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6th December 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates decade with exciting 2023 schedule

6 December 2022 – Reigning AIG Women’s Open champion Ashleigh Buhai will headline the 30th Investec South African Women’s Open when the Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary with an action-packed season in 2023.

Buhai, who became the country’s second women’s Major champion with her Muirfield triumph in August, finished her international season in style with a gritty one-stroke victory in the Women’s Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club.

It is entirely fitting that the pride of South African women’s golf will return to the fairways she forged her career upon as the Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates a decade as Africa’s principal platform for professional women golfers and development conduit for amateurs coming through the ranks.

Buhai, the only amateur winner of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s flagship event, will be targeting a fourth victory in March.

The world number 28 won her first SA Women’s Open title at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington in 2004 and was still an amateur when she repeated the feat at Durban Country Club three years later.

In 2018, the year Investec became the title sponsor of the national open, Buhai made it a hat-trick of wins with her first professional victory in the event and her third on Ladies European Tour.

The new season will tee off from 1 – 3 February at Sun City, South Africa’s unrivalled number one holiday resort. The homegrown talent will go head-to-head with the first international campaigners to hit South African shores in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, and the R1.3-million season-opener will be contested at the world-renowned Gary Player Country Club.

Next, the circuit heads to South Africa’s premier lifestyle resort, Fancourt, nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Garden Route for the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am.

The 10th edition from 10 – 12 February will be another milestone worthy of celebration, and to mark the occasion, the purse has been bumped from R600 000 in 2021 to a staggering R2.5-million. In addition, the leading 10 teams on the final day will fight it out for the lion’s share of the R100 000 prize pot in the Betterball Pro-Am Competition. 

In previous editions of the popular Sunshine Ladies Tour stop, which is played concurrent with the Sunshine and Challenge Tour’s co-sanctioned Dimension Data Pro-Am, the first two rounds were played at the nearby George Golf Club and the final round at Fancourt. This year all three rounds will be contested at the Outeniqua and Montagu courses.

Atlantic Beach Links in the Cape will host its first Sunshine Ladies Tour event with the R400 000 Cape Town Ladies Open from 15 – 17 February. The City of Cape Town, who has hosted the Investec South African Women’s Open since 2018, has supported the event since 2015.

The former home of the Investec South African Open, Glendower Golf Club in Edenvale, will welcome back the fifth edition of the Jabra Ladies Classic from 22 – 24 March. The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic receives an invitation to compete in the Jabra Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour.

The Joburg Ladies Open, returns to Modderfontein Golf Club from 1 – 4 March.

The first Ladies European Tour stop in South Africa boasts a significant bump in prize money – from €250 000 to €300 000 – making this event a hugely attractive drawcard for local golfers with aspirations to play in the Europe and the international contenders targeting an early advantage on the season-long Race to Costa del Sol.

The Investec South African Women’s Open will draw the curtain on the 2023 season from 8 – 11 March.

This 72-hole showdown will be played at the picturesque Steenberg Golf Club for a second successive year, and the field will be competing for an increased purse of €320 000 (over R5.9-million), thanks to the investment by Investec and the City of Cape Town.

“We are extremely excited for this 10th season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour,” said Thomas Abt, Sunshine Tour Commissioner. “The Sunshine Ladies Tour has grown into an attractive product and together with our partners, we will continue to grow this circuit for the benefit of our members.

“We are delighted to have committed sponsors who have gone the distance with us, and partners such as the Ladies European Tour with whom our flagship events, the Joburg Ladies Open and the Investec South African Women’s Open, are co-sanctioned.

“The success of the Sunshine Ladies Tour has been unfathomable. Participation has increased tenfold, especially with international participation and the prize money has more than quadrupled from what was on offer in our first season. And the knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic, with many of our young golfers now flourishing on the international stage and US collegiate circuit.”

The pathway the Sunshine Ladies Tour provides for young golfers to the bigger global platforms is best illustrated by 2022 Investec Order of Merit champion of 2022, Linn Grant.

The 23-year-old began her 2022 season in South Africa. She racked up victories in the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, the Jabra Ladies Classic and the Joburg Ladies Open and won the season-long points race. Building on this incredible start on the Ladies European Tour, Linn became the first female golfer to win on the DP World Tour in June, won the LET Rookie of the Year title and recently capped her season as the winner of the LET Race to Costa del Sol.

Throughout the 2023 season, the Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners will vie for glory in the points-based ranking system.

The top three professionals on the final Investec Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2024 Investec South African Women’s Open, and the winner receives a bonus prize worth R 200 000. Should the winner of the 2023 Investec South African Women’s Open be a South African, she will be rewarded with the Investec Homegrown Award, worth R 100 000.

 Peta Dixon, Investec’s head of sponsorships, said: “We are proud to continue to give our talented women in sport a platform to showcase their talent through our partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour, and to ensure that these golfers are recognised for their dedication and given opportunities to excel.

“It has been very exciting to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last decade and to empower women through sport. We are delighted to be part of the journey to grow Africa’s premier women’s professional golf circuit and through our investment in four of South Africa’s rising talents in Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman, Lejan Lewthwaite and Zethu Myeki.”

Alexandra Armas, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said the LET is delighted to once again feature two premier events in South Africa on their 2023 schedule.

“We welcome the opportunity for international competition for our members, and we are very proud of our strong, longstanding relationship with the Sunshine Ladies Tour. Two co-sanctioned events on our global schedule strengthens our goal of providing competitive opportunities for our members on all the continents.

 “Our sincere thanks to the Cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town and Investec for their incredible commitment. These events not only benefit our members, but undoubtedly also positively impact on participation and interest in the women’s game in Africa.”

Women’s PGA of South Africa chairperson, Margie Whitehouse, said: “We would also like to express our gratitude to the Sunshine Tour, and all our partners and sponsors who have ensured that the Sunshine Ladies Tour has gone from strength to strength in the last 10 years. Thanks to their tremendous support, our rising talent will once again have the opportunity to compete for fantastic incentives and competitive purses, and we look forward to watching the future stars showcase their talent on the 2023 Sunshine Ladies Tour.”


R1.3-million SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International

1 – 3 February

Gary Player Country Club

R2.5-million Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am

10 – 12 February

Fancourt (Outeniqua and Montagu Courses)

Better Ball Pro-Am (R100 000 prize money)

R 400 000 Cape Town Ladies Open

15 – 17 February

Atlantic Beach Links

R1-milion Jabra Ladies Classic

22 – 24 February

Glendower Golf Club

€ 300 000 Joburg Ladies Open *

1 – 4 March

Modderfontein Golf Club

€ 320 000 Investec South African Women’s Open *

8 – 11 March

Steenberg Golf Club

*Co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour

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.

#InvestecGolf | @Investec
#InvestecSAWomensOpen | @InvestecSAWomensOpen
#levelup (SLT #)  #RaiseOurGame (LET #)

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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.




12th May 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Young guns set for Investec SA Women’s Open experience

12 May 2021 – Nine of South Africa’s future golfing talents are poised to soak up the experience of competing on golf’s biggest stage when they tee it up in the Investec SA Women’s Open at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday.

Led by GolfRSA Elite Squad members Caitlyn Macnab and Samantha Whateley, the group of amateurs will be competing for the honour of etching their name on the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s flagship event, co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour.

Macnab cut her teeth on the local circuit this season and not surprisingly, starts the week as the overwhelming favourite with two top five finishes and a victory to her name.

South Africa’s leading amateur was fourth in the Cape Town Ladies Open, second in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge and became the first amateur to triumph on the local pro circuit since Ashleigh Buhai’s SA Women’s Open win in 2007 with her breakthrough in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower.

A niggling knee injury forced Macnab to withdraw from the Joburg Ladies Open, but the double SA Women’s Amateur champion says she is ready for the fight in Cape Town.

“I didn’t feel comfortable yet in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt last week, but I feel that I’m back to full strength this week,” said the 19-year-old Serengeti.

“I am so excited about the week ahead. It has been an amazing experience to play almost a full season this year. The amount you absorb from playing with the professionals is difficult to quantify, but it definitely impacts on your game.

GolfRSA No 1 Caitlyn Macnab made history as the first amateur winner in 14 years on the South African women’s professional golf circuit when she powered to an eight-shot victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“I have been really fortunate that Nicole Garcia and Stacy Bregman, who both play on the Ladies European Tour, took me under their wings. And my coach Grant Veenstra has been amazing, preparing me for the mental pressure on the pro circuit.

“It has been a huge learning curve, building experience on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and learning from the pros and I hope I can put everything into practice this week to finish the season on a high note.”

Whateley also arrived at Westlake with some good form.

Since the start of the season, the 17-year-old Country Club Johannesburg has risen to third in the GolfRSA Open Amateur rankings and second in the Junior standing, having racked up top-10 finishes in all her starts, including second in the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship at the end of April and third in the ProShop Gauteng Open this past weekend.

Whateley hopes to give Macnab a run for her money, but her first priority is to get past the spectacle of her debut on the pro circuit.

“When Womens Golf South Africa offered me the chance to play this week, I jumped at it, because I think the experience is going to so valuable, but it’s easy to let yourself be intimidated by the occasion and playing with the pros,” Whateley said.

“I am doing my best to focus on the golf and forget about everything else. I think once I get that opening tee shot out of the way on Thursday, I will be able to treat this as any other golf tournament and play the course shot for shot.”

Recent Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl champion Isabella van Rooyen finished 18th in the Cape Town Ladies Open.

“I hope I can do better in my second start on the Sunshine Ladies Tour,” said the 16-year-old Clovelly golfer. “I realised playing Royal Cape that I put too much pressure on myself that I forgot to play my own game. I’ve had the test run, so this week, my first goal will be to make the cut. And after that, just to stick to playing my own game and we’ll see where that leaves me.”

The other amateurs lining up at Westlake includes the country’s number two-ranked Kaylah Williams, former SA Women’s Amateur champion Jordan Rothman, Shani Brynard, Odette Booysen, Katia Schaff and mid-amateur standout Nina Grey.

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#levelup (Sunshine Ladies Tour)
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

11th May 2021 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Open season at Investec SA Womens Open

11 May 2021 – It’s Investec South African Women’s Open week in Cape Town. That means it’s the 2021 Sunshine Ladies Tour season-finale. It’s the curtain-raiser for the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol. And it’s open season for the 76th U.S. Women’s Open in June.

Westlake Golf Club was bustling with excitement during Tuesday’s official practice round as the news spread that South Africa’s flagship event has been awarded four qualification spots for the season’s second Major.

With only two players in the field already qualified – Celine Herbin from France and Swiss golfer Kim Metraux – the other 113 competitors lining up in the €200 000 Sunshine Ladies Tour and European Ladies Tour’s co-sanctioned tournament will go all out to punch their ticket for the Olympic Club in June.

One golfer hoping to book a flight to San Francisco, is three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Nicole Garcia.

“In 2014 I played the sectional qualifier at Buckingshire Golf Club just outside London. There were eight spots on offer and I grabbed one,” said the Ebotse golfer.

“I was so excited, because that year the U.S. Women’s Open was played directly after the U.S. Open at Pinehurst. I travelled to the US with my fiancée (acclaimed South African coach Grant Veenstra) and we attended the U.S. Open first, because he had some guys he coached in the field.

“Then it was my turn. I was only four months into my rookie season on the Ladies European Tour. I realised quickly that I was out of my depth. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, though; it really gave me a window into the world I have been working towards.”

With nearly 1 600 entries from 57 countries for this year’s Major in California, Garcia said South Africans has to step up in a big way this week.

“I’ve tried almost every year since, but lately we only got one or two spots in Europe, so it’s really tough. There are 24 sectional qualifiers in the United States and one in Japan, so this is a massive opportunity for us to get four Sunshine Ladies Tour members in the field. We simply must step it up this week.”

Garcia is champing at the bit to reboot her career after spending two years on the side lines.

“I spent the better part of the 2019 season on the bench due to hip surgery. I made a comeback to competitive golf on the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour, but just after last year’s Investec South African Women’s Open, the world shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s hard not to think what could have been if I hadn’t had the surgery, but I try to focus on the future. To get back out there this year and play again has been amazing so far and I am so ready to start the 2021 Ladies European Tour season this week.”

Christine Wolf – credit Tristan Jones / Ladies European Tour

Austrian golfer Christine Wolf has even more reasons to start the first event of the Ladies European Tour’s 2021 season with a bang.

The 32-year-old has an excellent chance of making Team Europe for the much-anticipated Solheim Cup this year. Wolf is currently tied 5th on the Europe Solheim Cup standings with LPGA Tour campaigner Carlota Ciganda from Spain and a fast start in the City of Cape Town could go a long way in gaining her a captain’s pick spot from Team Europe captain Catriona Matthews.

“I dream about making the Solheim Cup and that is one of the reasons I came to Cape Town,” said Wolf. “I’ve played every year, except last year. The tournament is always excellent, the course is always in great condition and the people in Cape Town are so hospitable and welcoming.

“It’s always a positive experience and with the added bonus of the U.S. Women’s Open spots, I wanted to start my season in South Africa. I am really hoping for a strong result this week that I can build on until Team Europe is decided after the AIG Women’s Open.”

The Investec South African Women’s Open will be played from 13-16 May over 72 holes, with a 36-hole cut to 60 and ties.

Two former champions will headline the local and international challenges.

Lee-Anne Pace, the highest ranked player in the field, will be targeting a record fourth victory and she is coming into the championship in hot form following five top 10 finishes on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Other South Africans to watch include Joburg Ladies Open winner Casandra Hall, SuperSport Ladies champion Michaela Fletcher, South Africa’s top ranked amateur, Caitlyn Macnab, who lifted the Jabra Ladies Classic title, five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman and last year’s Investec Order of Merit winner Monique Smit.

Marianne Skarpnord from Norway triumphed in a four-way play-off to lift the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge title at Fancourt on the weekend. It was her first appearance on the Sunshine Ladies Tour since she won the SA Women’s Open in 2013.

Skarpnord has some strong “wingwomen” in Solheim Cup stalwart Caroline Hedwall from Sweden, former Ladies European Tour winners Wolf, Herbin and Jenny Haglund from Sweden.

Other players to watch include 2021 Cape Town Ladies Open winner Manon Gidali from France, who tied for fourth last year and Maiken Bing Paulsen from Norway, who made her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut this season and currently ranks 8th on the Investec Order of Merit.

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

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

13th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Cowan takes control of Investec South African Women’s Open

13 March 2020 – Germany’s Olivia Cowan took control of the Investec South African Women’s Open on Friday, firing a second round 67 to lead on seven-under-par heading into the final round in the City of Cape Town.

The 23-year-old began the afternoon session in hot and sunny conditions on the 10th tee at Westlake Golf Club and picked up her first birdie at the par five 13th.

She then made three birdies on the bounce from the 15th and, although she gave a shot back to the field on the par-four second hole, further gains on the fourth and fifth holes kept her well clear of the chasing pack.

The fourth-year Ladies European Tour campaigner dropped another shot the ninth, but will still sleep on a three-shot cushion.

Scotland’s Kelsey MacDonald, Alice Hewson from England and Italian Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso are three strokes back in joint second.

Recent Joburg Ladies Open winner Monique Smit leads the local challenge. The Oubaai golfer carded 71 to finish a further stroke adrift and is tied for fifth with Emma Nilsson from Sweden.

Valdis Thora Jonsdottir from Iceland and Megan MacLaren from England share seventh on two-under.

A second round 73 saw three-time winner Ashleigh Buhai slip to one-over. The South African rounds out the top 10 on 143 with Maha Haddioui from Marocco, Manon de Roey from Belgium, Dane Emily Pedersen and Sweden’s Julia Engstrom.

Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley was the only amateur to survive the cut to 60 and ties, which fell at six-over 150. The GolfRSA Elite Squad player and Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member will start the last 18 holes on five-over after rounds of 75 and 74.

Thirty-six hole leader Cowan is long overdue for a first Ladies European Tour (LET) victory.

A three-time winner on the LET Access Series in 2015, Cowan won the Order of Merit the same year to graduate to the LET. In 2019, she enjoyed a career best tie for second in the Dubai Moonlight Classic, which was one of her seven top-10 finishes from 16 starts last season.

She ended seventh on the LET Order of Merit for the second year in a row.

She made a strong start to the 2020 season in Australia, tying for 15th in the Women’s New South Wales Open and began the week in South Africa ranked 28th on the Race to Costa del Sol Order of Merit.

Cowan attributed her solid second round to great ball striking and a well-behaved putter.

“I was hitting my irons close and putting well, so I had a lot of chances, most of which I took. I’d say the best part of my game was my putting,” she said.

The German golfer also felt that the tranquil conditions over the last two days had a lot to do with the bunched leaderboard.

“The last two years here was really windy, so it’s very different this year. The course is in great shape and it’s like any other LPGA or LET tournament, so really good. This is my first time being in this position, where I am a couple of shots ahead of everyone going into the final round. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what happens.”

MacDonald was just as happy to be in contention.

“I’m very happy with my performance today. I hit a lot of greens and gave myself a lot of chances. I’m very happy going into the final round, given how I played today. The greens were a little slower in the morning, but when it started to heat up they sped up significantly. You could notice the difference and that was something I had to be mindful of during the round.”

English rookie Hewson, making her LET debut in Cape Town, was thrilled with back-to-back 70s and the chance to emulate last year’s rookie winner Diksha Dagar from India. “I’m really happy with how I played today. I putted really well, which I think is really important out here.

“I also drove the ball well. I just need to work on my irons. It was nice to get off to a good start with three birdies in a row from my second hole. It’s very exciting to be here and finally get going. This is living the dream, really. It’s a beautiful place to be. Yesterday we went to Boulders Beach to see the penguins and maybe tomorrow we will go to Table Mountain.”

Colombotto Rosso, who dug deep for a 71, made some incredible par saving putts.

“I enjoyed the round a lot. I rolled in some incredible putts, from 10 or 15 metres, which I didn’t expect and I was having a lot of fun. I’m trying to take the best out of every round. Chipping in this kikuyu grass is a bit challenging for me, so I’m really proud that I made some birdies when I needed to. I was a little angry with the bogey on 16, so it was good that I birdied 18. It was a good comeback.”

The final round tees off at 08h30 on Sunday morning from both tees.

The final putts are expected to drop around 15h00 and the 2020 champion will be crowned on the 18th green. In addition to lifting the spectacular trophy, the winner also receives a two year exemption on the LET until the end of 2021, a place in the Evian Championship and the AIG Women’s British Open and the lion’s share of the 200,000 prize fund.

Moodley will be standing next to the champion, receiving the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur.


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




| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Garcia shares early lead in Investec SA Women’s Open

12 March 2020 – Nicole Garcia made the most of the tranquil conditions at Westlake Golf Club on Thursday to grab a share of the four-way tie for the lead on the opening day of the €200 000 Investec SA Women’s Open in the City of Cape Town.

The three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner offset a lone bogey with a quartet of birdies for a 69 to join Olivia Cowan from Austria, Italian Lucrezia Colombotto Rosso and Sweden’s Emma Nilsson at the summit on three-under-par.

Compatriot Ashleigh Buhai – the highest ranked player in the field at 103rd in the world rankings and a three-time champion of the event – birdied her last two holes for two-under 70 and sits just one off the pace in a six-way tie at two-under.

Joburg Ladies Open champion Monique Smit also finished in the pack on two-under.

The South African pair shares fifth with 2018 SA Women’s Masters champion Laura Fuenfstueck from Germany, Pasqualle Coffa from the Netherlands, Scotland’s Kelsey Macdonald, Alice Hewson from England, and first reserve Rachel Rossel from Switzerland, who made the most of her late call-up to fight her way into the top 10.

A birdie at the last hole will see former three-time champion Lee-Anne Pace start the second round two off the pace in joint 12th alongside 2020 Women’s New South Wales Open winner and Race to Costa Del Sol frontrunner Julia Engström from Sweden.

Garcia underwent hip surgery in early 2019 and spent most of the season on the bench.

A few weeks ago the Ebotse golfer showed glimpses of a return to form when she lifted the individual title and won the team competition in the Canon Serengeti Par-3 Challenge.

“Having the Sunshine Ladies Tour to get back into form was brilliant,” she said. “I could gauge where my game was at, what I needed to work on and what needed attention. I was hitting the ball well and putting nicely, but the scores just wasn’t quite there. Then the win came at Serengeti and that brought a huge injection of confidence.”

Garcia was understandably delighted to get her 2020 Ladies European Tour campaign off to a promising start.

“We teed off in no wind at Westlake, which is very rare, and I had my caddie Graeme Rowan back on the bag after a year off, so I was looking forward to the round and I am really happy that I was able to get a score going.”

Garcia started on the 10th tee and racked up three birdies going out.

“I birdied the first to go four-under, but I didn’t hit a very good shot out of the bunker on the par five (fourth) and paid for it with a bogey. I short-sided myself on the left of the green, but I wasn’t too upset not making the up-and-down, though. The pin was only three or four paces from where I was aiming, so I walked off with a soft bogey, really.

“I had a few more birdie opportunities that I didn’t make, so I was really happy with the three birdies I managed to convert. I hit the ball close on a couple of holes coming home, too. It’s gratifying to see that the game is there. The putting, too. I have the right pace and line, but I just had a few too many lip-outs.

“These greens are very tricky. Just the slightest misread with the grain on the greens here will cause to miss. It’s not dropping into the cup in the centre; it kind of catches the hole on the side and then it either drops or rings the hole. Hopefully I can come to grips with it on Friday and keep the momentum going.”

Buhai clinched her 11th title on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a commanding five-shot victory in the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club. She turned two-over, but a gentle prod from her husband and caddie Dave out the LPGA Tour campaigner on the attack.

“Conditions were pretty much perfect, but I didn’t get off to a good start and I turned two-over through nine,” said the 30-year-old. “I was playing a bit defensive and Dave (husband and caddie) gave me a little pep-talk. He said we played good last week and told me to get aggressive, so I did and I made four birdies down the back nine.

“The greens were quite firm when we played them in the afternoon on Wednesday, so I was just sussing them out. Once I started trusting what I was doing, I started to attack the pins. You have to shape it a little off the tee-boxes here; draws and fades.

“I am driving it pretty well and that helps, because the course is pretty narrow and the greens are small. I’m very happy with the way I’m striking the ball, because I’ve put myself in play. It was a bit iffy on the front, but I dialled it in on the back.”

Former Youth Olympian Kaiyuree Moodley leads the amateur challenge for the Jackie Mercer Trophy after carding a two-over-par 74 to finish alongside current Investec Order of Merit leader Stacy Bregman, among others.

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



11th March 2020 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Ammies set to savour Investec SA Women’s Open experience

11 March 2020 – The next generation of golfing stars are ready to step into the limelight when the Investec SA Women’s Open tees off on Thursday.

Amateurs Kaiyuree Moodley, Bianca Wernich and Bobbi Brown survived baptism of fire in Monday’s qualifying round to join top ranked Kaylah Williams and Megan Streicher in the 132-playing field of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s season-finale at Westlake Golf Club from 12-14 March.

A vicious south-easterly wind ravaged the championship layout during the qualifier, with a 55 km per hour gale pushing the field to their limits as they vied for five coveted spots into the Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned event.

Moodley stands 1.5 metres tall in her socks and weighs just 45kg, but the former Youth Olympian put up a valiant fight. She was gob-smacked, however, to learn that a frustrating nine-over-par 81 netted her the runner-up spot.

“I was absolutely horrified by my score, until Nicole Garcia and Stacy Bregman told me that it was a great score given the conditions,” the 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad member said.

“I thought I didn’t have a chance. I was ready to fly home. We were standing around exchanging war stories when they came walking back to the clubhouse. They called it quits after two holes. They said par was at least 76 or 77 in that wind and they were confident I would make it.

“I couldn’t believe it when I finished second, but I’m definitely not complaining. It’s a dream come true to tee it up in the Investec SA Women’s Open. I’ve played a few Sunshine Ladies Tour events this season, and you can’t put a price on the experience you gain playing with the professionals.”

Moodley finished one stroke shy of winner Clara Pietri from Switzerland, while Wernich from Stellenbosch carded 83 to finish behind third-placed Christina Gloor from Sweden.

Lanky Brown from Steenberg, who plays out of neighbouring Steenberg Golf Club, came into the event fresh after a joint runner-up finish in the Nomads SA Juniors International at Rondebosch Golf Club. The 16-year-old clinched the final spot with a round of 84.

Moodley, a member of the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, said it was a shock to arrive to a windless Westlake for the practice round on Tuesday.

“The wind was so brutal in the qualifier that I had to take two to three clubs extra,” she said. “For instance, I teed my ball up low and hit my driver about 210 metres. I hit 3-wood for my second and still finished about 50 metres short of the green and had to chip and putt to save par. In Tuesday’s practice round, I hit a normal drive, reached the green with a 5-wood and made a good birdie.

“I was really lucky to play nine holes with Nicole and Stacy. They gave me lots of advice and it was great to get an inside look to their processes and their course management. I’m really looking forward to getting the championship underway.”

Williams, who ranks second on the GolfRSA Open Amateur standings, caddied for fellow Western Province junior Jordan Rothman last year and is champing at the bit to get her own campaign underway.

“I was still struggling with my knee, so I couldn’t tee it up. It was really interesting to be on the bag, though, and to absorb the atmosphere and the splendour of the event. I also watched the professionals closely and learned a lot about course management and mental strength.”

The Durbanville golfer went under the knife late last year, but her knee held up really well during the recent Aon SA Amateur, where she tied for third in the stroke play championship. She also reached the semi-final with Moodley in the match play championship.

“It’s great to back to full speed again. I think, aside from winning the SA Women’s Amateur and Stroke Play, all amateurs dream of playing the national open and for me personally, it’s a dream come true. I am definitely a better golfer now and hopefully I can put everything I’ve learned in the last 12 months into practice at Westlake.

”It can be very intimidating to play with the pros, so I’m just going to do my level best not to let the occasion trip me up. I want to treat it as any other golf tournament and focus on playing the course.”

For the professionals, victory will come with a winner’s exemption on the Ladies European Tour, starts in the AIG Women’s British Open and Evian Championship, the lion’s share of the €200 000 purse and the coveted trophy.

The leading amateur will lift the Jackie Mercer Trophy and stand alongside the 2020 champion in the winner’s circle. “I am sure the trophy will be in there somewhere in the back of everyone’s minds, but I think we will be more focussed on hitting the best shots we can make, while learning as much as possible from the experience,” said Streicher from Swellendam. “It’s the real big leagues and it’s an incredible opportunity for us to learn and gain experience. I can’t wait to get started.”




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

| Sunshine Ladies Tour

Buhais all in for four of a kind at Westlake

11 March 2020 – After a stellar start to their 2020 campaign, Ashleigh and David Buhai have arrived in Cape Town targeting a fourth Investec South African Women’s Open crown this week.

The €200 000 event, co-sanctioned between the Sunshine Ladies Tour, the Ladies European Tour and the Women’s PGA of South Africa, tees off at Westlake Golf Club from 12-14 March.

Of course, Ashleigh Buhai needs no introduction.

Unless you missed the part where she married her bagman David in December 2016 and you’re still wondering what in the world happened to Ashleigh Simon.

Ashleigh’s storied amateur career was nothing short of outstanding. Not only did she dominate the local amateur golf scene and distinguished herself on the international stage, but she won four professional events as an amateur, including the 2004 SA Women’s Open at the age of 14 and the SA Women’s Masters at age 16.

The youngest champion and only amateur to achieve this feat in both flagship events, she claimed her second SA Women’s Open title in 2007 – also as an amateur – and expectations were huge when she joined the paid ranks in June that same year.

Buhai didn’t disappoint.

Within three starts, she broke her duck on the Ladies European Tour and won again in 2011. After a couple of injury plagued seasons, Ashleigh relaunched her career with three successive victories in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s first season in 2014.

And she kept adding to the tally, pushing it to 11 last week with a five-shot victory in the Jabra Ladies Classic. The commanding win at Glendower Golf Club after rounds of 63, 69 and 67 was on the cards after her most successful season on the LPGA Tour last year.

She finished 56th on the final Race to CME Globe and 51st on the official LPGA Money List. A top five finish in the AIG British Women’s Open also earned her an impressive 22nd place finish on the final Ladies European Tour Order of Merit.

And, thanks to a top 13 finish in the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open three weeks ago, she has moved to 103rd in the Rolex Women’s Golf Ranking.

“I keep an eye on the rankings and the numbers, but really, all I want to do is go out there and play good golf,” said Buhai after the win at Glendower.

“I have had some really bad breaks and some great successes. It’s crazy how things happen in life, but when you choose sport as a career, you have to accept the good and the bad. It’s just the way it is. I’m very positive and I’m very relaxed and it’s a good combination for me. I finally feel like I can win any week and I’m just going to stay patient and let it happen.”

While campaigning on the LPGA Tour, Ashleigh employs Tanya Patterson, who caddied for Dame Laura Davies for six years and David works for Swede Madelene Sagstrőm, who won the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Rio in January and is currently second on the Money List.

But back on home soil, when David picks up the bag for Ashleigh, good things tend to happen.

“We split up on the golf course when we got married, because we want to stay married,” Ashleigh jokes. “Seriously though, we decided together that it wasn’t fair on me to carry all the pressure and this way our finances are not only dependant on my results. It’s worked out brilliantly for us, but when we get home, I get to have him back on the bag.

“Dave has shared in 10 of my 11 wins here at home, including the Investec SA Women’s Open in 2018. He knows my game inside out and he knows just what to say and when. It’s always special to share that winning moment with him.”

Does Ashleigh believe there is another win on the horizon at Westlake?

“I am more experienced, more patient and more relaxed and I believe I am a much better golfer now than a few years ago. My coach and I spent the last few weeks honing a few things and the game feels solid. I am confident starting this week, so yes, I would love to become the first four-time winner of our national Open.

“Yes, it will be in the back of my mind when I tee it up at Westlake on Thursday. I love the course; it really suits my eye and it sets up well for my game. But if the wind blows as hard as it did on Monday, it going to be open season on the trophy.”

The Investec SA Women’s Open tees off on Thursday, 12 March.

The 132-playing field will be cut to 60 and ties after 36 holes and the champion will be crowned on Saturday, 14 March. In addition to the lion’s share of the purse, the winner receives a Winner’s Category exemption on the Ladies European Tour until the end of 2021, starts in two Majors this year – the AIG Women’s British Open and Evian Championship.

At the conclusion of the Investec SA Women’s Open, the winner of the 2020 Investec Order of Merit will also be crowned and receive a bonus prize of R100 000.

Entry to the 2020 event is free, there is ample parking and public catering is available at the clubhouse.

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