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27th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Is Dlamini the player to beat in Cape Town?

27 January 2020 – In-form Nobuhle Dlamini will be bidding for a second Investec Order of Merit title when she launches her 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour season  in the Cape Town Ladies Open this week.

The R200 000 season-opener, hosted by the City of Cape Town for a sixth successive year, will be contested at King David Mowbray Golf Club from 29-31 January.

Coming off a superb showing in the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in Spain, few would bet against the big-hitting eSwatini golfer starting her seventh season in the pro ranks on a winning note.

As an amateur, Dlamini was a dominant force, but she struggled to transition to the pro ranks.

The pedigree was there, though. She racked up 16 top 10 finishes over the first three years and finally broke her professional duck at the Sun SuperSport Ladies Challenge in 2018.

The self-belief that took her to number two in the amateur world rankings came flooding back and a wave of confidence propelled Dlamini to the top of the standings in 2019.

She won the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am and Joburg Ladies Open, had runner-up finishes in the Jabra Ladies Classic and SuperSport Ladies Challenge and confirmed her dominance with further success in the Investec Royal Swazi Ladies and victory in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Ladies Final.

Dlamini said the key to her overnight success was simple. She didn’t try so hard.

“I’ve been hitting the ball for a very long time and I was just waiting for a break, but I was also trying to force things all the time. I just decided to stop forcing it. I focused on letting the winning come through the process. As a result, I was much more relaxed and the trophies started piling up,” Dlamini said at the end of the 2019 season.

“My mistake when I turned pro was that I tried to change and get my game perfect. But you are not perfect. My advice to any amateur out there would be to not try to change too much. As an amateur, you get to where you are because it works, so don’t change when you turn pro.”

That self-belief – illustrated most emphatically at Fancourt, where she drained a 25-footer at the final hole in the last round with authority to win the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – was on display once again in Spain.

Dlamini took her blistering form to Europe, but playing on a limited card proved frustrating. She struggled to build momentum with sporadic starts and weeks off between events and narrowly missed the top 80 cut-off at the end of the 2019 on the Ladies European Tour (LET) season.

Forced to make a return trip to Q-School this January, she landed a top 10 spot with an opening round of 71 on the South Course at the Real Golf La Manga Club and kept her foot on the pedal throughout the gruelling 90-hole test to clinch her card for 2020 with a top eight finish.

With her future in Europe secure, Dlamini has set some lofty goals for 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour – a second Investec Order of Merit title and the ultimate prize: in the season-finale Investec South African Women’s Open at West Lake Golf Club in March.

After a week of challenging weather conditions in Spain, the infamous Cape Town South Easter could further strengthen her chances.

Dlamini won the SA Women’s Amateur Championship in a windy 36-hole final at Royal Cape in 2009. She went wire-to-wire at Umhlali Country Club in even more blustery conditions to lift the 2012 SA Women’s Stroke Play title. She braved gale force conditions at the Wild Coast Sun for her maiden success on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. And gusty conditions put a premium on her skills in the wind during both of her victory marches on the Vodacom Origins of Golf Tour last year.

“Windy conditions doesn’t worry me,” said the 27-year-old.

“You have to play the holes into the wind well. On the other holes, if it comes off the side or from behind, you can use it to your advantage. King David Mowbray is a tight course and heavily tree-lined. The greens usually roll true and have a nice speed. You just have to keep the ball in play. The course isn’t that long and if you are hitting it well, you can score. The key this week to winning is fairways, greens and a hot putter.”

To get the first win in the bag though, Dlamini will have to stave off some stiff competition all seeking a winning start in the City of Cape Town.

Former LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace is hunting a hat-trick of Cape Town Ladies Open titles and last year’s Jabra Ladies Classic champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France hopes to convert successive runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019 into gold, while former Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Kim Williams and Jane Turner from Wales, and reigning SA Women’s Masters champion Lejan Lewthwaite are also primed to pose a significant challenge.

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

 

 

 


17th December 2019 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour poised for glorious run in 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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