SA’s Pace serves up golf fest in Germany

Lee-Anne Pace and Johan SwanepoelDUSSELDORF, Germany (8 September 2016) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace embarked on a birdie rampage in the opening round of the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters to rocket into the top spot at the Golf Club Hubbelrath in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Nine birdies was more than enough to cover the two blemishes on her card and the nine-time Ladies European Tour champion signed off with a seven-under-par 65 and a handy one stroke lead.

Pace rubbed out an unfortunate bogey start with a birdie at the third before reeling in four birdies in a row from the fifth to turn four under. The three-time Chase to the Investec Cup winner also bogeyed the opening hole on the back nine, but she eliminated the stain with four more gains, including a pair of birdies at the closing holes.


Park, Dlamini & Assad through to LPGA Stage II

Carrie Park and Nobuhle DlaminiRANCHO MIRAGE, California (29 August 2016) – Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners Carrie Park and Nobuhle Dlamini and Ekurhuleni amateur Lora Assad all crossed the first hurdle in qualifying for the 2017 LPGA Tour on Sunday.

Park sealed a top 20 finish at one-under-par 287, Dlamini grabbed a share of 58th at four over 292 and Assad finished the gruelling four day test in a tie for 78th at six-over-par 294 in the group that closed out the top 92 competitors that advanced out of the Stage I Qualifying Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club to make the field for the Stage II Qualifier in October.


Sunshine Ladies Tour trio set for Q-School test

Sunshine Ladies Tour trio Nicole Garcia, Nobuhle Dlamini, Carrie Park and amateur Lora Assad.RANCHO MIRAGE, California United States (25 August 2016) - Class is in at the LPGA Tour Stage I Qualifying Tournament in California where Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners Nicole Garcia, Carrie Park and Nobuhle Dlamini have joined Ekurhuleni amateur Lora Assad and 344 other hopefuls looking to play their way onto the 2017 LPGA Tour.

First round action that gets underway at the Mission Hills Golf Club in Rancho Mirage today.

The field from 45 countries chasing passage to Stage II is nearly double the international subscription of 2015 and features 93 amateurs and 22 players that will be the sole representatives of their countries, including Dlamini from Swaziland.


Park’s gold medal performance in Rio captures the world

The women's golf medallists from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio - Lydia Ko (silver), Inbee Park (gold) and Shanshan Feng (bronze)Arms held over her head in triumph, Inbee Park showed about as much emotion as you are likely ever to see from the stoic South Korean golfer.

Her par putt didn't matter, as she had a big lead walking up the 18th fairway, the gold medal all but secured. But it went in regardless, capping a remarkable week of golf for the LPGA Hall of Famer that was as much surprising as it was dominating.

And perhaps it was a relief, too.

Expectations are high, perhaps overwhelming, in her homeland. There was talk of the South Korean golfers sweeping the podium, a ridiculous notion perhaps, but one that nonetheless was not out of the realm of possibility.


Reto, Ko on the rampage in Rio

Paula Reto at 2016 OlympicsPaula Reto could tick the biggest box of all when she starts today’s final round in the Women’s Golf Competition at the Olympic Games as a definite medal contender in Rio de Janeiro.

The diminutive Capetonian thought she already realised her biggest goals when she led Team South Africa with her opening shot s on Wednesday, but while the pacesetters faltered in the windy conditions on Friday, Reto made the most of moving day at the Olympic Course.

She rocketed from a tie for eighth into the top 10 courtesy of an outstanding three-under-par 68 and – with 18 holes to play – the former Purdue University standout has given herself a really good chance to medal. The 26-year-old petite brunette will start the final 18 holes at joint eighth on four-under-par 209 and she doesn’t feel she’s done her best yet in Rio.


Player’s charges make a move in Rio

Paula Reto and Ashleigh SimonRIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (18 August 2016) – Advice from South Africa’s team captain Gary Player helped Paula Reto to make a significant move on day two of the Women’s Golf Competition in Rio de Janeiro, while compatriot Ashleigh Simon’s decision to let go also paid dividends on Thursday.

Reto was in a buoyant mood after a four-under-par 67 that will see her start the third round six shots behind seven-time Major champion Inbee Park, whose successive rounds of 66 at the Olympic Course saw her take top spot at 10-under-par 132.

Frustrated with the putter after opening with a three over 75, Reto consulted nine-time Major champion Player. Not surprisingly, the short stick had a change of heart.

The Cape Town native produced a trio of birdies on the front nine to get back to level par and wiped out a soft bogey at 16 with a birdie-birdie finish to tie for 32nd.


Reto to lead SA in Rio

Paula Reto and Ashleigh SimonRio de Janeiro, Brazil (15 August 2016) – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto are among the world’s top women golfers set to take the Olympic stage in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday, 17 August. A field of 60 competitors in the women’s golf competition at Rio 2016 will be seeking to follow in the footsteps of American Margaret Abbott, who won the gold medal in Paris in 1900.

Like Adilson da Silva in the men’s competition, the host nation’s Miriam Nagl will hit the opening tee shot at 7.30am in the company of Irish amateur Leona Maguire and Kelly Tan of Malaysia. Nagl’s drive will mark the return of women’s golf as an Olympic sport after an absence of 116 years.

South Africa’s Paula Reto will hit South Africa’s first shot at 7.52am.


Rose strikes Olympic Gold on historic day for golf

2016 Olympic Gold medallists Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose and Matt Kuchar; credit IGFSouth African-born Justin Rose became golf's first Olympic champion in over 100 years, as the Brit outlasted British Open champion Henrik Stenson, in a brilliant advert for the game in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.

On a sun-drenched final day and in front of a sell-out crowd of 12,000 at Reserva de Marapendi Golf Course, Rose added the Olympic crown to his 2013 US Open title after a prolonged and exciting battle down the stretch with Sweden’s Henrik Stenson.

In the end, the packed grandstand which turned the 18th arena into a noisy sporting amphitheatre, watched spellbound as Rose got up-and-down from the side of the green for the birdie which sealed a worthy gold medal performance.


Park pushes in front at Ebotse Challenge

Carrie ParkBENONI, 2 August 2016 – It must be something in the water on the East Rand, because it seems that Carrie Park always saves her best golf for Ekurhuleni. Just a few months ago, the pintsized rookie shared the 36-hole lead in the ERPM Challenge in Boksburg. Today, Park fired a flawless five under 67 to leapfrog first round pacesetter Duane Kean for the outright lead in round two of the IGT Tour’s Ebotse Challenge in Benoni.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigner moved to two-under-par 142 and she will start the final round with a one shot cushion over Keun, who returned a 74.

Local pro Brandon Pieters rallied with a 68 after opening with a frustrating 76 to join Pretoria amateur Philip Kruse (71) at even-par 144, while Ebotse junior Jayden Schaper and Benoni Lake pro Pieter Moolman matched each other with 73s to finish a further stroke adrift in joint fifth with yet another local, Dean O’Riley (71), and amateur Etienne Janse van Rensburg.

While her first round scorecard was marred by a triple and two bogeys, Park made the best of the sunny weather on day two. She turned two under after birdies at one and nine and dipped five under par with further gains at 13, 15 and 18.

“I would have to say that the biggest difference was the weather,” said Park.


Ariya becomes first Thai to land a major

Ariya Jutanugarn Ariya Jutanugarn the memories of a late collapse earlier this year as she became the first Thai golfer to win a major championship by taking the Ricoh Women's British Open title on Sunday.

The 20-year-old led by two strokes on the 70th tee at the ANA Inspiration in California in April but missed out on major glory when she dropped shots at each of the last three holes.

The big-hitting Thai made amends at Woburn, though. She went into the final round holding a two-shot lead and a closing level-par 72 left her three clear of the field on 272, 16 under.


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