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9th April 2024 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Confident Cara eyes Jabra Ladies Classic title

EDENVALE, Gauteng – Some subtle swing changes have seen Cara Gorlei jack up her game and the former amateur star from Cape Town is looking forward to contending strongly at this week’s Jabra Ladies Classic that tees off at Glendower Golf Club on Wednesday.

This is the final Sunshine Ladies Tour event before the lucrative co-sanctioned tournaments – the Joburg Ladies Open at Modderfontein and the SA Women’s Open at Erinvale – and Gorlei is also honing her game before she returns to campaigning full-time on the Ladies European Tour.

In between her LET commitments, the 28-year-old has finished tied-fifth in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt and last week she showed ominous form as she fired a 66 in the final round to finish third in the Absa Ladies Invitational at Serengeti.

It is that sense that the changes to her swing are now bedded in and the similarities between Serengeti and Glendower that have Gorlei approaching the R1 million Jabra Ladies Classic with confidence.

“My coach, Doug Wood, and I have been working on some new moves, basically just my positions in my swing and where I need to be, and that seems to be coming a bit more naturally to me now,” Gorlei, a former SA Women’s Amateur champion, said.

“So I’m looking forward to playing the Jabra Ladies Classic this week and hopefully I can keep that momentum from the last day at Serengeti. Glendower is the same sort of course in the sense that you have to hit the fairways. The rough at Serengeti was super-thick and it can be pretty long at Glendower as well. With all the rain around, it could also be wet, so the course will play a bit longer, but we experienced that at Serengeti, so that won’t be something new,” Gorlei said.

The last two tournaments have seen the very fabric of the Sunshine Ladies Tour change with first Gabrielle Venter and then Casandra Alexander breaking the stranglehold overseas golfers had on the winner’s podium. Now, as the series stands poised to be woven into the Ladies European Tour, the foreign golfers are bound to push hard again for the top spots.

But just as Gorlei, 10th on the Investec Order of Merit, raised her game at the end of the Absa Ladies Invitational, she says she is ready to push even harder as the South African campaign heads to its conclusion.

“For the first couple of events, the top South African golfers had other LET events that took them overseas, but now we are back and really keen to perform at home. I have a real drive to get that win.

“Any competitive golf helps and it’s nice to get a lot of rounds in before we start travelling again. After Modderfontein and the SA Open, we go to Korea. Germany and France, and it’s a long stretch of tournaments. But it’s nice to be at home because you can go and put the work in with your coach and there are other aspects that are good too,” Gorlei said.

South Africans have won five of the eight Jabra Ladies Classic tournaments played at Glendower, but the patterns of overseas success this season is shown on the Investec Order of Merit, where Scotland’s Kylie Henry leads and German Helen Kreuzer and Tvesa Malik of India are all in the top-five.

Alexander (6th) is the defending champion at Glendower, while Venter (2nd) and Lee-Anne Pace (3rd) should also be strong South African contenders.