Williams steers Sunshine Ladies Tour to dramatic finale

Kim WilliamsThe 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour season is heading for the most enthralling of finales after Kim Williams produced a grandstand finish to capture the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open title on Tuesday.

The Centurion Country Club player overcame an early triple bogey to shoot a five-under-par 67, racing through the back nine at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington in 29 strokes.

Williams won the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge and she locked down the final counting event in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies with a staggering five stroke victory on 11-under-par 205.

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Taylor throws Investec Cup Chase wide open

Lauren TaylorJOHANNESBURG, 6 March 2017 – English golfer Lauren Taylor will start the final round of the R500 000 Joburg Ladies Open with a slender lead and South African duo Kim Williams and Ashleigh Buhai lying in wait at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Wednesday.

Taylor threw the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies wide open when she produced a brace of birdies at holes 12 and 13 and a birdie at the par four 17th for a second round three-under-par 69 at the East Course.

The English golfer moved her to the top of the leaderboard at seven under 137 in the final counting event. She leads by one shot from Williams and is two strokes ahead of Buhai.

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Svelte Smit leads Joburg Ladies Open logjam

Monique SmitJOHANNESBURG, 5 March 2017 – Monique Smit claimed the first round lead in the Joburg Ladies Open with a superb five-under-par 67, while Lejan Lewthwaite’s campaign to make field for the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final began with a solid four under 68 at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club on Sunday.

Smit – a three time winner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour – has battled with inconsistency this season after dropping a staggering 20kg in the last 10 months.

“For once, it all came together,” said a delighted Smit. She hemmed in a bogey at the second with a brace of birdies and capitalised on a good start to add further gains at 14, two and six before she finished in impressive fashion with a birdie at the par fourth ninth.

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Buhai mounting charge for the top

Ashleigh BuhaiJOHANNESBURG, 4 March 2017 – Ashleigh Buhai hopes her intimate knowledge of the challenging East Course at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club will play to her advantage in the Joburg Ladies Open as she bids to seal the top spot in the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Rankings from 5-7 March.

The 27-year-old Edenvale golfer currently ranks second in the point standings, less than 300 points behind current leader Kiran Matharu from England.

Buhai has 1 685 points and Matharu, who won the Ladies Tshwane Open and posted top five finishes in five of her other seven starts, leads with 1 895 points.

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Brilliant Buhai comes up trumps at Sun City

2017 Sun International Ladies Challenge champion Ashleigh BuhaiTSHWANE, 2 March 2017 – Ashleigh Buhai sealed the her sixth Sunshine Ladies Tour title – and second this season – with a great par-save at the 54th hole of the Sun International Ladies Challenge at Sun City on Thursday.

The Edenvale golfer chipped out of the sticky rough to the back of the green at the last hole of the Lost City Golf Course with a two shot lead in hand. She lagged the first putt to three feet and boxed the second a four-under-par 68 and a winning score of 10 under 206.

Norwegian Cecilie Lundgreen, who also closed with a flawless 68, took second.

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Sunshine Ladies Tour set for climax at Ladies Joburg Open

Stacy Bregman with caddie Hilton AppelThe Sunshine Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour sponsors and partners have set the cat among the pigeons with a momentous prize money hike for the Ladies Joburg Open, which tees off at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club from 5-7 March.

The dust barely settled on Darren Fichardt’s tremendous triumph in the Joburg Open when an increased purse of R500 000 for the penultimate event on the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour was announced on Thursday.

After an enthralling season spanning over eight events, the battle for the top 10 spots in the season-finale is heading for a thrilling climax as the Sunshine Ladies Tour reaches the business end of this year’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies.

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Lewthwaite gives chase at Sun City

Lejan LewthwaiteSUN CITY, 28 February 2017 – Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia continued to shine in the Sun International Ladies Challenge, but Serengeti golfer Lejan Lewthwaite stayed in her shadow as action wrapped up Tuesday’s second round at the Sun City Resort.

Bredenhann and Cecilie Lundgreen from Norway led the first round at six under, but the big-hitting Namibian was the only one left in pole position at the Lost City Golf Course after she carded a two-under-par 70.

She leads on eight under 136, one shot clear of Lewthwaite, who matched her 70.

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Lost City serves up a birdie banquet

Bonita Bredenhann from NamibiaSUN CITY, 28 February 2017 - The Sun International Ladies Challenge saw a fantastically high standard of golf as no less than 15 players dipped into red figures during the opening round of the R200 000 championship at Sun City.

An abundance of more than 200mm of rain over the last week rendered the Gary Player-designed layout pretty defenceless and offered the Sunshine Ladies Tour competitors the rare opportunity to play some target golf.

Cecilie Lundgreen from Norway and Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia proved the most inspired and put on a superb ball-striking display to lead a distinctly international leaderboard at six under 66.

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Strauss wary of daunting defence at Sun City

Bertine StraussSUN CITY, 27 February 27, 2017 – Bertine Strauss expects a tough title defence when she starts the R200 000 Sun International Ladies Challenge at Sun City on Tuesday.

The Investec Property player admits that she is not enjoying the kind of form that helped her to three successive victories in her rookie season last year. However, vivid memories of last year’s come-from-behind win at Sun City has put her in a positive frame of mind.

“My game is not where I want it to be yet,” said Strauss.

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Pace fights back in Thailand

Lee-Anne PacePATTAYA, Thailand (26 February 2017) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace rebounded with an eagle and two birdies in the final round as Amy Yang weaved her way to tournament record winning total of 22-under-par 266 in the Honda LPGA Thailand on Sunday.

The South-Korean fired a four-under-par 68 in the weather-interrupted event at the Siam Country Club to triumph by five strokes over compatriot So Yeon Ryu.

The previous tournament record of 21 under was held by Suzann Pettersen in 2007 and Ai Miyazato in 2010.

"I am beyond happy,'' said Yang, who had to play 31 holes on Saturday and 23 on Sunday. “I had so many early wakeup calls this week and I had to stay patient out there.”

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