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22nd April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Fletcher eyes maiden win at Sun City

22 April 2021 – Maritzburg’s Michaela Fletcher produced a stunning seven-under-par 65 on Thursday to lead a Sunshine Ladies Tour event for the first time in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, at Sun City.

The 25-year-old former Memphis Tigers standout fired eight birdies at the Gary Player Country Club to set the early clubhouse target at four-under, before Nobuhle Dlamini joined her at the summit.

Having offset two bogeys and a double at the par-three 13th with five birdies, a gain on the par four 17th saw the 2018 champion sign for a round of 70, and a share of pole position.

Fletcher began the second round six shots adrift of overnight leader Caitlyn Macnab on three-under, but she began chipping away at the deficit with birdies on the third and fourth holes. Another brace of birdies on the eighth and ninth holes saw her turn four-under.

Superb iron-play on the par fours – 12, 13 and 14 – set her up for three further gains, but she lost a shot to the field her first bogey of the day at the short 16th.

“I made a right mess of that hole, but ’m happy that I amends with a birdie finish,” said Fletcher. “It was a really good round. I struck the ball really well both rounds, but the difference was that the putts dropped today.”

Fletcher was the first Tigers women’s golfer to advance to the NCAA Championships, doing so in 2015. She was also a two-time NCAA Regional qualifier during her four year stint at the University of Memphis.

She joined the pro ranks on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last year. “I had a fantastic time at college, but I was really ready to turn pro,” said Fletcher, who ranked 15th in the Investec Order of Merit after scoring top 20 finishes in her seven starts.

“I had planned to return to the United States to build experience on the feeder circuits, but when the country went into the hard lockdown after the Investec South African Women’s Open in March, I had to switch gears.

“It was a blow, for sure, but I used the time to work on a major swing change at the small driving range back home. Putting in the time and the hard work was worth it. It worked out for the best in the end. Once I was happy with my swing, I took a complete break from golf for six weeks so I could really relax and I then I started preparing for the 2021 season.

“Big ups to the Sunshine Ladies Tour for getting the season together in the midst of everything that is happening. It’s so awesome to back out playing competitively again.”

Fletcher will now face the biggest challenge of her young career as she looks to hold off the chasing pack, led by the big-hitting eSwatini golfer and Macnab, who registered a 73 to finish in third place on two-under.

“I learned at college to accept that I can’t control what the other players do,” Fletcher said. “Nobby and Cat are both big-hitters; they can pull out the driver on a lot of holes. I am shorter off the tee, but I hit a lot of fairways and greens, so I have to play to my strengths, stick to my game plan and stay in my own head-space. If I can do that well, I have a chance to win.”

Last year’s runner-up Tandi McCallum, LPGA champion Lee-Anne Pace and Dane Linette Holmslykke are also still in with a shout.

Parkview’s McCallum is level after 36 holes after carding 73 in round two, while Pace and Holmslykke posted respective rounds of 72 and 71 to tie for fifth on one-over.

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

21st April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Dlamini chasing Macnab at Sun City

21 April 2021 – Reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab carried her imperious winning form from the Jabra Ladies Classic to the Pilansberg, where she edged out Nobuhle Dlamini for the round one lead in the Ladies SuperSport Challenge, presented by Sun International.

Macnab lived up to the billing as one of the headline acts at Sun City, carding a three-under-par opening round 69 at the Gary Player Country Club, but former champion Dlamini is in hot pursuit, just one shot off the pace.

Last year’s runner-up, Tandi McCallum, opened with a one-under 71 to sit alone in third, with Anna Magnusson from Sweden and seasoned French campaigner Astrid Vayson De Pradenne tied for fourth on level par. Lee-Anne Pace and former SA Long Drive champion Lenanda van der Watt share sixth, a further shot adrift.

Defending champion Lejan Lewthwaite opened with a three-over-par 75 and is six off the pace.

Big-hitting Dlamini is starting to hit the form that saw her rack up victories in the Joburg Ladies Open and Dimension Data Ladies Challenge last season, and brought her close to winning the 2020 Investec Order of Merit title.

The eSwatini golfer enjoyed her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour success in the 2018 edition at the Wild Coast Sun Country Club. Three years earlier she was finished second at the Lost City Golf Course and in 2019, was the runner-up again at the Wild Coast.

Dlamini also wore the bridesmaid’s tag in the 2016 Sun International Ladies Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club and she once again showed her affinity for this tournament – and the championship layout – with a solid 70 that featured two dropped shots and four birdies

“I’m pleased with the round; the set-up is tough and there was a couple of tricky pins. If you offered me a two under of the start of the round, I would have taken it,” said Dlamini. “No real drama. I hit it well off the tees and my iron-play was good, but I could have putted better.

“I can’t hit driver off the tee on many holes because of the set-up, but I am striking it well, so I might get a little more aggressive with my approach shots tomorrow.”

Caitlyn Macnab during round one of the SuperSport Ladies Classic, presented by Sun International, at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City, South Africa.
Image: Petri Oeschger

Macnab, meanwhile, is riding a wave of confidence after a top four finish in the season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open and an eight-shot triumph at Glendower last week, where she became the first amateur winner of the pro women’s golf circuit since Ashleigh Buhai in 2007.

The Texas Christian University-bound teenager’s 69 came courtesy of three birdies on the back nine.

“I had a solid start with two good birdies, but I made silly bogeys on nine and 10,” she said. “I took 5-iron off the tee on nine and the club slipped out of my hand. I was completely out of position, and had to hit a massive hook. I had a mud ball and the ball didn’t come out well. My chip came out hot and I missed the putt. It wasn’t a bad bogey. I hit a good drive and a decent second on 10. I had a lengthy putt and smashed my first putt way past and missed the return.

“Other than those two holes, it was solid. I only missed the fairway once, on the final hole. Actually, I missed one more, but I was only a foot off so I’m not counting it. The rough is really thick, so hitting fairways was key to me scoring so well on a course like this. My swing is also improving; I’m starting to hit the shots and the shapes that I want to.”

Macnab is feeling confident, but also realises that things can change quickly.

“Confidence is a funny thing. Yes, I have an expectation to win events, but my bigger expectation is to give it all that I can; always 100%. When you’re hitting good shots and playing good rounds, your confidence builds. You don’t feel so restricted. You can hit the ball much more freely and play the shots you want to play. For me it also means I can be more creative and when I can play like that, I feel like I’m playing my best golf.”

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

20th April 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Lewthwaite set for Sun City defence

20 April 2021 – Lejan Lewthwaite will draw on fond memories of the Gary Player Country Club to spark a return to winning form when she takes up her title defence in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, presented by Sun International, on Wednesday.

The Serengeti golfer lifted her second Sunshine Ladies Tour trophy at Sun City last year after edging out Tandi McCallum with a birdie at the first play-off hole.

“Sun City brings back a lot of happy memories and I can’t wait to defend my title,” Lewthwaite said.

“The Gary Player Country Club is a fantastic venue and remains one of my favourite courses in the world. It’s steeped in history and I was so thrilled to add my name to a winner’s list with so many legends of the game who have won at the Gary Player.

“Last year’s win delivered a huge shot of confidence and definitely helped me to the winner’s circle a week later in Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt. It’s always great to return to a place that sparks positive memories, because it gives you a psychological lift. I have no doubt that the Gary Player Country Club will do that for me this week.”

Starting with her own first round playing partners, Lewthwaite knows she will have to stave off some pretty stiff competition to go back-to-back on the iconic championship course.

Four-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Marianne Skarpnord from Norway tasted success on South African soil with her 2013 triumph in the South African Women’s Open and will be looking for a fast start to her 2021 campaign, while GolfRSA No. 1 amateur Caitlyn Macnab impressed with a runaway eight-shot victory in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower last week.

The field is further awash with seasoned winners, led by LPGA Tour champion Lee-Anne Pace.

Multiple Sunshine Ladies Tour titleholders Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman, Monique Smit, Kim Williams, eSwatini’s Nobuhle Dlamini and Jane Turner from Scotland will be gunning for a first win this season, as will England’s Florentyna Parker and Anne-Lise Caudal from France, both former winners on the LET circuit.

Some of the new kids on the block have also signalled their intent to level up this season, with Manon Gidali from France breaking her duck in the season-opening Cape Town Ladies Open.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure coming in as the defending champion,” Lewthwaite said. “It has taken a while to get the rust off after the long lay-off due to the pandemic, but I am happy with the progress I’m making.

“No doubt I have my job cut out to defend my title, but I know how to keep my head down and shut out the world. I am able to stay in the moment and in my own head-space and that is how I approach every tournament round.”

After taking the leading amateur honours with a runner-up finish in the 2015 South African Women’s Open, the former US Collegiate NCAA Division one golfer cut teeth on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2016 and she is excited to see so many younger players making strides this season.

“You always want to see the cream rise to the top, but it has been an exciting season so far with two new winners stepping up,” said the Investec golfer. “It great to see up-and-coming pros like Cara Gorlei, Lindi Coetzee, Kelsey Nicholas, Michaela Fletcher and Katerina Vlasinova from the Czech Republic putting in some strong performances.

“It’s a fantastic result for the Sunshine Ladies Tour. A year ago, I was one of those new faces who raised my game and broke through the ranks. It signals that the tour is achieving its goal to encourage and empower the younger generation to soar to new heights.

“I may have won three times, but I’m still a relative newcomer on the Ladies European Tour, so I am also embracing all the opportunities the Sunshine Ladies Tour is offering us to help us reach the next level.”

The defending champion would love to become the first South African to bag the Investec hat-trick this season.

“Just imagine taking home the R100 000 Investec Order of Merit, the winner’s share of the €200 000 Investec South African Women’s Open and the R100 000 Investec Homegrown Award, which is a new incentive this year for a South African winner in the SA Women’s Open,” she said.

“It would be an incredible achievement and a massive cash injection to help cover all the travel expenses. I definitely have my eye on the prize and a win this week will go a long way in getting me closer to that target.”

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



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


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

6th February 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

More play-off delight for Lewthwaite at Sun City

6 February 2020 – Lejan Lewthwaite drew on all her experience to clinch the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International title in a play-off against Tandi McCallum at Sun City on Thursday.

It was a fourth playoff success for Lewthwaite, after winning her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title last year at San Lameer in the SA Women’s Masters. That followed two victories on the men’s IGT Challenge Tour in sudden death against the male professionals in 2018.

“I absolutely drew on my experiences,” said the Investec golfer Lewthwaite, who birdied the first extra hole to lift her second Sunshine Ladies Tour trophy at the Gary Player Country Club.  “I don’t know what it is about playoffs, but it just fuels me to perform and stick to my guns. I’m over the moon to have four out of four playoff wins.”

The pair tied for the lead on six-under at the end of regulation play after Lewthwaite carded rounds of 66, 71 and 73 and McCallum shot 67, 71 and 72 at the challenging par-72 layout.

In the ensuing play-off, Lewthwaite was rock solid.

“The nines were switched around at the Gary Player, so we actually played the par five ninth in the play-off. Tandi drove it down the middle, and I hit my drive down the right. My ball was actually sitting down quite badly, but it was always going to be a lay-up,” said the Serengeti golfer, who celebrates her 29th birthday next week.

“I just wedged it out the rough, and she hit her second into the right rough. I went first with the approach and hit a really solid wedge to about 10-foot. Tandi’s third came up short in the water. I holed my birdie putt to her bogey to take the win.”

McCallum fired four birdies in a row from the fifth during regulation play and had built a four-shot lead on 10-under after 12 holes. However, a costly double bogey five on 13, followed by bogeys on 16 and 17, dropped her back to six-under.

Lewthwaite, meanwhile, was steady with 15 pars, two bogeys and a birdie to retain a share of the lead for a third successive day.

“I wasn’t paying too much attention to Nobby or Tandi’s games. I played quite a lot with Nobuhle last year and we had a little bit of a rivalry going. I found myself paying too much attention to her game at times, and losing focus of my own.

“I actually tried my best to not watch them hit their shots. So that was quite a different approach I took on today which seemed to pay off. I thought three-under would have been a good score today, but a couple holes in, my caddy said that if I shot even-par, I’d be right up there. If I had shot level, I would have won without needing a playoff.”

Meanwhile former SA number 1 ranked amateur Woo-Ju Son made an impressive start to her professional career on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. The pint-sized South Korean rookie registered rounds of 72, 72 and 69 to tie last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini for third on three-under.

Lee-Anne Pace, fresh off her 25th career win in the Cape Town Ladies Open, birdied the 17th and made an albatross at the final hole for a 69 to finish alone in fifth on two-under.

It was the first time Lewthwaite went wire-to-wire to win. She led the first round on six-under with Stacy Bregman and shared the 36-hole lead with Dlamini on seven-under after the first two days at the Lost City Golf Course. “I’m very happy to have kept my lead. It was something new for me because I had never been in the lead of a tournament going into the final round. I was proud of the way I handled myself by keeping my nerve and staying patient,” she said.

The Ladies European Tour player said the win would do wonders for her confidence.

“There’s still a lot I want to achieve on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I got my first win last year and now this one, but I really wanted to build on that. This one means a lot and the more wins you have, the more experience you gain and you have more tools to draw on going forward.”

Lewthwaite will be looking to go one better than her runner-up finish last year when she tees it up in the R600 000 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at George Golf Club, starting on Valentines Day next week.

“Then it’s back to San Lameer to defend my SA Women’s Masters title and then I’m going to try and win the new Canon Serengeti Par3 Challenge at my home course,” Lewthwaite said. “It’s an exciting new concept and it should be a lot of fun and highly competitive.”

From Serengeti the Sunshine Ladies Tour travels to Soweto Country Club for the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open (26-28 February), followed by the R600 000 Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club (4-6 March) before the players head back to the City of Cape Town for the Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club from 12-14 March. The season-finale is co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and carries prize money of €200 000 (approximately R4-million).

“Then I’m heading to the Royal Greens Golf and Country Club for the Saudi Ladies Championship on the Ladies European Tour, and then I’ll take a very hard-earned break,” Lewthwaite said.


Final Result

All competitors RSA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as AMA

210 – Lejan Lewthwaite 66 71 73

210 – Tandi McCallum 67 71 72

213 – Woo-Ju Son (KOR) 72 72 69, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 68 69 76

214 – Lee-Anne Pace 71 74 69

215 – Emie Peronnin (FRA) 70 73 72, Stacy Bregman 66 74 75, Nicole Garcia 72 68 75

216 – Astrid Vayson De Pradenne (FRA) 74 70 72

217 – Lindi Coetzee 70 74 73

219 – Monique Smit 74 76 69, Kim Williams 71 72 76

222 – Jordy LaBarbera (USA) 75 75 72, Zethu Myeki 71 74 77

223 – Jane Turner (SCO) 68 73 82

224 – Catherine Lau 72 71 81

225 – Brittney-Fay Berger 75 74 76, Larissa Du Preez (a) 71 76 78

226 – Marion Duvernay (FRA) 73 77 76, Kyle Roig (PUR) 72 77 77

227 – Casandra Hall 72 73 82

228 – Michaela Fletcher 71 79 78, Cara Gorlei 74 76 78

230 – Tara Griebenow 74 72 84

231 – Hannah Arnold (USA) 71 78 82

232 – Lauren Taylor (ENG) 78 75 79, Francesca Cuturi 76 75 81, Clara Pietri (SUI) 76 75 81, Lenanda van der Watt 74 76 82

234 – Shawnelle de Lange 74 80 80

236 – Ivanna Samu 82 73 81




PHOTOS: Serengeti golfer Lejan Lewthwaite is four-for-four in play-off victories after defeating Tandi McCallum for the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International title at the Gary Player Country Club at Sun City. Credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.


NOTE – These images are the free to use. Please credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Action photos from the SuperSport Ladies Challenge for editorial use can be downloaded at:



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