Bregman targets successful first foray to Soweto
Stacy Bregman is hoping her first visit to the iconic Soweto Country Club is a winning one as the sixth Sunshine Ladies Tour season wraps up this week with the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open.
The five-time champion will go in search of a first victory this season when the fourth edition of this prestigious tournament, sponsored by the City of Joburg, takes place at the recently renovated Soweto venue from 26-28 March.
The season-finale represents a last hoorah for Bregman to end a disappointing season on a high note.
“I felt so confident when I left for Australia after coming second in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, but I had a disappointing run on the Ladies European Tour,” said the 32-year-old Johannesburg native.
“I picked up a niggling shoulder injury that got worse as the weeks past. I struggled to swing and you just can’t compete at your best when you’re not hitting the ball with confidence.
“I still had title hopes for the Jabra Ladies Classic after a tie for 12th in the Investec South African Women’s Open, but I woke up after the pro-am round in unbearable pain. I had to withdraw, but I went for intense therapy to be match ready this week.”
Bregman had to watch from the side-lines at Glendower Golf Club as good friend and fellow Ladies European Tour campaigner Anne-Lise Caudal from France became the sixth first-time winner and sixth foreign champion.
“I was really sad to miss out last week, but I enjoyed watching Anne-Lise and Nobby duel it out in the final round. We have this rivalry on the course, but off the course we are really good friends and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. In my view, they were both winners,” Bregman said.
Bregman beat Dlamini in the final event last year to win the Investec Property Fund Order of Merit, but Dlamini has turned the tables this season and has one hand on the trophy ahead of the season-finale.
While Caudal returned to France on the weekend, Dlamini will join Bregman in the 42-strong player field to challenge for the R70 000 first prize pay-out.
“The Joburg Ladies Open is on everyone’s bucket list since it launched in 2016,” said Bregman, who tied for fourth in the inaugural event at Royal Johannesburg in 2016 and lost to Ashleigh Buhai at Modderfontein last year.
“We all want the win this week and I think the course will be a great leveller. It’s a new venue for all of us and no-one has the home course advantage. It’s another fantastic Gary Player course and the design is really awesome. The greenkeeping team has done an amazing job with the greens. It’s going to be another tightly contested battle to the end this week.”
Dlamini’s remarkably consistent form this season has kept her in the number one spot since she added a third career Sunshine Ladies Tour title to her repertoire with a two-shot victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge.
The Swazi national is primed for one final push to end a breakthrough season on a winning note to pocket the R100 000 bonus that comes with victory in the points race.
“It’s about being here now and trying to win the first event at Soweto,” said Dlamini. “You play golf until you’re really old, but these moments are the kind of ones you want to remember at the end of your career.
“It has been a great season for me and consistency was really key. Even when I haven’t played my best I still scored well, which was probably the biggest difference. And I’m looking forward to finishing the season with another strong push. It’s going to be an exciting week.”
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Written and released by Lali Stander on behalf of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA.
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