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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Play-off perfection from Park at Glendower

Carrie ParkEDENVALE, 23 February 2017 – Rory McIlroy would have given anything to match the heroics of Carrie Park and Nobuhle Dlamini at Glendower’s par four 18th hole where he lost in a play-off to England’s Graeme Storm in the men’s South African Open in January.

Park from South Korea and Swaziland’s Dlamini Nobuhle both spectacularly birdied the 18th in regulation play to finish at five-under-par 211 in joint first place in Thursday’s final round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon.

Just as McIlory and Storm went up and down Glendower’s 18th in a sudden-death play-off for the SA Open title before the Northern Irishman bogeyed the third extra hole to hand victory to the Englishman, Park and Dlamini did the same dance.

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Buhai blows past opposition at Glendower

Ashleigh BuhaiEDENVALE, 22 February 2017 – Edenvale golfer Ashleigh Buhai boxed a 15-footer for birdie at her last hole of a long day at Glendower Golf Club to take the 36-hole lead in the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic.

After the first round was washed out due to the deluge of rain that hit the club, two rounds were played on Wednesday. Buhai signed for two-under-par 70s in both the morning and afternoon.

She "divorced" her old caddie - new husband Dave - and is using Mpola Wilkinson, a local Glendower bagman, this week. She was pleased with their teamwork out on the course.

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Rain washes out Sunshine Ladies Tour at Glendower

Glendower Country ClubIt was a day where the weather was the main talking point at Glendower and sadly, Mother Nature got the better of the start of the seventh event in this year’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Torrential rain, which began on Monday and never relented, forced the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic sponsored by Canon to be abandoned without a tee shot being fired.

“The course was flooded and the grounds staff were trying desperately to clean up with squeegees when we arrived early this morning,” said tournament director Pauli van Meersbergen.

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Matharu perfectly poised in Chase to Investec Cup battle

Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader Kiran MatharuGLENDOWER, 20 February 2017 – A birdie-birdie finish for a fourth place finish in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge pushed Comeback Kid Kiran Matharu to the summit in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies standings on Sunday.

The 27-year-old English golfer will start the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, sponsored by Canon, on Tuesday with just the slenderest of margins.

She is a mere 255 points ahead of Nicole Garcia, who triumphed at Fancourt, and she has less than 300 point lead on Ashleigh Buhai, also a winner this season.

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Eagle gives Garcia wings at DiData Challenge

Dimension Data Challenge winner Nicole GarciaGEORGE, 19 February 2017 – Nicole Garcia rocketed to second in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Points Standings on the back of a stunning wire-to-wire victory in the Dimension Data Challenge at Fancourt on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Benoni golfer produced a sensational eagle at the par five 17th and boxed her final putt for birdie for a flawless five-under-par 67.

The victory on 10 under 216 earned Garcia her second Sunshine Ladies Tour title, a payday worth R70 000 and 650 points in the points race for the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final.

She finished three shots clear of former SA Women’s Open champion Tandi von Ruben and six strokes ahead of defending champion Lee-Anne Pace.

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