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.


Jutanugarn takes charge at Woburn

Ariya Jutanugarn Ariya Jutanugarn shot a bogey-free 66 on Saturday to take the third-round lead at the RICOH Women’s British Open, while Lee-Anne Pace leapfrogged Ashleigh Simon to lead the South African charge at Woburn Golf Club in Milton Keyes, England.

A three-time champion on the LPGA Tour this season, Juranugarn is pursuing a first Major victory and the Thai golfer will start the final round with a two shot lead on a new 54-hole record 16-under-par 200.

Mirim Lee from South Korea carded 69 to take sole second, while former champion Mo Martin from the United States also returned a 69 to take third on her own at 11 under.


Simon leads SA onslaught at British Women’s Open

South Korea's Mirim Lee28 July 2016 - South Africa's Ashleigh Simon offset a lone bogey with two birdies to open with a one-under-par 71 in the RICOH Women’s British Open at Woburn, while Olympic Games team-mate Paula Reto and LPGA winner Lee-Anne Pace carded a pair of 73s at the Marguess Course in Milton Keyes.

Mirim Lee shot a bogey-free round of 62 to take the first-round lead.

The 25-year old tied the tournament record set by Minea Blomqvist in the third round in 2004 and the round tied her career low which she previously shot in the second round of the 2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship.

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn - a three-time LPGA Tour winner this season - sits three shots back and in solo second at seven under.


SA trio set for Woburn test

Ashleigh Simon27 July 2016 - South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon will join a bevy of world stars, including her Olympic Games team-mate Paula Reto and compatriot Lee-Anne Pace at the Ricoh Women’s British Open in England on Thursday.

Simon was among 85 hopefuls who contested the last 16 places for the starting line-up at Woburn Golf Club in the Final Qualifying at John O’ Gaunt Golf Club in Sandy on Monday. She fired a four-under-par 71 to tie for seventh, comfortably snapping up her spot for the season’s four Major.

“When we arrived in England after eight successive starts on the LPGA Tour, I wasn’t too sure what to expect in the qualifier, but I knew I would go all out to make the field,” she said.


Final Fields confirmed for Olympic Golf

SA quartet representing SA at 2016 Olympic GamesSouth Africa's Jaco van Zyl, Brandon Stone, Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto are among the 120 men and women who will create golf history in Rio de Janeiro next month at the Olympic Games competition at Reserva de Marapendi Golf Course between August 11 and 20.

The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) have now entered the athletes who will represent their country for the first Olympic golf competition in 112 years, following the publication last Monday of the Final Olympic Golf Rankings.

With no fewer than 41 countries included in the start list for the men’s competition from August 11-14, followed by the women’s event from August 17-20, the composition of the Olympic fields highlights the broad global diversity of the sport in Rio de Janeiro, representing the ultimate shop-window for the sport and having the capacity to reach a brand new audience, especially among the younger generation across all the continents.


Reto within striking distance in Ohio

Paula RetoSYLVANIA, Ohio, United States (15 July 2016) - On the very day that Paula Reto was named to the 2016 South African Olympic Team heading to Rio in August, the Strand native justified her selection with a strong opening performance in the LPGA Tour’s Marathon Classic in Ohio.

Reto bookended a superb 68 with birdies at the opening and closing holes at the Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania to grab a share of seventh. She shares the bus at three under with eight players, including world number one Lydia Ko and number two ranked Brooke Henderson.

The group finished two shots off the pace from Japan’s Haro Nomura and South Korean pair Hyo Joo Kim and Mirim Lee.

American Kelly Shon, France’s Celine Herbin and Airiya Juranugarn from Thailand – a three-time winner this season – sit a shot back at four under.



2016 Olympic Games Golf TrophyThe two-year qualification process for golf’s return to the Olympic Games for the first time in 112 years has been completed with the publication today of the Final Olympic Golf Rankings. Below are the top 15 qualifiers for the Women’s Competition, who could be lining it up with South Africa’s Paula Reto and Ashleigh Simon in Rio this August.


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