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5th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini back in the mix at Sun City

5 February 2020 – For a second successive week, Nobuhle Dlamini has a stab at a sixth Sunshine Ladies Tour title after she moved into a share of the 36-hole lead in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Sun City.

The 28-year-old Eswatini forged her way to the front in the R400 000 event presented by Sun International, courtesy of a flawless four-under-par 68 at the Lost City Golf Course on Tuesday.

The Eswatini golfer was joined at the summit by joint first round leader Lejan Lewthwaite, who held on to a share of pole position with a one-under-par 71.

Former winner Tandi McCallum also returned 71 to finish in third on six-under.

Stacy Bregman and Nicole Garcia finished a further shot back. Bregman, the winner in 2015, shared the first round lead, but backpedalled to a share of fourth after carding 74. Garcia, meanwhile, shared the low round honour with Dlamini. Her 68 featured an eagle, a trio of birdies and a lone bogey.

Scotland’s Jane Turner celebrate her maiden win in this event when it was hosted at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club. She stayed in touch with a 73 to finish a further stroke adrift.

Dlamini led the season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open through 36 holes last week, but she battled a balky putter on the final day at King David Mowbray Golf Club and ended up losing to Lee-Anne Pace.

Although the flat-stick is still a little icy, Dlamini was pleased to sign for two bogey-free rounds.

“I hit a lot of fairways, but wasn’t hitting it close enough to make the birdie putt,” she said. “I’m happy with birdies on three of the par fives and a bunch of solid pars, though, because the conditions were a lot tougher.

“The wind was much stronger and lots of pins were tucked, so you couldn’t attack the flags. You couldn’t really feel the strength of the wind through the trees, but once you hit it, the wind played around with your ball. Playing in the wind in Cape Town was definitely a benefit for us, because we had to make a lot of adjustments out there.”

Dlamini landed her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Wild Coast in 2018, but she had a chance two years earlier, when she carried a four-shot lead in to the final round at Sun City.

“I started with a bogey and made nine on the par five second and I never recovered. I ended up shooting 77 for a runner-up finish. I’ve never forgotten that day and I would love to get my revenge,” she said. “I really enjoy the Gary Player. The course is slightly longer and you don’t have to lay up as much as you do here at the Lost City. I can use my driver. It’s a tougher course, but there are some very good holes where you can make birdies.”

Lejan Lewthwaite held on for a share of the second round lead on seven-under in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at Sun City; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Lewthwaite fired five birdies to offset a pair of bogeys, but was left ruing a double bogey at the par four 17th that cost her outright lead.

“I was three-under with two to play, so a little disappointed with the double, but I’m happy that I kept it under par,” said the Serengeti golfer. It was a tougher day, for sure, but I stuck with the same thought processes and just kept calm out.
“After the double I told myself to go for an eagle finish. I really went for my second shot. I had an uphill lie, though, and it went a little high and came up short in the hazard. I didn’t really have a shot, so I took the drop and almost holed it. I was happy to make the up-and-down for par,” said the Investec-backed golfer.

“Gary Player is a little tougher, so I’m sticking to my thought processes. The rough is up way more than here at the Lost City and positioning off the tees will be crucial. I’m really excited. The greens are a lot quicker so I’ll be happy get the putter going on that side.”

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


4th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lewthwaite, Bregman a happy double act at Sun City

4 February 2020 – Lejan Lewthwaite fired three birdies over her last four holes on Tuesday for a six-under-par 66, and the joint first round lead in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at Sun City.

As play wrapped up at the Lost City Golf Course, the Benoni golfer found herself surrounded by former champions of the Sunshine Ladies Tour event.

Lewthwaite shares the top spot with 2015 winner Stacy Bregman and the Investec-backed pair lead by one shot from Tandi McCallum, who claimed the inaugural title in 2014.

Bregman and McCallum both celebrated their victories at Sun City, while Scotland’s Jane Turner and Nobuhle Dlamini from Eswatini – lurking a further stroke adrift – were the respective champions at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club in 2019 and 2019.

“I hadn’t realised; that is quite something. Hopefully a good omen for me,” Lewthwaite laughed.

After finishing a frustrating fifth in the season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open last week, the 28-year-old spent some quality time with her putter, and credited an improvement on the greens as key to her low scoring round.

“I have been striking the ball really well since last year, but I was just not holing putts in Cape Town. Thankfully that changed. The time I spent with the flat-stick definitely paid off,” said Lewthwaite, who racked up four birdies from the fourth hole to turn four-under and reeled in four more coming home.

“I started off slowly with a couple of pars, but once the first birdie putt dropped, I started thinking I’ve got this. I holed some long putts; I holed some short ones. The birdies just kept on coming.”

She also hit some pin-seeking irons to set herself up for a good score.

“Not much wrong with the game today. I think I missed just two greens. On one I made a great up-and-down to save par, the one not so much. I hit back with birdies on 15 and 16, though, so I was able to bounce back from the double on 14,” she said.

On the back of her maiden win in the SA Women’s Masters last year, Lewthwaite spent the season in Europe where she secured her Ladies European Tour (LET) card for the 2020 season with a top 80 Order of Merit finish.

“It would be great if I could once or twice this season here in South Africa. I hope to peak at the Investec SA Women’s Open in March, because we have so many incentives to play for,” she said. “The winner gets spots in the AEG British Women’s Open and the Evian Championship, and exemption on the LET until the end of 2021. Plus a strong performance in Cape Town would mean a leg-up on the LET Order of Merit this year. That is really valuable.”

Stacy Bregman in action at the 2020 SuperSport Ladies Challenge hosted by Sun International at Lost City Golf Course.
Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Carl Fourie

Bregman is also targeting a return to the winner’s circle.

The five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion got it to six-under through 15 holes, but let one slip on the par four 16th before closing out with a birdie for her 66. “I’m really stoked after this round. I played really superb golf. I gave myself a lot of chances and I made them,” said Bregman, whose last success came in the 2018 Canon Tshwane Ladies Open. “Compared to last week in Cape Town, I struck the ball really well today and was wedging it really close. I also holed a few longer putts that kept the moment going. Everything was on point.”

The Country Club Johannesburg golfer is looking forward to taking an on-song game to the Gary Player Country Club for the second round.

“Both courses are superb. You can’t fault them. The greens at the Lost City are probably not as quick as the Gary Player Country Club, but on both courses they run very true. The Gary Player is just always that little bit more challenging off the tees, but I’m looking forward to it.”

Amateur Kaiyuree Moodley in action at the 2020 SuperSport Ladies Challenge hosted by Sun International at Lost City Golf Course. Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour / Carl Fourie

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kaiyuree Moodley – fresh from helping Team Annika to a top five finish in the 2020 Major Champions Invitation in the United States – leads the amateur challenge on two-under.

The former Youth Olympian shares sixth with French golfer Emie Peronnin and Lindi Coetzee.

Lee-Anne Pace, who claimed her 25th career title in the Cape Town Ladies Open last week, opened with a one-under 71 to finish in a six-way tie for ninth with, among others rookies Zethu Myeki and Michaela Fletcher.

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

Lali Stander
Sunshine Ladies Tour Media Liaison

Momentum Golf Village
De Beers Avenue, Somerset West 7130
Postnet Suite 185 Private Bag X15, Somerset West 7129
Cell: +27 (0) 82 990 7150
lali@sunshineladiestour.com

 

 


28th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Turner cruises to victory at Wild Coast

28 February 2019 – Scot Jane Turner produced a stunning display of front running golf as she fired a closing two-under 68 to win the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, by four shots at the Wild Coast Country Club on Thursday.

The Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club player ended on a four-under 206 total, four ahead of her nearest challenger and defending champion Nobuhle Dlamini. The three-time Sunshine Tour winner carded rounds of 68 72 and 70, meaning Turner was the only player to finish under par for the week.

In third on her own was fellow Scot Gabrielle Macdonal of Craigelaw Golf Club on two-over after rounds of 72 70 70. Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Kelsey Nicholas, who plays out of Royal Johannesburg and Kensington, finished a further shot adrift after posting scores of 78 68 67.

England’s Kiran Matharu and another Scot Hannah McCook – in her second start as a professional – tied for fifth on four-over with GolfRSA Elite Squad star Kajal Mistry.

The 18-year-old Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member, who lost in a play-off in last week’s SA Women’s Masters, won the leading amateur prize for a second week running.

Turner began her round with a birdie three on the second after chipping in for birdie when it looked like a bogey was on the cards. That was just the impetus she needed, as she picked up two more gains before the turn.

On the 10th, she holed a long putt for birdie to get to six-under and open a five-shot lead over Dlamini. Two bogeys in a final three holes ultimately mattered little, as the 29-year-old had done enough to claim an emphatic triumph.

“It feels amazing what I was able to do today,” said Turner. “I can’t even begin to describe what this feels like. I have no control of what anyone else does, so I needed to keep the ball in play and hit greens in regulation and make my birdies.

“Once the putts started dropping, it gave me confidence. I actually holed a great putt on 10 for birdie. Everything just came together.”

The bogeys on 16 and 17, made it a slightly more nervy finish for Turner – but she said her mind-set still remained the same.

“I had my first bogey of the day on 16 and just like nine yesterday, it was because of a bad drive,” she said. ‘I almost managed to save my par, but left the putt short. 17 was just a bad three-putt – my first one of the week.

“The mind-set was the same coming down 18, hit the fairway and hit the green and I almost made my birdie.”

Turner has a category 12 exemption (meaning limited status) on the Ladies European Tour (LET), but has tasted victory once before as a professional at the 2017 Bossey Ladies event on the LET Access Series.

“This is my second win and they both sit right up there. It’s a fabulous feeling to know you’re going home with a trophy – although I’m not sure how it’s going to fit on the plane!”

The win at the Wild Coast though, will give Turner a massive confidence boost as she heads to the Cape Town Ladies Open and then the Investec South African Women’s Open in two weeks, where the winner will receive full exemption on the LET for the rest of the season.

“The SA Open will be a great springboard for any player who does well there,” Turner said. “It gives me a lot of confidence knowing I put together a lot of birdies this week, and I just need to keep that going in Cape Town.”

In response to the question why the purple shirts on the final day, Turner responded.

“I was diagnosed with epilepsy almost seven years ago. I do my bit to raise awareness for the condition and I hope to make a tradition of wearing purple in the final round, because purple is the colour for all epilepsy charities. Under Armour give me my clothing, and there are quite a few purple tee shirts. So all my final days are going to be purple, just like Tiger and his red.”

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


27th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Turner surges ahead at Wild Coast

27 February 2019 – Scot Jane Turner fired a second successive 69 to forge a two-shot lead on two-under at the summit of the leaderboard at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club on Wednesday in the second round of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International.

The Dalmahoy Hotel and Country Club player carded six birdies, including three in row from the 15th, to open a gap between herself and Nobuhle Dlamini.

The defending champion Nobuhle Dlamini is on level par following rounds of 68 and 72, three shots ahead of Chloe Williams from Wales, who returned rounds of 69 and 72.

GolfRSA Elite Squad member Kajal Mistry is in the mix for a third straight week going into the final round.

The 18-year-old Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation golfer registered a 72 to grab a share of fourth on two-over with Scottish rookie Gabrielle Macdonald and overnight leader Jessica Dreesbeimdieke. Macdonald carded 70, while the lanky Namibian battled to a second round 76.

Testament to her focus, the 29-year-old Turner was so engrossed in her round that she didn’t know she had surged ahead of the field.

“I didn’t even know I had a two-shot lead. I’ll just have to do the same tomorrow,” said Turner.

“It was pretty windy out there with strong crosswinds, but I managed to keep control over everything and I holed some really good putts. That helped me recover from the little double bogey on nine.

“I actually holed quite a long putt on the 17th, and the previous two were good approach shots. You could actually, if you were quite aggressive, reach the 16th in two. I did that and two-putted for my birdie.”

Lurking ominously though is three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Dlamini.

By her own admission, Dlamini admitted that she didn’t play her best golf in the second round, but she was confident about her chances going into the final round.

“It was a tough day today from the star to the finish. I hit a lot of greens in regulation,” said Dlamini. “It wasn’t great overall. The back nine played really tough with the South-East wind. I’ll take it though. I’m level par, and two behind and still within reach.

“There’s nothing to stress about really. I’m going to go work on my putting now, and hopefully I’ll be sharper for tomorrow.”

The 27-year-old holds second place on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, following her win in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am two weeks ago, and a fifth place finish last week at the SA Women’s Masters.

The consistent play of Dlamini has seen her remain in line for the first title defence of her career at the scene of her breakthrough victory on tour.

“I think I’ve been quite consistent even when it’s not been going so well and holding my score together. Tomorrow I’ll have to chase a little bit harder, but I’ll also need to be cautious about what is happening around me.”

For the 23-year-old Williams, meanwhile, the chance to play in the final group will be a challenge she is relishing.

“I’m really happy with my putting at the minute; it’s come a long way actually,” said the Wrexham Golf Club player. “I’ve really struggled the last 12 months and it has taken time to come right.

“My entire game has kind of been in-and-out so I’ve had to be patient. But it seems to be coming together nicely.  I’m really happy with where I am. I like being in the hunt going into the last day, rather than just trying to protect a score.

“The last time I was in the final group was over 18 months ago. I’m really looking forward to it.”

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


26th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Jessica jets to Wild Coast lead

26 February 2019 – Jessica Dreesbeimdieke scorched her way around the Wild Coast Country Club on Tuesday to open up a two-shot lead on four-under 66 in the first round of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International.

The 22-year-old University of Denver graduate made her debut on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last week at the SA Women’s Masters, and her period of adjustment seems to be over as she carded a round including five birdies in difficult wind conditions.

Dreesbeimdieke eclipsed the performance of defending champion Nobuhle Dlamini of Swaziland, who shares second alongside Scotland’s Laura Murray on two-under 68.

The international domination of the leaderboard continued down to a share of fourth on one-under 69 with three-time winner Bertine Faber tied with France’s Emilie Piquot, Chloe Williams of Wales and the Scot Jane Turner.

Dreesbeimdieke, who had a solitary bogey at the par four fifth, said a strong start to the round helped her find her stride.

“I got off to a really hot start,” said Dreesbeimdieke. “I birdied the first two holes and narrowly missed a birdie on the third. My putting was definitely a lot better today than last week. That’s really what made the difference. My ball-striking has been really consistent lately.”

The psychology and social legal studies major who now lives in Florida, USA, carded eight pars and a birdie on the back nine as the wind began to howl.

“As soon as the wind came up I was just trying to keep my pars going. It was more about managing your game than doing anything crazy. Then I happened to make a birdie on 17, which felt like a hole-in-one with the wind. I aimed 40 metres right of the pin because it was a crosswind, and it finished just left of the hole. I probably made a seven-metre putt for birdie.”

The study of psychology will come in handy in the pressure situations Dreesbeimdieke will encounter in tournament golf.

“I like to think psychology helps me with golf, but then I’d have a tendency to over analyse,” she said. “It definitely helps me with coping techniques and keeping my mind in the right place – which was a challenge when I turned pro.”

Dlamini, meanwhile, went off the 10th and had a slow start to her round with two bogeys and a birdie to turn in one-over. Coming home, the three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner clicked into gear with four birdies in five holes from the third, but signed off with a bogey at the par three eighth.

“I started quite solidly, I wasn’t putting great on the front nine, but the game plan was good,” said the big-hitting Swazi golfer. “The one birdie on 12 was good. One over was still okay on the front nine, but I played much better on my second nine.

“I’m happy to be playing here again. I like the course and I’m looking forward to the rest of the tournament, I’m quite solid and consistent. Hopefully I’ll make a few more putts.”

Murray had a fantastic day on the greens, and she made sure to thank the shortest club in her bag after her solid opening round.

“I hit the ball really nicely today, but I holed quite a few putts,” said Murray. “I seemed to get the speed of the greens pretty well. I had 26 putts out there, so I was happy with that. I must have holed a 35-footer for birdie at the first hole, so that was a bonus.”

In addition to her hot putter, the Kippie Lodge Sports and Country member has a secret weapon in her armoury this week – a vital factor in Lejan Lewthwaite’s play-off victory in the SA Women’s Masters last Saturday.

“I picked up Gilbert for this week, who was on Lejan’s bag at San Lameer and he helped me quite a few times with taking the right club,” Murrary said.

GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry, who lost to Lewthwaite at the first extra hole at San Lameer,  is not out of it, either.

The 18-year-old Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member offset three bogeys with a trio of birdies for an even-par 70 to tie for eighth with former Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kiran Matharu from England.Ends

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

 

 


25th February 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Williams wielding winning formula at Wild Coast

25 February 2019 – If recent performances are anything to go by, Kim Williams will be one of the favourites in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, which tees off at the Wild Coast Country Club on Tuesday.

Third on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit after a fourth place finish at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am two weeks ago, and a third place at the South African Women’s Masters last week, means Williams be hoping to ride her wave of form into the winners circle.

In fact, Sunday’s winner at San Lameer Country Club Leján Lewthwaite had finished third and second this season before breaking through for her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour win. The Investec golfer, who shot to number one in the rankings, is not in the line-up this week, though.

Lewthwaite departed the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Monday to make her 2019 debut on the Ladies European Tour in Australia.

Williams, meanwhile, rose to fifth in the standings and hopes that its third time lucky for her this week.

“I just need to keep doing what I have been doing the last two weeks and hopefully make a few putts,” said the Centurion Country Club golfer.

Williams grabbed a share of the 36-hole lead with Sweden’s Sofie Bringner at San Lameer. She stayed ahead of the field for most of the round, despite triple bogeys at the par three fourth and 16th holes. Those two holes cost her six shots, yet Williams ended just two shots outside the play-off for the title.

“I just need to stay patient, because these things happen. It wasn’t bad shots, but I still ended up with a triple on both par threes. I just need to stick with the processes. Hopefully I keep knocking on the door, meaning the victory is around the corner,” Williams said.

With a short turnaround between tournaments of three days, Williams took time to relax between events to keep herself fresh for another title challenge.

“I just took Sunday off, went down to the beach and relaxed. Hopefully nothing has changed from last week,” she said. “The last couple weeks I’ve been hitting my irons really nicely, so if that keeps up I’ve got a really good chance this week.”

GolfRSA Elite Squad golfer Kajal Mistry, coming off a top five finish at Fancourt and a play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters on Sunday, is looking for another hot finish in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club; Justin Klusener.

Lewthwaite beat young GolfRSA Elite Squad player Kajal Mistry on the first play-off hole by holing a monster 35-foot putt to seal victory.  The play-off with the 18-year-old Ernie Els and Foundation member drew praise from Williams, who was paired with the youngster in the final round.

“She is an amazing golfer and she has a very big future,” Williams said. “Although Kajal still has a lot to learn, she already has a fantastic game, a great temperament for the big moments and her course management is coming along great.”

Although she is not eligible for earnings, Mistry’s top four finish in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge and play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters effectively moved her to third in the Investec Order of Merit. She hopes to take the lessons learned last week to produce another top finish.

“I learned that sometimes things don’t go your way and to exercise loads of patience,” said the Randpark Golf Club player.

“That’s just the way it is. I tried my best and had a lot of fun being in contention. I haven’t done that in a while, even on the amateur circuit so it was fun.

“At the start of the day I was three back. When I lead by three shots on the amateur circuit, I know it’s nothing. One hole can change your situation quite quickly. I stick it out for the whole 18. There was never a point where I thought I couldn’t do it at San Lameer. I kept my head high the whole time.”

Mistry last played the Wild Coast Country Club at age 10, nearly eight years ago.

“I last played here when I was 10 years old. This was the course where I put my first score into the handicap system. I think I shot about 110,” she laughed. “I have good memories from here, as I’ve also stayed here on holiday.”

Not to be discounted though this week will be defending champion Nobuhle Dlamini.

The Glendower Golf Club player broke through at this event last year for her maiden victory on tour. The 27-year-old has since won twice more and rocketed to second in the Investec Property Order of Merit after her third success at Fancourt. She has also spoken of her desire for a strong title defence, and will likely factor strongly this week.

Another good bet could be Gleneagles golfer Hannah McCook. Making her professional debut last week, the 25-year-old Scot contended strongly throughout the week before finally finishing an impressive tied third alongside Williams on one-over.

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


13th December 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils 2019 schedule

Five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and 2018 Investec Property Fund Order of Merit champion Stacy Bregman; credit Michael Edwards

JOHANNESBURG, 13 December 2018 – Another bumper season awaits the leading lights of South African women’s golf, and international participants from around the globe, when the Sunshine Ladies Tour tees off in 2019.

The tour launches on 30 January, and the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open will fittingly draw the curtain on the sixth season in mid-March. The crown jewel of South African women’s golf will once again carry Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned status and boast a purse of R2 million.

“When we launched the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2014, we could not anticipate how incredibly well the circuit would be supported by players and sponsors alike,” said Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan.

“Thanks to initial investment and the ongoing commitment from Investec Property and support from the primary key stakeholders and sponsors Dimension Data, Sun International, the City of Joburg, the City of Cape Town, the City of Tshwane, SuperSport, Canon and the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, the Sunshine Ladies Tour has shown tremendous growth over the last five years.

“Participation has increased tenfold, with more than 40 international golfers playing the full circuit last year. Prize money has quadrupled from the first season, and the knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic, with many young golfers flourishing on the international stage over the past two years.

“Investec Property has been with us every step of the way since the first season and has continued to find ways to make the Sunshine Ladies Tour more attractive.

“The 2018 Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour, raised the profile of our national championship to global status. The Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, which was launched in 2018 with a bonus pay-out of R100 000 to the leading player at the end of the season, cultivated a well-supported and highly competitive circuit.

“We are confident of hosting another memorable season in 2019, culminating in the Investec South African Women’s Open in Cape Town.”

Cheryl Leicher, Head of Marketing for Investec Property, said the partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour aptly showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that the athletes are recognised for their dedication.

“We are thrilled that the Investec South African Women’s Open is a platform that can aid the promotion and growth of South African women in sport. It’s encouraging to see that our partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour is giving local players the opportunity to compete on a global stage and further the growth of the sport as we continuously strive towards building women champions,’ said Leicher.”

The 2019 season kicks off with the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at Irene Country Club from 30 January to 1 February.

The Soweto Country Club makes its first appearance on the women’s professional circuit as the host venue for the Joburg Ladies Open from 6-8 February. The Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am returns in its regular slot opposite the Dimension Data Pro-Am from 15-17 February in George.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour then swings through KwaZulu-Natal for the South African Women’s Masters at San Lameer Country Club from 21-23 February and the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club from 26-28 February.

The Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 6-8 March will precede the season-ending Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 14-16 March.

Margie Whitehouse, the returning chair of the Women’s PGA of South Africa, added:

“As the oldest and most prestigious professional women’s golf tournament since 1988, the Investec South African Women’s Open is the WPGA’s flagship event.  On this 31st anniversary, we would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to Investec Property for their sponsorship, as well as to the City of Cape Town for their continued support.

“We would also like to express our gratitude to all our other partners and sponsors as we look forward to a successful 2019 season.”

2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour Schedule
30 January – 1 February
Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open

Irene Country Club
Prize fund: R200 000

6 – 8 February
Joburg Ladies Open

Soweto Country Club
Prize fund: R500 000

15 – 17 February
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am

George Golf Club and the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Prize fund: R500 000
Pro-Am Prize Fund: R100 000

21 – 23 February
South African Women’s Masters

San Lameer Country Club
Prize fund: R250 000

26 – 28 February
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International

Wild Coast Sun Country Club
Prize fund: R400 000

6 – 8 March
Cape Town Ladies Open

Royal Cape Golf Club
Prize fund: R200 000

14 – 16 March
Investec South African Women’s Open, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour

Westlake Golf Club
Prize fund: R2 million

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2nd March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini shakes the bridesmaid tag at Wild Coast

Nobuhle Dlamini finally broke her duck on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a wire-to-wire victory in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club.

The 27-year-old Swazi golfer closed with a final round two-over 72 to capture the R400 000 event, presented by Sun International, by one shot from Lora Assad on Friday.

Dlamini was challenged by a number of players, including Assad, who posted four-under with her final round 69. Port Shepstone professional Melissa Eaton was also in contention most of the way before signing off with a three-over 73 and third place on three-under.

The significance of her triumph in the extremely windy conditions at the par 70 layout was not lost on Dlamini.
“Personally this has built me a lot. I’ve learnt about being confident, trusting what you’re doing,” said Dlamini. “I won a lot as an amateur, but it had been too long since my last win. So I needed to win to know I could still do it. It’s the beginning of a good journey for me. I hope it will open many doors in terms of sponsorships and getting into other bigger tournaments.”
Dlamini had knocked on the door plenty over the last four years in the pro ranks, but particularly this season. A fourth place finish at the Joburg Ladies Open in January and joint second at the SA Women’s Masters last week suggested the watershed moment was in her near future.

On a windswept final day at the coastal oasis her hopes turned to reality.
“I played well the first two days, but I struggled a bit today because I was a bit nervous,” she said. “I held it together and I’m absolutely ecstatic. It really means a lot to me and to everyone who has supported me. It’s been a long journey with lots of hard work. Trying to win my confidence grew, so I’m really happy that I hung in there to win.”

Dlamini has come under a lot of pressure to shake the bridesmaid tag, especially her performance at Modderfontein Golf Club. To finally go out and get the job done brought a great sense of relief.
“I kept saying I was going to win and I felt that I could win, but I just couldn’t finish it off,” Dlamini admitted. “This week I wasn’t expecting much. I just believed I’m good enough to win. That belief relaxed me. I said to myself I should just forget about the results and trust the process.”

The Swazi golfer suspected scoring would be difficult in the testing conditions.

“I didn’t know what the players ahead of us were doing, because there wasn’t too many scoreboards on the course,” she said. “I knew Lora was playing well, and she was under par, but didn’t know by how much. So I just said to myself anything close to level par should get the job done today.”
Playing into the teeth of the wind at the par four 18th, Dlamini had no idea that Assad had bogeyed the closing hole.

She carved her drive out to the right, chipped back into play but was still unable to reach the putting surface in three. Coming out the greenside bunker, she missed a 10-footer for bogey, but was able to glide in a knee-knocking three-footer to get her hands on the trophy and a paycheque of R56 000.
“I was level on 17 where I saw the leaderboard, and I thought I had a two shot lead,” Dlamini said.

“I hit driver at the middle, but the wind carried it into the rough. From there I was forced to chip out and still had a tough third shot. I thought a five was good enough, but I didn’t know what Lora had done.”

“I actually asked my caddie ‘do I have to make this putt or are two putts good enough?’ He said he wasn’t also not sure. So I then tried to make the bogey putt, but hit it too far past. But I made sure of the return.”

Dlamini will take a boat-load of confidence into next week’s Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club and not only from lifting her first trophy.

The victory catapulted her to second in the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit and she will start the Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned event less than 400 points behind Stacy Bregman, who remained at the top of the summit and moved to 1 710 points with a joint 24th place finish.

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


1st March 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Determined Dlamini knocking at SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Nobuhle Dlamini moved one step closer to her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory with a second round one-under 69 to lead by a shot from Melissa Eaton at the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, on Thursday.
Dlamini followed her brilliant opening round of six-under 64 at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club with a more subdued 18 holes on day two to get to seven-under overall, but a 69 did her quest to grab her breakthrough win no harm at all.

Sunshine Ladies Tour debutant Jessica Karlsson from Sweden carded a second round 67 to rise to five-under overall, with Lora Assad a further two strokes back after an even-par 70.
The difference in Dlamini’s scores over the two days was down to her putting.

“It was another solid round, but I just didn’t score very well,” Dlamini said. “I hit the ball really well. I didn’t putt like I did in the first round, but I’m still happy with a 69. I could have made more putts. My course management was good as well.
“I’m going to have the same approach into the final round and, if I putt better, it will be good enough. My game plan is good; my ball-striking is good. I’m still feeling confident on the greens, but I left quite a few putts short today, I had the lines right but my pace was out. In the beginning I hit them a bit hard so I tried to adjust. But the ball is running on line which is good.”
Eaton from Port Shepstone aimed to use her home-ground advantage in round three.
“I just feel at home here, with the scorers and volunteers; it’s a really good feeling. I know a lot of people are pulling for me,” said Eaton.
“In the past I’ve put too much pressure on myself and it’s been nice this year, because I haven’t been in the media as much. I’m just trying to do my thing and go about my routine like I would anywhere else. It’s been nice, though, having my family here and my twin Nicola watching me.”
Eaton had one spectacular par-save during her round at the par three 11th. She was forced to stand in the middle of a bush to take her stance and was able to take a swing at it, and proceeded to bang in the putt from around 10 feet for par.
“I misfired at the wrong target and it almost cost me a lot there,” said the Parkview assistant golf director. “I luckily found my ball and had a swing and I was fortunate to be able to chop it out and save par. That was big turning point for me in the round. I felt like things were going my way and I just needed to flow with that.”
Despite a moderate first round, Eaton said she feels she is close to recording a really good score.
“The conditions were a little easier to begin with today, but it is moving day for us on day two. You need to try and get up a bit further on the leaderboard. We started off early and I just felt good. I knew yesterday I played very well but the score didn’t quite show. I knew if I just continued with that frame of mind it would work, and it did.”
As for her approach on Friday with the title on the line, Eaton said the confidence gained from a top joint second place finish in the SA Women’s Masters would serve her well.
“Tomorrow I’m just going to keep the same mind-set and belief in myself and try to hit the right shot at the right time. I can’t control other players, just my own game.”
Investec Property Fund Order of Merit leader Stacy Bregman ground out a two-over 72 to go with her opening 73. The Canon Ladies Tshwane Open champion finished on five-over in a tie for 24th and made the cut by two.

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


28th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini sizzles at SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Nobuhle Dlamini laid down the gauntlet with a scorching six-under 64 at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club to open up a three-shot lead in the first round of the R400 000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, on Wednesday.

The big-hitting Swazi golfer had to recover from a triple-bogey six on the par three-sixth, but she did this in scintillating style, firing nine birdies on a hot and windy day on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast.
South African Lora Assad slipped into solo second place on three-under 67, while five players share third on two-under including South Africa’s Kim Williams. Sweden’s Jessica Karlsson, Norwegian Stina Resen, and English duo Rachael Goodall and Kiran Matharu.

Still searching for her a Sunshine Ladies Tour breakthrough, the 26-year-old Dlamini has battled slow starts to tournaments this season.

Her best opening day came last week at the SA Women’s Masters where she shot 71, and her next lowest first round was a 75. Starting tournaments better is something that Dlamini has been working on, and that work has clearly begun to pay dividends.
“I’ve basically adopted a more laid-back approach; a ‘don’t force it’ mentality,” said Dlamini after her round.
“I just try to relax a bit more and not stress over each shot too much. If I hit the green that’s great, but if I missed a green, I always felt I could get it up-and-down. That was my approach. I can chip, I can putt, I can hit fairways.”
Dlamini was two-under after four holes with birdies at two and four.

After dropping to one-over on the signature par-three sixth she responded with a pair of birdies at seven and eight. With just her fourth par of the loop coming at the ninth, an unremarkable one-under 34 took her through the turn.

“I made a triple on six when I hit it left in the bush,” said Dlamini. “Unfortunately it wasn’t a hazard so I had to go back to the tee box. I left it just short of the green and two-putted from there. But I still had many holes to recover.”

Coming home, Dlamini was flawless with her first gain coming at 10, before three in a row from the par five 12th.
Her ninth and final red number of the round came at the par five 16th as she opened up a gap on the field with a closing nine of five-under 30.

“I’m quite chuffed with myself for shooting the score I did,” said Dlamini. “I’ve been hitting it well for quite some time now, but not being able to make the putts. Let’s just say, the putting assisted my score a lot.

“It got tough on the back nine. There were a lot of changes in club choice, but I always missed in the right positions. I’m quite happy. I gave myself easy lines and I didn’t have many putts with big breaks in them.

“I had such a good round today. I hit the ball really well. I had such good control over my shots. I putted well tool. I was always in play as I only missed one fairway. I was just playing fairway-greens, and if the putt drops I’m happy.”

Her ball-striking was excellent, but her putting was outstanding.

“I had 25 putts today. For me that’s good because I’ve been averaging 33. My pace was good today. These greens suit me. They’re a bit slow, but I adjusted to it during the round. I hit a couple short in the beginning, but got into it as the round went on.”

Assad, meanwhile, had an even better ball striking performance which helped her rise into contention.

“I didn’t miss a green today. I struggled with the ball bouncing around a bit on the greens because they’re slow,” said the Johannesburg golfer. “I’m playing really well at the moment. I don’t normally play well at the coast, but I was good today. The wind is a bit gusty out there.”

With the SuperSport Ladies Challenge being the penultimate event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour 2018 season, Assad wished the tour would continue its growth.

“I don’t want the tour to end. It’s my first time playing a full schedule here and it’s a lovely tour. It’s just perfect. I love the people, I love being in South Africa. I haven’t been home for a long time and I really with the tour was longer.”

Dlamini – fourth on the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit – is hoping to make up ground on the points leader Stacy Bregman.

The five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Bregman is having her best season to date, but struggled with a first round three-over 73 for a tie for 24th. Bregman has 1635 points at the summit of the Order of Merit from four events, with Dlamini a ways behind with 822 points after five tournaments.

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