Oubaai golfer carded 71 to finish a further stroke adrift and is tied for fifth with Emma Nilsson from Sweden.

Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland and Megan MacLaren from England share seventh on two-under.

A second round 73 saw three-time winner Ashleigh Buhai slip to one-over. The South African rounds out the top 10 on 143 with Maha Haddioui from Marocco, Manon de Roey from Belgium, Dane Emily Pedersen and Sweden’s Julia Engstrom.

Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley was the only amateur to survive the cut to 60 and ties, which fell at six-over 150. The GolfRSA Elite Squad player and Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member will start the last 18 holes on five-over after rounds of 75 and 74.

Thirty-six hole leader Cowan is long overdue for a first Ladies European Tour (LET) victory.

A three-time winner on the LET Access Series in 2015, Cowan won the Order of Merit the same year to graduate to the LET. In 2019, she enjoyed a career best tie for second in the Dubai Moonlight Classic, which was one of her seven top-10 finishes from 16 starts last season.

She ended seventh on the LET Order of Merit for the second year in a row.

She made a strong start to the 2020 season in Australia, tying for 15th in the Women’s New South Wales Open and began the week in South Africa ranked 28th on the Race to Costa del Sol Order of Merit.

Cowan attributed her solid second round to great ball striking and a well-behaved putter.

“I was hitting my irons close and putting well, so I had a lot of chances, most of which I took. I’d say the best part of my game was my putting,” she said.

The German golfer also felt that the tranquil conditions over the last two days had a lot to do with the bunched leaderboard.

“The last two years here was really windy, so it’s very different this year. The course is in great shape and it’s like any other LPGA or LET tournament, so really good. This is my first time being in this position, where I am a couple of shots ahead of everyone going into the final round. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what happens.”

MacDonald was just as happy to be in contention.

“I’m very happy with my performance today. I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances. I’m very happy going into the final round, given how I played today. The greens were a little slower in the morning, but when it started to heat up they sped up significantly. You could notice the difference and that was something I had to be mindful of during the round.”

English rookie Hewson, making her LET debut in Cape Town, was thrilled with back-to-back 70s and the chance to emulate last year’s rookie winner Diksha Dagar from India. “I’m really happy with how I played today. I putted really well, which I think is really important out here.

“I also drove the ball well. I just need to work on my irons. It was nice to get off to a good start with three birdies in a row from my second hole. It’s very exciting to be here and finally get going. This is living the dream, really. It’s a beautiful place to be. Yesterday we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins and maybe tomorrow we will go to Table Mountain.”

Colombotto Rosso, who dug deep for a 71, made some incredible par saving putts.

“I enjoyed the round a lot. I rolled in some incredible putts, from 10 or 15 metres, which I didn’t expect and I was having a lot of fun. I’m trying to take the best out of every round. Chipping in this kikuyu grass is a bit challenging for me, so I’m really proud that I made some birdies when I needed to. I was a little angry with the bogey on 16, so it was good that I birdied 18. It was a good comeback.”

The final round tees off at 08h30 on Sunday morning from both tees.

The final putts are expected to drop around 15h00 and the 2020 champion will be crowned on the 18th green. In addition to lifting the spectacular trophy, the winner also receives a two year exemption on the LET until the end of 2021, a place in the Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open and the lion’s share of the 200,000 prize fund.

Moodley will be standing next to the champion, receiving the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur.

LINK TO LEADERBOARD:

https://sunshineladiestour.com/?page_id=25983&tourn=L007&season=220S&report=https://lds.ocs-africa.com/tic/tmscores.cgi?tourn=L007~season=220S~params=P*2ESC02~

FOLLOW THE 2020 INVESTEC SA WOMEN’S OPEN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
#InvestecSAWomensOpen
#InvestecGolf / #itstartshere / #sunshineladiestour / #empoweringwomensgolf

FACEBOOK:
@SAWomensOpen @sunshineladiestour @LadiesEuropeanTour @CityofCT @Westlake.Golf.Club

TWITTER:
@SAWomensOpen @SLadiesTour @LETgolf @Investec @CityofCT @WestlakeGC

INSTAGRAM:
@sawomensopen @sunshineladiestour @letgolf @investec @cityofct @westlakegolfclub

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