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4th February 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

Nadia shows mettle for Mother City maiden win

She was pushed all the way by a group of seasoned champions, but Nadia van der Westhuizen held her nerve to claim a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour title in the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club on Friday.

In a tightly-contested final round, the 20-year-old Serengeti golfer locked in her one-shot victory in the season-opener on four-over with a final round one-under-par 73.

Her joint lowest round on the day relegated reigning Investec South African Women’s Open champion Lee-Anne Pace, five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman, Tandi McCallum, who led the first two rounds, and last year’s runner-up Cara Gorlei to joint second.

“This is so unexpected; it’s surreal,” gushed Van der Westhuizen as she hugged her trophy. “Twelve months ago, I was still campaigning on the GolfRSA circuit and now I’m the first winner of the 2022 Sunshine Ladies Tour season.

“I had no expectations coming into this week. I felt my game was solid, but I kept my goals realistic. I just went out there with the mindset of trying to put three good rounds together to build momentum for the rest of the tour.

“I am absolutely stoked with this win. The Sunshine Ladies Tour’s tagline is #LevelUp and I feel like that is exactly what I’ve done here this week. I used my rookie season to adjust to the pro circuit and gain experience, and this week I put everything I’ve learned into play. It’s such an awesome feeling to get this first win under the belt with the rest of the season to come.”

Rounds of 77 and 76 over the first two days in windy and wet conditions had left Van der Westhuizen trailing 36-hole leader McCallum by four shots.

She offset bogeys on two and eight for birdies on five and seven, and gains on the par-fours around the turn catapulted her into contention.

“The last 18 holes was such a tense battle. The conditions were better than the first two days, but the wind switched from a north-westerly to a south-easterly, so I had to adapt my strategy,” she said.

“On the ninth, I hit a good drive and a grip-down soft eight-iron to six feet and boxed the putt, and on the 10th, I hit another good drive. I had 120 meters to the pin in a three-club wind, so I opted for seven-iron. I hit it perfectly and holed a 10-footer for birdie.”

She picked up another shot on the par-five 14th and, but having dropped on 17, she had no idea that she held the outright lead with one hole to play.

“Those last three holes are extremely tough, and I was relieved that I got away with a bogey, bogey finish for a 73. I only realised where I was on the leaderboard after the round and I still didn’t think it was good enough,” she said.”

Van der Westhuizen’s drop on 18 resulted in a five-way tie after Bregman – five off the pace at the start of the round – birdied 16 to get to four-over.

It was anyone’s race to win, but Pace, Gorlei and Bregman all bogeyed the penultimate hole and McCallum bid to force a play-off went up in flames with a five on the par-four closing hole.

The last 12 months has been a roller-coaster ride of gains and losses for Van der Westhuizen.

“In February last year, I had my best finish ever in the SA Women’s Stroke Play Championship with a third-place, and later that month I won my first provincial title in the North West Open,” she explained.

“I felt that turning pro was the right move and I loved competing on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. I played the Standard Bank Series and the Bushveld Tour to stay competitive for the Ladies European Tour Qualifying School in December, and then South Africa got hit with the travel restrictions.

“I was gutted when I had to pull out of Q-School, but this win more than makes up for it. To come out on top against winners like Lee-Anne, Stacy and Tandi is a huge injection of confidence and I’m really excited for the rest of the season.

“I’m really grateful for all the support I have from Srixon, Swagg, Serengeti Estates, Sports Management Africa and my coach, Nicole van Pletzen, and that I could justify their belief in me with this win. My favourite tournament last year was the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge, and we are heading to George next, so I’m taking this confidence and I’m determined to keep building on this.”

And #LevelUp is exactly what South Africa’s number-one ranked amateur Isabella van Rooyen will want to do after finishing as the leading amateur in the Mother City.

The Clovelly golfer tied for 15th with Ladies European Tour winner Florentyna Parker from England on 15-over. The GolfRSA National Squad member will bank all the experience gained this week as she bids for amateur golf’s most prestigious titles in the SA Amateur Championships at Championships at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club, starting on Sunday.

3rd February 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

McCallum marches on in SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open

Tandi McCallum made two birdies and four bogeys on Thursday on her way to a two-over-par 76 and the 36- lead in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club.

It was a day of changeable weather in the second round, but the overnight leader was able to navigate the changes in conditions well enough hole to be one clear of Cara Gorlei, Thalia Martin and Nicole Garcia, who shared second on two-over-par.

“It was quite a mixed bag today,” said McCallum. “Conditions were very varied. It started off with a lot more rain than yesterday. There was still a bit of a north-wester, but not nearly as hard, so the rain was coming straight down, rather than sideways.

“But the course had a lot of rain overnight, so the ball stopped dead off the tee and on the greens. It was very much target golf, but it was playing quite heavy. Club selection was a lot more challenging today because the ball wasn’t flying as far. Then the clouds burnt off and the sun came out, so the ball started going a bit further and we had to adjust again for the changing conditions.

“I started swinging a little freer as all the rain gear came off, so the front nine and the back nine were two very different nines and you had to keep your wits about you.”

The tale of two halves could be seen on McCallum’s scorecard, with three of her bogeys coming on the front nine within the first five holes. But there was only one dropped shot on the homeward nine, and, with her birdie on the 11th, that meant she came home in level-par to be one-over heading into the final round.

For McCallum, seeking her first title since her 2014 Sun International Challenge success, it’s a question of more of the same in better weather for the final round.

“I’m going to try and keep my strategy the same,” she said. “My core strategy is good. The weather is going to be very different tomorrow – sunny, and the south-easter will be blowing. It will be a different course for everybody. I’m going to play one shot at a time, as cliched as that may sound. But I’m going to have fun tomorrow, not get too serious, and see what comes.”

Of McCallum’s pursuers is Cara Gorlei, who led the first two rounds in last year’s event but was denied a maiden pro title by Manon Gidali. The French golfer defeated Gorlei on holed a 25-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole.

Gorlei fired the best round on the day with her two-under-par 72 – one of just three rounds under par on the day – to put herself in a great position to have another shot at the title.

The trio led by Gorlei in second will start the final round one clear of Norway’s Maiken Bing Paulsen, Lejan Lewthwaite and reigning Investec South African Women’s Open champion Lee-Anne Pace, who is hunting a record fourth title in the Mother City.

South Africa’s No 1 ranked amateur Isabella van Rooyen took charge of the amateur challenge with a round of 77 that moved the GolfRSA National Squad member to 14th on 10-over. The Clovelly golfer sits two clear of Kim de Klerk from Mossel Bay, with Western Province’s Nina Grey a further two shots adrift.

2nd February 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

McCallum on the Move in Cape Town

Former South African Women’s Open champion Tandi McCallum battled strong winds and a steady drizzle to open up a one-shot lead on day one of the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open on Wednesday.

With the course playing tough and longer in the adverse conditions, the Gauteng golfer might have been in for a long day after a bogey, bogey start, but McCallum managed to turn things around.

She responded with six birdies to hit the front with a one-under-par 73 and was the only player to break par in the opening round.

Nicole Garcia and England’s Thalia Martin share second on level par, with Lejan Lewthwaite – fresh off her victory in the Vodacom Origins of Series Final at Sun City – a further stroke back in fourth.

After finishing with back-to-back bogeys, McCallum was pleasantly surprised to find herself leading the season-opener of the ninth Sunshine Ladies Tour season.

“It’s definitely more than I expected, given the conditions. I just wanted to put a decent score together to get into contention, so really pleased with the outcome,” she said.

“We’ve played the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open here at Royal Cape six out of seven times, so I’ve pretty much worked out where I can score, but today I had to adjust my strategy completely with the strong North Westerly.

“It was like a reverse strategy. Holes that are usually reachable were totally out of reach and I had to adapt by going for birdies on the holes where I would normally play for par. I just tried to minimize the bogeys before the final stretch, because I knew that would be tough.”

McCallum turned one-over, but birdies on 10, 11, 13 and 15 took her three deep.

“Sure enough, I dropped the last two holes,” she said. “We usually have the wind behind us over the closing stretch, but today they were really tough,” she said. “For instance, I usually hit driver and a short iron into the last hole, but today I needed driver, 3-wood to get on the green. Lejan said she had to hit driver, driver and she is one of our longer hitters.

“I knew it was going to get tough at the end, so I am pleased that I looked for opportunities early on the back nine, where I could use the wind. There is still a lot of golf to play, but I’m very happy with today’s result, and hopefully I can build on it.”

And with 36 holes to go, don’t count out last year’s top golfer Lee-Anne Pace.

The reigning Investec South African Women’s Open champion – chasing her fourth title in this event – finished the day just four strokes off the pace in joint fifth alongside former winner Stacy Bregman and rising stars Zethu Myeki and Nadia van der Westhuizen.

Southern Cape’s Kim de Klerk, a regular campaigner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour over the last X years, leads the amateur challenge at Royal Cape. De Klerk opened with a four-over 78 to join last year’s runner-up Cara Gorlei, Norway’s Maiken Bing Paulsen and multiple winner Kim Williams in a tie for ninth.

31st January 2022 | Sunshine Ladies Tour

All systems go for 2022

South Africa’s leading golfers and emerging stars will aim to stake the first claim when the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open tees off the ninth Sunshine Ladies Tour season in the City of Cape Town this week.

The homegrown talent will go head-to-head with the first international campaigners to hit South African shores in the 54-hole curtain-raiser at Royal Cape Golf Club from 2-4 February.

The City of Cape Town has supported the event since 2015, but this is the first year SunBet, South Africa’s premium online sports betting site, has joined the Sunshine Ladies Tour stable sponsors and partners. The collaboration meant this year’s purse has doubled to R400 000, making it an attractive drawcard to launch the 2022 season.

“SunBet has been involved in all levels of professional golf and we are excited that they extended their support to the Sunshine Ladies Tour,” said General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen. “It’s a great time to support women’s professional golf in South Africa, given the growth of the circuit and the heightened international participation we have enjoyed over the last two years. For SunBet, this event also represents a wonderful opportunity to entertain their clients and to expose more people to our amazing professionals, who really show them a great time during our pro-ams.”

Three-time winner Lee-Anne Pace – the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s most prolific champion with 14 victories since 2014 – spearheads the local challenge and the reigning Investec South African Women’s Open champion is well-supported by multiple winners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Tandi McCallum, Kim Williams and Lejan Lewthwaite, fresh off her victory in the Vodacom Origins of Golf final at Sun City.

Seasoned Ladies European Tour champions Florentyna Parker and France’s Anne-Lise Caudal will lead the international posse, representing nine countries.

England’s Parker is yet to win on Africa’s premier women’s professional circuit, but Caudal celebrated a popular win in the 2019 Jabra Ladies Classic. However, having worn the bridesmaid’s tag twice in this event, the Frenchwoman will be keen to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Manon Gidali and make it back-to-back wins for France in the Mother City.

The “old guard” will have to content with a wave of rising talent, though. Last year, three rookies and an amateur stepped into the winner’s circle in the first four events, and the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open could very well serve as the launch pad again for the youth to level up this year.

Former top amateur talents Zethu Myeki, Cara Gorlei and Nadia van der Westhuizen lead the youth brigade, looking to make a fast start to the 2022 season.

Former GolfRSA National Squad member Myeki represented South Africa seven times on the international stage, but her transition into the pro ranks was hampered by financial limitations and the Covid-19 pandemic. Myeki tees it up this season with the strong backing of Investec and the guidance of Investec stable-mates Bregman, Garcia and Lewthwaite and she signalled her intent with a one-two finish on the Vodacom Origins series in September last year.

Gorlei led the first two rounds of last year’s event and, having honed her skills on the Womens Pro Tour in the United States in 2021, the Capetonian will be keen to make amends for the play-off loss and lift the title at her home course.

Van der Westhuizen turned pro on the back of arguably her best amateur season as the No 3 ranked player in the country. Having cut her teeth on the 2021 Sunshine Ladies Tour, she was set to tee it up in the Ladies European Tour Q-School before the pandemic travel restrictions put paid to her plans. Look out for the Serengeti golfer to make an impression this season.

Caitlyn Macnab’s breakout season and her march to victory in the 2021 Jabra Ladies Classic to become the first amateur to win a professional title since 2007 has also fired up the amateur field, led by GolfRSA No 1 Isabella van Rooyen. The 18-year-old Clovelly golfer enjoyed a top 20 finish in last year’s event – her first start in a professional event – and was the only other amateur to make the 36-hole cut in the national championship. She will lead an eight-strong amateur contingent at Royal Cape, where she is also a member.


2016 Lee-Anne Pace

2017 Ashleigh Buhai

2018 Lee-Anne Pace

2019 Carrie Park

2020 Lee-Anne Pace

2021 Manon Gidali


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