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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28th January 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Myeki relishing pro debut in Cape Town Ladies Open
28 January 2020 – Coming off a glittering amateur career, former GolfRSA Protea Zethu Myeki is relishing her debut in the professional ranks on home soil in this week’s Cape Town Ladies Open, hosted by the City of Cape Town.
With 12-time champion Lee-Anne Pace spearheading the challenge, former number two ranked Myeki will further enhance the strong field in the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour opener at King David Mowbray Golf Club from 29-31 January.
“I played in some events over the last two years as an amateur and the competition is fierce,” said the Randpark golfer. “It really tests your ability and character and it will be a stern examination me, but I am really excited to get my pro career underway.
“Thanks to GolfRSA, Women’s Golf South Africa, Ladies Golf Gauteng and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, I had a lot of opportunities to gain experience. I made a lot of steps in my amateur career and I feel well prepared to take the next step.”
Mdantane-born Myeki became the first black golfer to earn national colours in 2016 when she represented South Africa in the All-Africa Challenge Trophy in Tunisia and she proudly wore the green and gold on six more occasions, going out in style with a top nine finish in the Girls Competition at the 2019 Spirit International in the United States.
After completing a Golf Club Management degree through the Club Managers Association of America at the end of last year, the 26-year-old decided to join former South African Golf Development Board stable-mates Yolanda and Siviwe Duma on the premier women’s professional circuit in Africa.
“This is probably the most challenging step of my career, but the way I played last year has given me a lot of confidence,” Myeki said.
“Being part of the GolfRSA Elite Squad gave me exposure to so many benefits. I have been working with Costanza Trussoni on my game for about two years now and I am striking the ball better than I have done in years.
“My short game is dependable and I feel very confident with the putter in my hand. I am also making better decisions on the course. I am able to stay in the moment and play shot-for-shot. I can concentrate on my own shots. I don’t think playing with professionals will intimidate me.
“I don’t expect to come out guns blazing, but I have set myself some targets for the season. I hope to learn and improve over the next few weeks to take an A-Game to the Investec SA Women’s Open at Westlake in March.”
Myeki hopes the opening chapter of her professional career at King David Mowbray’s 5,622 metre, par 72 course goes off smoothly.
“I haven’t played this course before, which is a bit daunting, but I was happy to see that it has a similar layout to Westlake, Royal Cape and Clovelly, which I’ve played many times before. It’s very tight and tree-lined, and you will have to manage your game really well off the tees. Driving is one of my strengths, so hopefully that will work to my advantage,” she said.
“I think I will probably have a few butterflies in my stomach on the first tee, but if I approach it as just another tournament, I should do just fine. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Myeki will not be the only first-timer making her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut this week.
Former SA Women’s Amateur champion Cara Gorlei, Michaela Fletcher, Tara Griebenow, Luzelle Booysen and Cassidy Booysens will also have the opportunity to play alongside the cream of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, with Pace, last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini, 2019 Jabra Ladies Classic champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France and former winners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Kim Williams, Lejan Lewthwaite and SuperSport Ladies Challenge champion Jane Turner all in action this week.
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
12th February 2018 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
SA Women’s Masters among Myeki’s major targets in 2018
A victory to start her 2018 season. A new golf union and home course. A new home in Gauteng. These are some of the bold moves Zethu Myeki made at the start of the year as she prepares to write a new chapter in her golfing career.
Myeki celebrated New Year in her native East London, but three weeks into the year, the 24-year-old amateur moved to Randpark, joined Ladies Golf Gauteng and became a member at Randpark Golf Club.
In early February, Myeki flew to Port Elizabeth and returned with Eastern Province Championship trophy.
Having lost the Border Championship title to Swiss amateur Chloe Grand by one shot last year, she’ll be out for blood at East London Golf Club this weekend. And then she is targeting the amateur prize at the SA Women’s Masters at San Lameer from 22-24 February.
“I played really well in the first two rounds of the South African Women’s Open at San Lameer last year, but I threw it all away with an 87 in the final round,” said South Africa’s number three ranked amateur. “I’m going back to KwaZulu-Natal with a much better mind-set, more experience and a much more all-round game, so I’m feeling positive about my chances.
The six-stroke victory at Port Elizabeth Golf Club in early February followed success in the Mpumalanga Open last November.
At the end of a frustrating 2017 season – punctuated by four runner-up finishes and six further top five placings – Myeki celebrated a three shot victory captured at Ermelo Golf Club. And the good run of form continued at Sun City where, a week later, she outpaced the professional field in the Sun PinkStig Finale on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at the Gary Player Country Club to finish third overall.
For the last two seasons, the Border golfer maintained her third place ranking in the Womens Golf South Africa Senior Rankings, but she has set herself some lofty goals for 2018.
She is targeting a few more trophies to get her to the top spot, hence the move to Gauteng.
“My biggest goal is to complete my studies,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member, who just started her third year studying Golf Club Management through the Club Managers Association of America.
“My second goal is to shoot for the number one spot in the rankings. To give myself a realistic chance to get to number two, and then number one, I had to make this move. I have had the most amazing support from the moment I joined the South African Golf Development Board under their head coach Michelle de Vries 11 years ago and I’ll never be able to repay Michelle or the SAGDB for all they did for me to give me a career in golf.
“But to reach number one, I need to compete more frequently. I need to raise my game and I need to play against stronger competition. It was a really hard decision to leave East London, my family and friends and everything that is familiar to me, but I’ve done the best thing for my career. With the support of the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation and Ladies Golf Gauteng, I believe I can succeed.”
Myeki relocated just before the first GolfRSA Elite Squad camp at Bryanston Country Club.
“I gain so much from the camps and this time, in particular,” she said. “I’d really been struggling with my swing. Our National Coach Val Holland and my new coach Constanza Trussoni identified some of the issues and I was able to work on my swing before the Eastern Province Champs.
“It wasn’t 100 percent when I arrived in Port Elizabeth and I struggled to hit the ball with confidence. My short game saved me, though. I made so many great up-and-downs and sand-saves and I putted really well. It felt really great to win after losing the last two years by one shot.
“All-in-all, I am in a really good place. I have the backing of GolfRSA, Womens Golf South Africa and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation. I have a good home with Judy (Katzenellenbogen) and my studies are going well. I’ve been welcomed by Ladies Golf Gauteng and Randpark Golf Club. I’ve enlisted a new coach. Everything is in place and I set the tone for my season in Port Elizabeth. I’m ready to face all the challenges 2018 will bring.”