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4th December 2023 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils a season of opportunity

South African golf will have one of its most inclusive seasons in history with the 2024 Sunshine Ladies Tour set to feature a strong schedule of its own as well as representation on the men’s Sunshine Tour.

The upcoming Sunshine Ladies Tour season will consist of nine tournaments running from February to April 2024, two of which will be co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour and with live coverage on SuperSport.

Added to this, the winners of each of these events as well as the overall Order of Merit champion will earn a place with the men in the Sunshine Tour’s new Waterfall City Tournament of Champions powered by Attacq where they will compete for a first prize of R1 million at Royal Johannesburg Golf Club’s East Championship Course from 2-5 May 2024.

It’s another significant step in the ongoing drive towards equal opportunity within South African professional golf and builds on the 2023 Vodacom Origins of Golf Series on the Sunshine Tour where the leading Sunshine Ladies Tour professionals competed in the same tournament as the Sunshine Tour professionals for the same prize money.

“The strength of South African professional golf lies in our collective strength to create a product that showcases our diversity as a country capable of producing champions in the men’s and women’s game,” said Thomas Abt, Commissioner of the Sunshine Tour and speaking on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“We are privileged to have sponsors and partners who share this vision with us and which allows us to not only put together a strong independent Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule, but also to incorporate the strength of both our tours into a unified product that offers greater value to the professionals, the fans and to our sponsors.”

The 2024 Sunshine Ladies Tour will be anchored by two co-sanctioned tournaments with the Ladies European Tour – the Joburg Ladies Open at Modderfontein Golf Club from 18-21 April and the season-ending Investec South African Women’s Open at Erinvale Golf Estate from 25-28 April.

The schedule will tee off with the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt from 16-18 February and will also include the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International at the Lost City Golf Course from 21-23 February, the Sunshine Ladies Tour Invitational from 6-8 March at a venue still to be confirmed, the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club from 13-15 March, and the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 10-12 April.

There are also two new events on the schedule in March and April which will be announced at a later date. 

16-18 February: Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am – Fancourt
21-23 February: SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International – Lost City Golf Course
6-8 March: Sunshine Ladies Tour Invitational – Venue TBC
13-15 March: Cape Town Ladies Open – Royal Cape Golf Club
23 March: New Tournament TBA – Venue TBC
4-6 April: New Tournament TBA – Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate
10-12 April: Jabra Ladies Classic – Glendower Golf Club
18-21 April: Joburg Ladies Open – Modderfontein Golf Club (co-sanctioned with LET)
25-28 April: Investec South African Women’s Open – Erinvale Golf Estate (co-sanctioned with LET)

10th February 2023 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Relaxed Humphreys takes Fancourt lead

10 February 2023 – England’s Lily May Humphreys took advantage of the distractions provided by the format of the R2.5-million Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am on Friday to card a four-under-par 68 to take the first-round lead of the 54-hole tournament.

Humphreys played her round on the Outeniqua layout in the opening round at Fancourt and made four birdies without dropping a shot. She reckoned it had much to do with the fact that she, like all the pros, was partnered up with an amateur.

“It’s a nice atmosphere, quite relaxed,” said the 20-year-old Humphreys, who won the Golf Flanders Trophy Ladies European Tour Access Series in 2021 to help her earn her Ladies European Tour card for 2022.

“You’re wanting to help your amateurs, so you kind of do your best for them. My playing partner told me at the start of the round that she’s just a beginner, but Anusha (Ramraj) and I had a lot of fun. You are invested in them the whole time, and that makes it easier to get away from your own game. They are not as serious as we are; they are relaxed and just chatting, and it’s makes for a nice change.”

Humphreys had a lone birdie on the third on the front nine, and the other three on the homeward nine came on the 11th, 14th and 17th holes. “The birdie on three was good,” she said. “I didn’t hit the best drive and I left myself quite far in. I hit a nice seven-iron to about 12 feet and rolled it in.

“The one on 14 was quite good too, because it was unexpected. I hit a nice drive and pitched just short of the front pin, but it picked up a lot of pace, and I had a downhill putt. I was thinking I just needed to tap it about three foot left and just hope for the best. It was a nice surprise.”

The English golfer ended the day two shots clear of Nobuhle Dlamini of eSwatini, Norway’s Michelle Forssland, and the South African duo of Zethu Myeki and Tandi McCallum.

Those four were, in turn one ahead of Moa Folke of Sweden, Anne-Lise Caudal of France, the Czech Republic’s Kristyna Napoleaova, and former champions from South Africa, Lee-Anne Pace and Nicole Garcia, who shared sixth on one-under.

Humphreys is part of a big contingent of overseas players out on the Sunshine Tour for 2023, and she’s revelling in the conditions. “I came for Sun City, and really enjoyed it,” she said. “I liked the course, and it was nice to play where I have seen the men play for so many years. And Fancourt is pretty amazing.

“I quite like Outeniqua – it’s my favourite between it and Montagu. It is quite a scorable course, but with some of the pins they’ve got out there today are tough, and the wind is up a little. You have quite a few short shots in but you’ve still got to hit them pretty well to give yourself a good chance because a lot of the pins were quite tucked. Both courses, you need to be pretty good off the tee, you need to be hitting the fairways.”

The 40 professionals play one round each on Outeniqua and Montagu ahead of the cut, and then battle it out for the final round on the challenging Montagu for the winner’s share of the R2.5-million prize fund.

A two-shot lead to take on to her second round on Montagu is a valuable asset for Humphreys.

With the field cut to the leading 20 professionals and ties, and the top 10 pro-am teams in the betterball competition, any advantage is useful. “Montagu the holes are kind of dead straight, but the holes are not driver on every hole, and you find yourself hitting a blind shot over a little hill a few times. You’ve got to be quite confident about knowing where the fairway is,” she said.

Dlamini and amateur partner Shaneen Coppin topped the R100 000 Betterball leaderboard at five-under 67, but they will start their second round on the Outeniqua Course with just a slender one-shot lead.

There are seven pairs hot on their heels, and the professionals in the chasing pack feature the tournament leader Humphreys, Myeki, Forsland, Folke, Napoleaova, former champion Lejan Lewithwaite from South Africa, and Germany’s Carolin Kaufmann.

2nd April 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Gutsy Pace prevails to lift 5th SA Women’s Open title

If there is a virtue in holding on for dear life, then Lee-Anne Pace displayed it in spades as she came back from the dead and triumphed in a gruelling six-hole play-off to win her record fifth Investec South African Women’s Open Championship title at Steenberg Golf Club on Saturday.

“I can’t believe it, I honestly can’t believe it, I’m in shock,” said Pace after she eventually dispatched the challenge of the Argentine Magdalena Simmermacher after the duo was tied on level-par after 72 holes of regulation play.

That was after overnight leader Becky Brewerton of Wales heartbreakingly slipped out of contention after a final round six-over 78 to miss out on a play-off spot by one.

In addition to her fifth South African Women’s Open title, it was also Pace’s 11th Ladies European Tour victory and her 15th Sunshine Ladies Tour title – and she also earned herself a place at the US Women’s Open later in the year.

“I was a little down at the beginning of the week, because I just missed out on the majors – by 20 points on last year’s ranking, or something like that,” she said. “So, it’s great to earn a place in the majors!”

She started the day seven shots behind Brewerton, but the Mossel Bay native played the conditions superbly throughout the day.

Pace kept things cool for the first part of her round, but a terrific burst after the turn saw her put herself back in contention. She had pars all through the front nine, before birdies on 10, 12 and 16 put her back among the conversation, albeit with a dropped shot on the 11th.

“I needed that birdie on 10,” Pace said. “I was getting a bit frustrated with my putts not going in, I missed the shot off the green and got a bit lucky, but I got it on the green and holed the putt, so that gave me some confidence coming in.

“The 11th was always going to be a tough hole, whether you go in with a wedge or go for the green. I decided to go for it and had a terrible lie, I had to hit it, but I backed off it a bit unfortunately.

“I’d been struggling on the greens all week. I’d been hitting so many greens all week, and everything came together except the putter, and nothing wanted to drop, but when it really counted it did on the last hole.”

Meanwhile, Simmermacher had led after the first round in Cape Town, but found herself alongside Pace on two-over heading into the final day, with a third round 77 seeing her drop down the standings in the breezy conditions. Birdies on five and nine put the Argentinian in contention, before two bogeys and two birdies on the back nine saw her complete the day in 70 shots and set up the nail-biting finale.

And with the sun starting to set over Cape Town, both players pulled out a number of spectacular shots to keep the contest alive.

The par-five 18th had been causing issues for players all week, with the tight green and water on the right-hand side meaning there was all sorts of trouble to be avoided. Both players kept things fairly routine for their opening three journeys down the last, with pars apiece every time.

Then, with the tee box moved forward 75 metres, things started to get interesting as both players started chasing the green in two. A miraculous bunker escape from Simmermacher then forced a fifth play-off hole, before two fantastic approaches and putts saw the duo head back to the tee for a sixth time.

And that’s when the pressure eventually told, as Simmermacher hit her second into the water, paving the way for Pace to two-putt her way to victory, and she made no mistake

Further down the rankings, Casandra Alexander of South Africa and England’s Felicity Johnson finished in a tie for fourth on three-over, as Alexander went round in level-par for the day, while Johnson shot 74 for her final 18 holes.

France’s Agathe Sauzon also shot level-par to take sixth on her own at five-over, while four players shared seventh on six-over.

Linn Grant from Sweden, who claimed her maiden Ladies European Tour title in the co-sanctioned Joburg Ladies Open, backed up last week’s victory with another strong performance, finishing in a tie for seventh with fellow Scandinavians Madelene Stavnar and Tiia Koivisto and France’s Emma Grechi.

Seventh place for Grant was also enough for her to seal the Investec Order of Merit title, with three victories in South Africa to start the year, with the win in Johannesburg adding to successes at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge and Jabra Ladies Classic in February.

“I just had the best couple of weeks here, I’m glad that I decided to come for eight weeks and start my season over here,” Grant said. “I’ve met some great people, including Lee-Anne, I’ve had the best time and played some great golf as well.”

Reigning South African Women’s Amateur Stroke Play champion Kiera Floyd held her in the gusting wind to keep pace with the professionals and a joint 26th place on 10-over saw the 17-year-old GolfRSA National Squad member lift the prestigious Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the 132-strong field.

The fifth Investec South African Women’s Open trophy came with a R 728 550 pay-day in the City of Cape Town and a bank of points that rocketed Pace to the top of the 2022 Race to Costa del Sol rankings. She sits on 681.67 points, with Grant in second-place on 586.25.

For Pace, all of this means it’s time to believe it.

She will board a plane to Thailand on Monday night brimming with confidence ahead of her next two events and basking in the knowledge that she is comfortably the most successful player in the history of the South African Women’s Open Championship.

1st April 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Brewerton on cruise control in Cape Town

Becky Brewerton will go in search of her first Ladies European Tour title in 13 years when she tees it up in the final round of Investec South African Women’s Open with a commanding five-shot lead on Saturday.

The championship layout at Steenberg Golf Club had seemed scorable in the light wind and rain during the opening round, but the high winds and firmer greens made it a different proposition over the last two days.

Brewerton fired a flawless six-under-par 66 in the second round to open up a four-shot lead and while most of the players in the 66-strong field treaded water or back-peddled in the gusting winds on moving day, the two-time Solheim Cup star was in a league of her own once again.

With conditions getting even tougher in the afternoon for the leading players, Brewerton executed her trusty punch shot in the four-club wind to near-perfection, manufacturing 16 pars for a 74 to finish at five-under.

On a day when Spain’s Paz Marfa Sans was the only player to break par with a two-under 70, Brewerton was – unsurprisingly – pleased as punch with her pace-setting performance.

“I’m probably as pleased with today’s effort as I was with yesterday’s, which is quite weird to say considering there was an eight-shot difference in my score,” the 36-year-old said. 

“It was brutal out there and I think it was just a day where everyone knew you were going to make mistakes and be in difficult positions, but you just had to try and minimise it.

“I utilised the punch shot very well again, but it was exhausting. The best thing I did was to not try and brace against it but just go with it and hit the punch shot and keep the swing as smooth as possible.

“The most difficult thing was putting, especially if you’re going across the breeze, because if you had the break going one way and the wind going the other. It was quite hard to work out which one was going to have the most effect. Some putts were a bit hit-and-hope and they paid off the majority of the time.” 

Norway’s Maiken Bing Paulsen emerged as the closest challenger, a 73 leaving her alone in second at level-par.

England’s Felicity Johnson (75) and Emma Grechi from France (72) tied for third on one-over, with South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace a further shot adrift in joint fourth. The four-time winner also returned a 74 to share fourth with Frenchwoman Lucie Malchirand (73), last year’s runner-up Leonie Harm from Germany (75) and first round leader Magdalena Simmermacher from Argentina (77).

Pace, the reigning Investec South African Women’s Champion, was pleased with her day’s efforts and is looking forward to another testing day tomorrow.  

“It was about a four-club wind and you didn’t know if you’re going into it sometimes or if it’s off the side, so it was a very tough day,” she said. 

“Some tees were moved up, but it was still playing long because of the wind. It was tough, but I quite enjoyed it because you have to hit some creative shots and keep it low, and that’s my sort of golf. I think I got a bit unlucky out there today, but otherwise I’m happy with my score.

“I believe I’m still in it. I’m managing myself a lot better; I’m not getting as frustrated anymore, and if a few more putts drop tomorrow it could be interesting.” 

Marfa Sans, courtesy of her low round of the day, vaulted to joint ninth and will start the final day alongside South Africa’s Casandra Alexander, who signed for 75, Tiia Koivisto from Finland (74), Norwegian Madelene Stavnar, reigning Investec Order of Merit leader Linn Grant from Sweden and amateur Kiera Floyd at four-under.

Floyd, the reigning SA Women’s Stroke Play champion, negated four bogeys in her level par round to pull ahead in the battle for the leading amateur glory. Fellow GolfRSA National Squad members Megan Streicher (76) and Gabbi Venter (77) are three and six shots adrift, respectively

30th March 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace in touch as Simmermacher leads the way

Two late birdies in her opening round lifted four-time defending champion Lee-Anne Pace within three shots of Magdalena Simmermacher, who stole a march on the field on a wet and windy opening day in the Investec South African Women’s Open.

The 26-year-old Argentinian made the most of the gentler morning conditions and fired in an opening salvo of four-under-par 68 pull clear of the field.

After a birdie start on the par-4 10th, Simmermacher plodded to the turn in pars, but turned on the fireworks over the last five holes, firing four birdies to transform her round into a field-leading effort at Steenberg Golf Club.

The 2020 Olympian finished one slender shot clear of Sweden’s Josefine Nyqvist and Alice Hewson from England, who also took advantage of an early start.

But unlike her challengers, the Argentine blossomed on her back nine as the wind gathered speed.

“I’m really happy with today’s round; I gave myself a lot of opportunities on the back nine, my front nine, but I only managed to make one birdie,” Simmermacher said.

“On the front nine I left myself chances close to the pin, and that’s why I ended up making four birdies on the last five holes. I played better when the wind got stronger. I’m not sure of the reason – maybe because you have to hit a certain shot, so you just focus on that.

“We played the pro-am with tough conditions so that was good preparation. I struggled on the greens last week, but I was still playing good and today I managed the pace better.”

Having given herself some time away during the off-season as she returned to South America, she has wasted no time in getting back to her best in 2022, giving herself a solid start in the Race to Costa del Sol chase. 

Augusta University graduate Nyqvist dropped only one shot on her opening hole but shot up the leaderboard with a quartet of birdies on her outward loop. Ten straight pars from the ninth kept her within striking distance of the pacesetter.

“Today was a really nice day,” she said. “I struggled a bit in the last two tournaments, but I’ve been working at it and trusting what I do, and I guess today it paid off, so I’m very happy. I did some technical work in the off-season, but mostly I’ve been working on keeping my mindset clear and trusting what I’m doing. I’m just trying to stay positive and live in the present. 

“The first nine wasn’t too bad because I teed off early, so I got lucky there. The wind picked up on the back nine, and it was hard out there. You just have to stay focused on every single shot. I just tried to hit the centre of the green and play par golf. I left some birdies out there, so I’m excited to go out and get them tomorrow.” 

Hewson, who broke through for her maiden LET victory in the 2020 Investec South African Women’s Open, was an equally happy camper after putting herself in a promising position.

She made a brilliant start with an eagle on the par-five 12th and sandwiched a birdie between bogeys on 13 and 15 to out in 34. Birdies on her 15th and 17th holes saw her pull level with Simmermacher, but not even the bogey finish could darken her bright smile.

“I’m very happy with how I played this morning. It was really windy out there, especially on our back nine, but I managed to control my ball height well really well,” the Englishwoman said. 

“It was important to hit fairways and greens just to give yourself a few chances out there, and I made the most of some of the chances I gave myself, so hopefully more of the same tomorrow. I have some incredible memories of my first LET start and win in 2020 and it’s great that I’ve finally been able to come back. I’m just enjoying every minute of it.”

Just two off the pace, lurking at two-under are Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson, Anne-Charlotte Mora from France and Spanish duo Elia Folch and Carmen Alonso and Carmen Alonso, with a further seven players locked in on one-under, including 2021 champion Pace.

Level through the turn, the 41-year-old negated a bogey on the par-3 second with a brace of birdies on her 16th and 17th holes to put herself back within touching distance of Simmermacher.

She shares eighth with another former champion, Marianne Skarpnord from Norway, as well as

Lora Assad and 2021 Joburg Ladies Open champion Casandra Alexander and Lora Assad sit at level-par with last week’s champion Linn Grant from Sweden, among others, and the next best South African is reigning SA Women’s Stroke Play champion Kiera Floyd, who grabbed a share of 22nd with former Investec Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini on one-over.

29th March 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Big guns primed for Investec SA Women’s Open

The cream of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tourn have converged in the City of Cape Town for €300 000 Investec South African Women’s Open, which tees off at Steenberg Golf Club on Wednesday.

After the top-quality golf on display in the recent Joburg Ladies Open, here is a palpable sense of nervous anticipation ahead of South Africa’s flagship event, and the mouth-watering incentives the season-finale carries.

Not only will the game’s big guns contest the biggest purse ever on the Sunshine Ladies Tour (SLT), but a winner’s category exemption means your future on the Ladies European Tour (LET) is secured for the remainder of the season, and the 2023 season.

The field this year once again exudes class and quality, led by defending champion Lee-Anne Pace, looking to make yet another notation in the history books.

Pace recorded the first hat-trick in SA Women’s Open history since 1988 with a trio of triumphs at San Lameer Country Club in 2014, 2015 and 2017 and extended her legacy last year, edging out Germany’s Leonie Harms in a cliff-hanger finish for a record fourth win at Westlake.

With 10 wins on the LET, 14 titles on the SLT and a LPGA win to her name, the 41-year-old has experience in heaps and when you add a hat-trick of Cape Town Ladies Open titles into the mix, her affinity for winning in the Mother City and her shot-shaping skills in the wind, she is definitely among the pre-tournament favourites.

Reigning Investec Order of Merit leader Linn Grant is undoubtedly the most in-form player in the starting line-up at Steenberg.

The 22-year-old Swede not only won on debut on the local circuit but made it a brace of SLT titles in three starts with her wins in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge and Jabra Ladies Classic. Last Saturday she backed up her top billing with a five-shot victory at Modderfontein to seal a maiden LET victory.

Two South Africans who are certainly due for a LET breakthrough are Investec stablemates Nicole Garcia and Stacy Bregman, who are both coming into the week in strong form.

Bregman, the runner-up in 2013, catapulted up the leaderboard with a final round 70 at Modderfontein Golf Club to finish joint seventh, while Garcia, third last year, claimed a top 10 in her first start of the LET season at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, and tied for third in Johannesburg. Expect the local pair to push their games to the limit this week.

In the first three events of the European season, a number of young European rising stars raised their hands and will be keen to follow former maiden winners Alice Hewson from England (2020) and India’s Diksha Dagar (2019) into the winner’s circle.

None more so than Kristyna Napoleaova and Kim Metraux.

Respectively ranked fifth and sixth in the Race to Costa del Sol, Napoleaova from the Czech Republic tied for second in Jeddah and Swiss golfer Metraux edged Garcia, Hewson and Maria Hernandez from Spain in the final round of the Joburg Ladies Open for the runner-up spot.

Another up-and-coming golfer looking to cash in on a LET win is American Kelly Whaley.

The 23-year-old received an invitation into the Saudi event, where she fired a final round 63 to that featured eight straight birdies and tied the course record. A top 10 finish secured her a spot in the Joburg Ladies Open, and she extended her stay on the LET with yet another top 10 finish at Modderfontein.

The local challenge is further strengthened by multiple SLT champions Casandra Hall, Lejan Lewthwaite and Nobuhle Dlamini from eSwatini, as well as 2022 SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open winner Nadia van der Westhuizen.

City of Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis welcomed the return of the two women’s professional circuits to the Mother City.

“It is with great pride that l can welcome the Investec South African Women’s Open to the City of Cape Town for the fifth consecutive year. The City of Cape Town’s partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour is set to continue into 2023 after Council approved a three-year agreement, which is currently in its second year. Over the last five years, this collaboration has elevated Cape Town’s status as one of the country’s leading golf tourism destinations and we delighted to welcome the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour back to our shores.”

A total field of 132 players representing 27 countries, including six amateur starters, will vie to make the cut to 60 professionals and ties at the 36-hole mark and have a chance to shoot for the lion’s share of the purse, and the biggest trophy in South African women’s golf.

Steenberg awaits those consumed with a desire to lift the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s flagship trophy, whether in swashbuckling style of Ashleigh Buhai’s final round march to victory in 2018 or the masterful manner in which Pace clinched her fourth title 12 months ago.

Entry is free to the 2022 event, but spectators are reminded that they must present proof of vaccination or a negative covid test, not older than 72 hours. All four rounds of the 72-hole tournament will also be broadcast live on SuperSport Channel 213.

16th November 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Investec invests for a further four years

Investec is thrilled to announce their renewed partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour. Having supported women’s golf for many years, the group will continue to sponsor the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open for a further five years.

The Investec South African Women’s Open, taking place on Wednesday 9 – Saturday 12 March next year, is the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s showpiece event and is widely regarded as a world-class national championship tournament that attracts international talent.

The event, hosted by the City of Cape Town for the fifth successive year, will take place at the picturesque Steenberg Golf Club, Cape Town.

Proud title sponsor of the Investec South African Women’s Open, the Investec Order of Merit, and the Investec Homegrown Award, Peta Dixon, Investec’s head of sponsorships, says that the brand is committed to equality, belonging, inclusion and diversity and is focused on enabling more women to thrive.

“When looking at our own sponsorship arena, it’s not just about the sportswomen of today – but the stars of tomorrow. Women golfers continuously face the same challenges, the same courses and the same high standards as their male counterparts, and the competition is equally as tough and rewarding for both players and spectators alike. For many years now, Investec has invested in the next generation of women, on their rise to the top. We proudly support local talent on a global stage and believe that our investment will go a long way towards affording more female golfers the opportunity to not only play and perform, but to earn well too.”

“We are delighted to extend our partnership with Investec,” commented Pauli van Meersbergen, Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager.

“Investec continues to break new ground in closing the equality gap, and we are honoured to partner with a company that consistently looks to create more opportunities for women, both on the course and in the workplace.

“Thanks to the collaboration between Investec, the City of Cape Town, the Ladies European Tour and the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the Investec South African Women’s Open has flourished and become a sought after, world-class event on the international calendar. Our thanks also to the WPGA for their support. We are proud to see this incredibly exciting week now cemented in our annual schedule for the next four years.”

In addition to Investec’s significant contribution to the increased prize pool for the Investec South African Women’s Open, Investec has also doubled the bonus prize on offer for the 2022 Investec Order of Merit to R200,000. “We eagerly await 2022, with so much more to come in our ongoing quest to remain Out of the Ordinary,” concludes Dixon.

About Investec

Investec partners with private, institutional and corporate clients, offering international banking, investment and wealth management services in two principal markets, South Africa and the UK, as well as certain other countries. The group was established in 1974 and currently has approximately 8,200+ employees. Investec has a dual listed company structure with listings on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.

Investec-sponsored pro golfers

Investec currently sponsors four pro-players Lejan Lewthwaite, Nicole Garcia and Stacy Bregman from South Africa and Stephanie Meadow from Ireland.

Investec South African Women’s Open

The tournament became a co-sanctioned event between the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the Ladies European Tour in 2018. The champion will earn a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour for the remainder of the 2022 and the 2023 season.

Investec Order of Merit

The Investec Order of Merit is based on a points system, and the top three placed professionals on the final Investec Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2023 Investec South African Women’s Open. In order to qualify for the Investec Order of Merit bonus prize, players must have competed in at least four events in the 2022 Sunshine Ladies Tour season. The winner of the Investec Order of Merit will receive a bonus prize of R200,000.

The Investec Homegrown Award

Investec continues to support local talent with the Homegrown Award, which was first introduced in the 2021 season. It rewards a South African winner of the Investec South African Women’s Open with an additional prize of R100,000.

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#InvestecSAWomensOpen | @InvestecSAWomensOpen
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16th May 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Historic 4th Investec South African Women’s Open title for Perfect Pace

16 May 2021 – Lee-Anne Pace was the home heroine once again as she clinched a record fourth Investec South African Women’s Open title, carding a final round of 72 for a one-shot win over Germany’s Leonie Harm.

In the Ladies European Tour (LET) curtain-raiser Pace’s victory, where she finished the tournament on two-over-par, at Westlake Golf Club also ensures she leads the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol.

“I’m so happy to win again. My last win on the LET was in 2014 and to get number 10 is just incredible,” said Pace, who was also the first Sunshine Ladies Tour golfer to win the flagship event three successive years in 2014, 2015 and 2017 (no event in 2016).

“It’s always nice to play to end the Sunshine Ladies Tour season and start the LET season here at home, and this year is it extra special. Thank you to all the golfers who made the effort to travel to South Africa to compete in this year’s Investec South African Women’s Open. Also, a big thank you to Investec and the City of Cape Town for your incredible support of women’s golf.”

After play was suspended with the leaders only midway through the third round, Pace – playing in the final group with Harm and compatriot Nicole Garcia – had plenty of golf left as they completed the third round before heading back out onto the course again.

But there was a surprise leader when the third round wrap up.

The LET’s youngest member, 17-year-old Pia Babnik, had carded 69 in the sunny conditions to see her level par for the tournament. The Slovenian teenager started the final round two shots ahead of Pace, who carded 73 and three clear of Harm and Garcia.

Babnik had a mixed final round and a pair of double bogeys at 16 and 18 saw her slip out of contention.

Lee-Anne Pace not only lifted her record 4th Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club on Sunday, but also banked the Investec Order of Merit title and became the first South African winner of the brand-new Investec Homegrown Award.; credit Roger Sedres.

Pace, who has dominated the Sunshine Ladies Tour since its inception in 2014 with 13 victories, knocked on the door all summer and she finally got the job done over the last 18 holes.

The 40-year-old offset a lone bogey with two birdies on the front nine and made another birdie on the par-4 12th. “I don’t know what happened on the last two holes; I think I realised I had it in the bag and just lost my focus,” said the South African, who held on to seal her 10th LET title despite finishing with successive bogeys.

“I’m actually quite glad I played out of the trees on the 18th and that I didn’t go for it, I thought I had to go for it, because the last scoreboard I had seen still had me at +1 and in second-place. My short game has been so good, so I thought if I play out on the green I would have a chance and the worst case was a play-off.

“I hit the ball on the right side of the hole for the whole day. There were a couple of putts that could easily have dropped that didn’t. I was very happy with my game, I hit a lot of the greens and I did it!”

There was a lot on the line for Pace, who not only walked away with the lion share of the €200 000 purse and the Investec Order of Merit title, worth R100 000. She also pocketed another R100 000 as the first South African winner of the brand-new Investec Homegrown Trophy.

US Women’s Open qualifiers at the Investec South African Women’s Open – Karolin Lampert & Leonie Harm from Germany and SA pair Lee-Anne Pace & Nicole Garcia; credit Roger Sedres

On top of this, Pace’s triumph at Westlake shot her to the top of the 2021 LET Race to Costa del Sol and earned her the first of four spots into the 2021 U.S. Women’s Open.

“The incentives to win this week was incredible. We really had so much to play for and I can’t be more excited. I am going for my US visa next week – Olympic Club, here I come,” said a jubilant Pace.

The 76th US Women’s Open takes place in June and the other three players who earned a ride into the second Major of the year was Harm, who recorded her best-ever finish on the LET at this tournament, as well as Germany’s Karolin Lampert and South Africa’s Nicole Garcia, who tied for third.

Garcia said: “That last putt for par on 18 was the most nerve-wracking putt I ever had to sink; I really wanted that US Women’s Open spot and the relief to see it drop was indescribable. I am absolutely over the moon that I nailed it. And I am so grateful to everyone that made this year’s Investec South African Women ‘s Open happen so we could get those spots.”

It was also a good news day for reigning South African Women’s Amateur champion Caitlyn Macnab, who lifted the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur.

2021 Investec South African Women’s Open leading amateur Caitlyn Macnab; credit Roger Sedres

The GolfRSA No. 1 won the Jabra Ladies Classic three weeks ago and became the first amateur to win on the local professional circuit since Ashleigh Buhai’s SA Women’s Open win in 2007. The 19-year-old Glendower amateur improved every day, carding rounds of 77, 75, 74 and 73 to tie for 16th on 299.


#levelup (Sunshine Ladies Tour)
#RaiseOurGame (Ladies European Tour)

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

15th May 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Pace, Babnik weather Cape storms to lead SA Women’s Open

15 May 2021 – Lee-Anne Pace and Pia Babnik will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Investec South African Women’s Open after tying on two-over in battling the conditions during the weather-affected third round at Westlake Golf Club on Saturday.

Pace was walking down the ninth fairway and Babnik about to tee off on the 10th tee when the hooter sounded for the second time in 90 minutes.

“We had only been out for 30 minutes after the previous suspension when they called us off again,” said Pace, who is hunting a record fourth title in the Sunshine Tour’s season-finale. “The wind and the driving rain were relentless; we had come off when the course became unplayable and had to suspend again, so they made a decision was made to call it a day.”

The nine-time European Ladies Tour champion began the day on one-over and a shot behind overnight leader Nicole Garcia, while the 17-year-old Slovenian rising star was three off the pace.

“I’m glad I hung in there,” said Pace, who started with four straight pars before she sandwiched a birdie between bogeys on the fifth and seventh holes.

“It’s one thing playing in wind, but the playing this course in wind and rain is extremely hard. I nearly blew away on six, and on seven. It was just a disaster and I think they’ve made a good call. I am not complaining, because I was looking at a really long second shot on the ninth. It will still be a long shot on Sunday morning, but at least I’m not having to hit it into the wind. It’s quite tight at the top, but I think it’s going to be an exciting final day.”

Pia Babnik during round three of the 2021 Investec South African Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club; Credit Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Ladies Tour

Babnik, who is starting her second Ladies European Tour season in South Africa, showed great maturity in the tough conditions. She threaded together a string of pars and turned with a clean card that sported a birdie on the par-5 seventh.

Garcia, meanwhile, started with a pair of bogeys and let another shot slip on the par-4 fifth. She will resume her campaign on Sunday morning on three-over.

“I had a few bogeys, but overall, I stuck in there. I holed some crucial putts from six to eight to keep the momentum,” said the Serengeti golfer.

“It was more Scotland than South Africa out there, and I must admit I was relieved when called us off, because the balls began moving on the greens. I was pleased with my game, though.  I stayed calm, kept the clubs dry and tried to hit as many good shots as possible.

“I’m not out of it by a long shot, but even if I don’t win, I’m still fighting for a top four finish to earn that spot to the U.S. Women’s Open.”

Leonie Harm got off with a great birdie start, but the German golfer dropped three shots mid-round.

She moved to four-over with a fourth bogey on the seventh and was tied for fourth with Agathe Sauzon from France when play was called. Sauzon had just birdied the par-4 10th.

#levelup (Sunshine Ladies Tour)
#RaiseOurGame (Ladies European Tour)

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




14th May 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Garcia gains ground at windy Westlake

14 May 2021 – Nicole Garcia will take a one-shot lead into the weekend at the Investec South African Women’s Open after the course showed its teeth on Friday.

Taking advantage of an early start, Garcia picked up three birdies in a second round 73 at Westlake Golf Club to set the early clubhouse target at level-par.

With first-round leaders Lee-Anne Pace and Lydia Hall starting day two on two-under, the Serengeti golfer was hoping to finish in the top three, but a brutal North Westerly that gusted up to 35km per hour in the afternoon helped the three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner to the summit.

“I’m pretty happy with that,” said Garcia, who leads by one shot from three-time champion Pace and Germany’s Leonie Harm.

”If you had offered me rounds of 71 and 73 at the start of the week, I may have grumbled, but after the wind showed up on our back nine, I’m not complaining. It was pretty calm over the first 12 holes, but the last six holes played really tough. I suspected it would only get worse, but I didn’t expect to be leading. It’s a great position to be in with two rounds to play.”

Pace struck the ball well, but struggled for pace on the greens and she had a trio of three-putts in her round of 75 to finish joint second one-over. Harm, who also had a late start, made amends for back-to-back bogeys on 11 and 12 with a brace of birdies on 16 and 17 for a round of 72.

Kylie Henry also showed her affinity for windy conditions with an eagle at the par-5 13th and the Scottish golfer finished the day in fourth, just two behind Garcia after carding 72.

Garcia enjoyed her best season on the Ladies European Tour in 2018, but after finishing 47th in the Race to Costa del Sol, a hip and back injury put paid to her hopes of chasing down a maiden win in 2019.

“I spent the bulk of the season on the bench after surgery,” she explained. “I began hitting balls and preparing for a comeback on the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour late in the year, and I was thrilled with how I performed over the seven weeks.”

Garcia enjoyed three top 10 finishes and added the Canon Serengeti Par-3 Challenge to her winning tally.

“I was ready to take Europe by storm, but we no sooner kicked off the Ladies European Tour season here at Westlake, or it was over, due to the international Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “It was a huge blow. I managed to play It has been two very frustrating years, so I am seriously pleased to make a good start. My ticket is booked for Italy next week and I can’t wait to get back out there.”

Nicole Garcia took the 36-hole lead in the Investec South African Women’s Open with a round of 73 to top the leaderboard at Westlake Golf Club on level par; credit Shannon Naidoo.

Garcia described her round as a “fighter’s round”.

“I hit some really good shots off the tee, but I got a few unlucky bounces and had some soft drops. I made some really good clutch putts for birdies to recover and to keep the momentum going.

“The course is in the best condition I’ve ever played it, but it is playing very long. Every single tee box is off the tips. You have to hit fairways and greens to score here, but I think it’s a great test. It’s a U.S. Women’s Open qualifier, so if you get a spot, you know you will be able to contend. I just want to keep it together on the weekend to give myself a chance.”

Pace got a little hot under the collar when her group was put on the clock on the back nine.

“I played well, especially on the back nine. I was really getting into the zone and hitting good shots on difficult holes. It played really long and I was hitting a lot of 5-irons, 6-irons and 7-irons into the greens,” said the 40-year-old.

“Then we got put on the clock for no apparent reason. Obviously if you are slow, they have to warn us but no-one was waiting behind us. I got annoyed and lost a shot on the par-5 (16th), but I made two really good pars to finish.”

The nine-time Ladies European Tour champion, holing a huge putt on 17 to save par and keeping her bid for a record fourth title alive with another great par save on the closing hole.

“The putt on 17 was from the fringe and my caddie actually gave me the line, because I was still seeing red. And I made a really good up-and-down for par on the last. So still in it with two days to go.”

Sixty-six players will contest the final two rounds after the cut fell at 12-over, including Jabra Ladies Classic winner and South Africa’s leading amateur Caitlyn Macnab and recent Nomads SA Girl’s Rose Bowl champion Isabella van Rooyen.

Macnab is eight over after rounds of 77 and 75, and Van Rooyen is a further two shots adrift, having signed for rounds of 76 and 78.

#levelup (Sunshine Ladies Tour)
#RaiseOurGame (Ladies European Tour)

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