Buhai banks early birthday bonus in Swaziland

Peter Karmis and Ashleigh SimonMBABANE, Swaziland (6 May 2017) -  She was hoping to go low in the final round of the Investec Royal Swazi Open in Swaziland, but two points on the final day was more than good enough to earn Ashleigh Buhai a stash of cash and a seventh Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

Buhai shared the winner’s circle with men’s competition winner Peter Karmis on Saturday after she birdied the final two holes at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club to complete a wire-to-wire victory in the 72-hole Modified Scoring event.

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Buhai bursts clear at Royal Swazi Open

Ashleigh BuhaiA little less jetlag and a lot more gumption saw Ashleigh Buhai open up a three point lead in the R100 000 Investec Royal Swazi Open on Thursday.

The first round leader arrived at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club in Swaziland via Dallas, London and Johannesburg on the back of seven straight weeks on the Ladies PGA Tour.

She battled to an opening round of 73 that featured a pair of birdies and three bogeys and was worth one point in the unique Modified Scoring event, but racked up four birdies for eight points that helped to boost the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion’s overall tally to four points.

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Buhai back at the top in Swaziland

Ashleigh BuhaiMBABANE, Swaziland (3 May 2017) – She left South Africa as the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies winner and two months later, Ashleigh Buhai went straight back to the top of the pile in the first round of the Investec Royal Swazi Open on Wednesday.

“Gosh, I haven’t played this course in 15 years or so and it felt I like I was playing it blind,” said the 27-year-old Edenvale golfer after she went around the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club layout in 73 strokes to bank one point in the Modified Scoring format.

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SLT six ready to rock Swazi Open

Stacy BregmanMBABANE, Swaziland (2 May 2017) – South Africa’s Stacy Bregman will lead a six-strong Sunshine Ladies Tour assault in the Investec Royal Swazi Open, which tees off at the Royal Swazi Spa Country Club on Wednesday.

Bregman arrived back from Spain last week and spent a bit of time with her family before she headed to Swaziland to join forces with fellow Investec Property player Bertine Strauss in the Sunshine Tour championship.

The rest of the ladies’ line-up features 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion Ashleigh Buhai, Dimension Data Ladies Challenge winner Nicole Garcia, big-hitting Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia and local favourite Nobuhle Dlamini, who will be looking to impress the Swazi crowds at her home course.

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Ryu wins ANA Inspiration in playoff

Ryu So-Yeon wins 2017 ANA InspirationAmerican Lexi Thompson was denied a second ANA Inspiration title after she was hit with a four-stroke penalty for a rules infraction the previous day and then lost to South Korean Ryu So-yeon in a playoff at the first Major of the season.

Thompson was leading by three shots when LPGA Tour rules official Sue Witters approached her on the way to the 13th tee at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course at Mission Hills Country Club.

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Mix outcome for SA pair at suspended ANA Inspiration

Paula RetoCALIFORNIA, United States (31 March 2017) - South Africa’s Paula Reto made a good start to the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, California to finish four shots behind Karine Icher.

Icher grabbed the lead in the first Major for 2017 before play had to be suspended due to high winds.

The Frenchwoman shot a five-under 67 to take the early lead, though four players were nipping at her heels, including American Michelle Wie and South Korean trio So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and amateur Eun Jeong Seong.

Reto made the most of an early start to balance out bogeys at seven and 14 with gains at the first, second and 17th holes at the Dinah Shore Tournament Course for an opening 71 at Mission Hills Country Club.

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SA five forge straight into international action

Stacy BregmanHAINAN, China (16 March 2017) – The dust barely settled on the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour but there is no rest for the country’s top ranked players, who are geared for action on the Ladies European Tour in China and LPGA Tour in the United States this week.

Stacy Bregman and Nicole Garcia hope to ride the momentum gained over the last 12 weeks to a solid start on the 2017 Ladies European Tour in China, while Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh Buhai will star in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup in Arizona alongside compatriot Paula Reto.

Bregman and Garcia are the only South Africans lining up the 126-strong field for the SGF67 World Ladies Championship by SBS, which tees off at Mission Hills Resort Haikou in Hainan on Friday.

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Buhai and Pace celebrate in season-finale

Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh BuhaiKOSTER, 12 March 2017 - All good things come to those who wait, but nobody told Ashleigh Buhai it would be quite so hard to land the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies title on Sunday.

It finally happened for Buhai when she put the perfect pace on 12-foot clutch putt for birdie at the final hole at Millvale Private Retreat. When the ball hit the bottom of the cup, the 27-year-old Edenvale golfer sunk to her knees and pumped both her fists.

For a moment, joy and relief jostled for position on her face before she broke into a smile as big as the moon.

“I can’t believe I’ve done it,” gushed Buhai after she signed for a 71 to edge out main rival Nicole Garcia for the 2017 series title with a second place finish at four-under-par 212 in Sunshine Ladies Tour season-finale.

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Matharu and company geared for gripping Grand Finale

Kiran MatharuKOSTER, 9 March 2017 – The most engrossing season since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014 is heading for a dramatic conclusion in this week’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final as England’s Kiran Matharu aims to finish as the tour’s number one player for 2017.

The 27-year-old former golf prodigy nearly gave up the game at the end of 2015 after being plagued with injury problems. After being diagnosed with locked hips, Matharu decided to give it one more shot.

Her decision to come out to South Africa at the start of the season and compete on the local circuit paid off in ways the Leeds golfer could not imagine. Matharu earned a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory in the Ladies Tshwane Open and remarkably consistent form in her eight other starts elevated her to the top spot in the Points race.

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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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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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Garcia keeps control at Di-Data Challenge

Nicole GarciaGEORGE, 18 February 2017 – Nicole Garcia will be acutely aware of a chasing pack bidding to thwart her charge towards a second Sunshine Ladies Tour title when she starts the final round of the Dimension Data Challenge at Fancourt.

Garcia opened with a 68 and second round 71 at George Golf Club was good enough to keep the Benoni golfer at the top of pile at five under 139, however, there are seven proven winners within five strokes of her lead.

Defending champion Lee-Anne Pace and Tandi von Ruben navigated the parklands layout in 70 strokes to finish one shot back, while Carrie Park carded a 74 to finish three off the pace.

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Garcia and Park lead, Pace lurks at Di-Data Challenge

Nicole GarciaGEORGE, 17 February 2017 – Lee-Anne Pace looked to have blown her chances on the first day of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Dimension Data Challenge, but the defending champion rallied with a birdie flurry to finish two off the pace from Nicole Garcia and Carrie Park from South Korea at George Golf Club on Friday.

Pace hit the front with a trio of birdies in first four holes, but bogeys at seven and 10 started a downward spiral that opened the door for Garcia and Park.

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Birthday girl Pace eyes Di-Data double

Lee-Anne PaceGEORGE, 16 February 2017 – On Valentine’s Day she spoiled her loved ones and on Wednesday, it was her turn to be pampered, but on Thursday, South Africa’s top ranked Lee-Anne Pace was all business ahead of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Challenge in George.

“It was great to treat everyone on Tuesday and to have the favour returned on my birthday, but now we it’s time to get serious about winning,” said the 36-year-old.

The 54-hole event tees off at George Golf Club on Friday and defending champion dearly wants to be in the driver’s seat when the final round moves to the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt on Sunday.

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Dimension Data makes Valentine’s Day extraordinary

GEORGE, 15 February 2017 – Dimension Data gifted the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a magnificent surprise on Valentine’s Day with the announcement of record prize money for the fourth edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Pro-Am.

The sixth counting event in the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies will boast a purse of R600 000, with R500 000 allocated to the tournament and R100 000 reserved for the Betterball Competition.

The first two rounds of 54-hole event will be played at George Golf Club on Friday and Saturday and the final round will be contested at the Outeniqua Course at Fancourt on Sunday.

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Canon connects with Sunshine Ladies Tour

Ashleigh BuhaiJOHANNESBURG, 16 February 2017 - Canon South Africa has a long-standing reputation for supporting South African golf and is now proudly associated with the Sunshine Ladies Tour as a sponsor for 2017.

The company, which recently announced its title sponsorship of the Canon South African Disabled Golf Open, will sponsor cash and camera prizes at the Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, to be contested at Glendower Golf Club from 21-24 February.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014 to ensure the future of playing professionals in South Africa and the continued growth of golf in the region. In four short years, the Sunshine Ladies Tour has grown from seven to 10 events that count towards the season-finale Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies with record prize money of more than R4-million.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour Classic, sponsored by Canon, is the seventh event this year.

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Buhai rebounds to bank Cape Town win

Cape Town Ladies Open champion Ashleigh BuhaiCAPE TOWN, 9 February 2017 – Ashleigh Buhai defeated defending champion Lee-Anne Pace at the first extra hole of a sudden-death play-off for the Cape Town Ladies Open title, while Katia Schaff collected her second amateur victory at Royal Cape on Thursday.

Converting three successive runner-up finishes to bank her first Sunshine Ladies Tour victory this season took a lot more work than Buhai imagined when she started the final day with a three shot edge over Pace.

Buhai led by one shot going up the last hole, but Pace drained a 12-footer for birdie and the top ranked pair deadlocked at eight-under-par 214 at the end of regulation play.

They returned to the 18th tee for another stab at the short par four and this time Buhai made the crucial move when she rocked home a 25-foot putt for birdie to seal the win.

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Buhai stays at summit in Cape Town

Ashleigh SimonCAPE TOWN, 8 February 2017 – Ashleigh Buhai tightened her grip on the Cape Town Ladies Open, but the Glendower pro has defending champion Lee-Anne Pace snapping at her heels at Royal Cape Golf Club.

Buhai has been in brilliant form this season, carding three successive runner-up-finishes, and came flying out of the blocks in Tuesday’s opening round to establish a one shot lead at three under.

She was the picture of composure as she fired a flawless second round six-under-par 68 on Wednesday to close in on a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

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Buhai bursts clear at Cape Town Ladies Open

Ashleigh Simon and Johan SwanepoelCAPE TOWN, 7 February 2017 – If one had to judge her performance in the opening round of the Cape Town Ladies Open on Tuesday, the honeymoon might be over, but Ashleigh Buhai is having a whale of a time in the Mother City after giving her husband the boot.

The couple tied the knot last December, but after seven years of wearing her bag, David got the boot after last week’s Ladies Tshwane Open.

“We’ve split up, but only on the golf course,” laughed Buhai after she and new bagman Johan Swanepoel toured the par-74 layout at Royal Cape Golf Club layout in three under.

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Pace under pressure in Cape Town

Lee-Anne PaceCAPE TOWN, 6 February 2017 – A changing of the guard has left Lee-Anne Pace under some pressure as she prepares to start her title defence in the Cape Town Ladies Open on Tuesday.

South Africa’s top golf export sealed a hat-trick of wins in SA Women’s Open two weeks ago, but Pace elected to miss the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge and she performed below her usual standard in her other two starts in January.

The victory at San Lameer followed a joint fifth finish at the SA Women’s Masters at Rondebosch Golf Club. A tie for eighth in the Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club last Thursday moved Pace to sixth in the 2017 standings and the Paarl golfer will start the R200 000 event at Royal Cape Golf Club on the back foot.

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Sunshine Ladies Tour inks partnership with Unimedia/PinkStigA

Sunshine Ladies Tour / WPGA / Unimedia / PinkStig agreementThe Sunshine Ladies Tour signed a promotor’s agreement with PinkStig on Friday to launch the 2017 PinkStig Series.

“PinkStig have undertaken to host a minimum of four events between April and December, thereby extending the players’ season beyond the Chase to the Investec Cup for the Ladies Final in March,” said Sunshine Tour chief executive Selwyn Nathan.

“We have partnered with committed sponsors and the stature of the Sunshine Ladies Tour continues to grow. The collaboration with PinkStig comes at an opportune time as we continue to reinforce the continued growth and expansion of the Sunshine Ladies Tour in our fourth season.”

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Mighty Matharu goes straight to top with Tshwane win

Ladies Tshwane Open champion Kiran MatharuTSHWANE, 2 February 2017 – Britain’s Kiran Matharu was in imperious form at Zwartkop Country Club as she marched to a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory with a commanding performance in the R400 000 Ladies Tshwane Open on Friday.

The Englishwoman fired four birdies on the back nine to post a four-under-par 67 for a winning score of nine over 209, beating defending champion Monique Smit and fellow South African Ashleigh Buhai by an emphatic five strokes.

“This is what I’ve been working towards since the start of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to finally lift the trophy is just a fantastic feeling,” said Matharu.

The 27-year-old took third in her debut at the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, shared second with Buhai at the SA Women’s Masters and closed out a top five finish in the SA Women’s Open last weekend.

The victory catapulted Matharu to the top of the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies standings, while Buhai leapfrogged SA Women’s Masters champion Carrie Park for second place.

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Matharu holds all the cards at Ladies Tshwane Open

Kiran MatharuTSHWANE, 1 February 2017 – For a second time in three weeks, its advantage to a foreign campaigner as Britain’s Kiran Matharu continued to stamp her dominance on the Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club on Wednesday.

Targeting a breakthrough on the Sunshine Ladies Tour after a third, a second and a fifth place finish in her first three starts, the 27-year-old from Leeds opened up healthy three stroke lead with a second round two under 69 to top the scoreboard at five under 137.

Matharu believes she has the game to see it through, but she will keep an eye on Kim Williams and Ashleigh Buhai leading the chasing pack.

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Masterful Matharu on the march in Tshwane

Kiran MatharuTSHWANE, 31 January 2017 – British golfer Kiran Matharu once again demonstrated some fine form on the Sunshine Ladies Tour to finish the weather-affected first day of the Ladies Tshwane Open at the top of the pile at Zwartkop Country Club.

The Hennops River broke its banks on Monday night after a heavy deluge and caused some major damage, especially over the first nine holes. The opening round had to be delayed by two hours as greens-staff cleaned greens, drained bunkers and repaired damage, but the interruption did little to upset Matharu.

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Huge prize money boost for Ladies Tshwane Open

TSHWANE, 31 January 2017 – The Ladies Tshwane Open teed off at Zwartkop Country Club on Tuesday boasting a purse of R400 000, thanks to the support of the City of Tshwane, the business community of Tshwane and various sponsors from the private sector.

The prize money increase was announced at the pro-am prize giving on Monday evening by councillor Nontshikelo Mokhoto, the MMC for Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture, on behalf of City of Tshwane Executive Mayor, councillor Solly Msimanga.

Sunshine Tour Chief Executive Selwyn Nathan welcomed the news.

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Hat-trick hero Pace signs off in style at SA Women’s Open

Woo Ju Son, Ray Nkonyeni Municipality Mayor, Councillor Nomusa Mqwebu and Lee-Anne PaceSOUTHBROOM, 28 January 2017 – The final round stage at San Lameer Country Club belonged to Lee-Anne Pace, who marched to a historic SA Women’s Open hat-trick on Saturday. 

An overnight lead of six strokes proved insurmountable for the chasing pack as Pace put on a class act on another windswept day on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast layout. She shrugged off an early charge from compatriot Stacy Bregman and went around the layout in 72 strokes to close out a runaway seven stroke victory over Ashleigh Buhai on eight-under-par 208.

In raising the trophy, Pace wrote her name in the South African golfing annals as the first player to celebrate three successive victories in the national championship.

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Pace closes in on history at SA Women’s Open

Lee-Anne PaceSOUTHBROOM, 27 January 2017 – Lee-Anne Pace is closing in on a historic three-peat in the SA Women’s Open after she left the field behind in Friday’s second round at San Lameer Country Club.

The Paarl golfer carded a two-under-par 70 in windy conditions to move to eight under, five shots clear of Stacy Bregman and she leads England’s Kiran Matharu by six strokes.

With the win, she will take her Sunshine Ladies Tour tally to 10, collect the lion share of the R250 000 purse sponsored by the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and gain valuable points in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies.

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Pace mounts case for SA Women’s Open hat-trick

Lee-Anne PaceSAN LAMEER (KwaZulu-Natal), 26 January 2017 – Lee-Anne Pace proved once again that form is temporary, but class is permanent when she capitalised on a blistering start to take the first round lead in the SA Women’s Open, sponsored by the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, on Thursday.

Pace may have struggled for form in the SA Women’s Masters last week, but with the trusty Scotty Cameron putter back in the bag, the two-time defending champion was at her vintage best on a sun-kissed day at San Lameer Country Club.

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Pace braced for SA Women’s Open title defence

Lee-Anne PaceSAN LAMEER, 25 January 2017 – Lee-Anne Pace hopes to make some headlines when she hunts an unprecedented hat-trick in the SA Women’s Open starting at San Lameer Country Club on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast on Thursday.

Pace provided one of the most dramatic moments of the 2015 Sunshine Ladies Tour season when she defeated England’s Holly Clyburn in a play-off for her first victory.

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KZN’s First Lady hoping for home comfort

Melissa Eaton

SAN LAMEER, 24 January 2017 – Melissa Eaton hopes that a return to her native Port Shepstone will kick her Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies season into high gear as she headlines the field at the R250 000 SA Women’s Open alongside two-time champion Lee-Anne Pace this week.

The 32-year-old Eaton narrowly missed out on a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory when she lost the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge by one shot to Kim Williams.

She caught fire with five birdies on the back nine at Huddle Park and early show of form sees Eaton eager to start the 54-hole championship, sponsored by the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

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Ice-cool Park stuns for SA Women’s Masters success

SA Women's Masters champion Carrie ParkCAPE TOWN, 21 January 2017 – Carrie Park from South Korea rubber-stamped her status as a future world beater when she clinched her first Sunshine Ladies Tour title in spectacular fashion in the South African Women’s Masters on Saturday.

The 19-year-old held her nerve to construct a mature even-par 72 on a day of wind and drama at Rondebosch Golf Club as the expected charge from veteran pros Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh Buhai never got off the ground.

The petite Park was the picture of calm as she started her title bid with a two shot lead over Buhai and Pace a further shot back. That cool exterior slipped for the first time after she tapped in for par at the final hole to capture a five stroke victory over Buhai and England’s Kiran Matharu on a winning score of seven-under-par 209.

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Perfect Park pilots the SA Women’s Masters

Carrie ParkCAPE TOWN, 20 January 2017 – Carrie Park continues to make a name for herself as one of the hottest prospects on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

The young South Korean fired a flawless four-under-par 68 on another testing day at Rondebosch Golf open up a two shot lead over former champion Ashleigh Buhai (Simon) in second round of the SA Women’s Masters in Cape Town.

All eyes have been on South African number one Lee-Anne Pace in her first start in the 2017 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies and she did not disappoint – a second successive 70 moved South Africa’s top export to third at four under.

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Garcia keeps Pace promise to share Masters lead

Nicole GarciaCAPE TOWN, 19 January 2017 – A fine three-under-par 69 saw Nicole Garcia move into a four-way tie for the lead with compatriot Ashleigh Buhai, South Korea’s Carrie Park and Kiran Matharu from England in the SA Women’s Masters on Thursday.

The Serengeti pro was delighted with her first round performance as the notorious Cape Doctor showed up in force at Rondebosch Golf Club.

“I’m from Ekurhuleni, so you can just imagine how tough it was for me in that 35 km wind, but now I have a bone to pick with Lee-Anne Pace,” said Garcia, as she watched South Africa’s top golf export birdie the 18th to finish one off the pace.

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Hudson has designs on English double

SA Women's Masters defending champion Rebecca HudsonCAPE TOWN, 18 January 2017 – Watching good friend Graeme Storm lift the BWM SA Open trophy on Sunday put Rebecca Hudson from England in a winning frame of mind ahead of the SA Women’s Masters this week.

“Gosh, Graeme and I go back donkey’s years,” said Hudson, who starts her title defence in the R500 000 showpiece at Rondebosch Golf Club on Thursday. “We grew up in Doncaster and came through the amateur ranks together from our junior days.

“We’ve kept in touch and I really felt for him at the end of last season and now he is set for the rest of the year. I think it was fantastic how Rory (McIlroy) drew in such incredible crowds, but I must admit, I was rooting for Graeme all the way. I hope he is wishing me the same good fortune this week.”

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Bregman backs budding talent

Stacy BregmanCAPE TOWN, 17 January 2017 - Given the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated in nine seasons on the Ladies European Tour, it is not surprising that Stacy Bregman would back herself in this week’s SA Women’s Masters.

What is unusual to hear is that the four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner thinks the newbies might steal the limelight in the R500 000 showpiece at Rondebosch Golf Club from 19-21 January.

“I definitely think one of the second season pros or the rookies can win this week,” said Bregman during the Mayor’s Pro-Am on Tuesday. “It’s not even out of the question that an amateur could outplay everyone. Ashleigh Simon did it in 2006 and there is a lot of talent on the tour this year.

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Buhai ready for SA Women’s Masters hunt

Ashleigh and David BuhaiCAPE TOWN, 16 January 2017 – Ashleigh Simon needs no introduction. Her storied amateur career was nothing short of outstanding and, since she joined the pro ranks, she has complimented a flood of amateur victories with two Ladies European Tour and four Sunshine Ladies Tour titles.

All those feats belonged to Ashleigh Simon, though, so it’s no wonder that Mrs Ashleigh Buhai is so keen to kick off her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour season in a big way this week.

“I’d better win and win quickly, or people will wonder what happened to me,” said the beaming newly-wed ahead of this week’s South African Women’s Masters.

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Williams charges back to winning ways

Kim Williams with SuperSport General Marketing Manager Matshepo MajolaJOHANNESBURG, 6 January 2017 – Kim Williams proved that class is permanent as she marched to victory in the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour season opener on Friday. After three winless seasons, there were some who thought the former top ranked Pretoria golfer would never scale great heights again, but Williams silenced her critics with a one stroke victory in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Huddle Park Golf Club.

A three-under-par 69 at the pristine Linksfield course smoothed the way to a winning total of seven-under-par 209 and her first success since a maiden conquest in her pro debut in 2014.

A beaming Williams said she believes there is more to come.

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Eagle sends Smit soaring at Huddle Park

Monique SmitJOHANNESBURG, 5 January 2017 – It was a case of South African delight and British cheer in equal measure as local favourite Monique Smit took control of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, while Kim Williams and England’s Kiran Matharu moved within striking distance in Thursday’s second round at Huddle Park.

A tidy four-under-par 68 moved Smit – the winner of the inaugural event in 2014 – into pole position at seven under 137. She will start the final round with a three shot lead over fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Kim Williams and she has four shots on the Englishwomen.

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Strauss, Smit split SuperSport Ladies Challenge lead

Monique SmitJOHANNESBURG, 4 January 2017 – Defending champion Bertine Strauss and three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit provided the early fireworks in the opening round of the R200,000 SuperSport Ladies Challenge on Wednesday.

Gunning for a fourth successive title on the local circuit, Strauss looked fit to establish a commanding lead, but the Koster golfer ultimately had to settle for a share of top spot at three under with Smit, the champion of this event in 2014.

The pair both signed for rounds of 69 at Huddle Park Golf Club, although it could have been much better for Strauss.

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Strauss set for sizzling start to 2017

Bertine StraussBertine Strauss will be gunning for a fourth straight Sunshine Ladies Tour victory when she starts her title defence in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge on Wednesday.

This this time around, though, the petite Koster golfer says she is not feeling any pressure.

“It’s a different ballgame this year,” said the second season professional after her practice round at Huddle Park Golf Club on Tuesday.

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SA Hall of Fame honours Legendary Little

SA Hall of Famer Sally LittlePILANSBERG, North West (30 November 2016) - Former South African Women’s Open champion Tandi von Ruben lifted the inaugural PinkStig Invitational title at the Lost City, but the day belonged to legendary Major champion Sally Little, who was inducted into the South African Hall of Fame on Tuesday evening.

Little became the first South African golfer inducted into the SA Hall of Fame, which has its new home at Sun City, and her memorable achievement was celebrated during the PinkStig Invitational prize giving in the Warrior Hall of the Sun International Convention Centre at Sun City.

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Garcia under the gun in Qatar

Nicole GarciaDOHA, Qatar (26 November 2016) – South Africa’s Nicole Garcia will start the final round of the Qatar Ladies Open hoping to crack a top 10 finish in the Ladies European Tour season-finale at Doha Golf Club in Qatar.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour champion was well inside the top 10 after an opening round of 69 and second round 70, but a one under 71 on Saturday saw her slip to joint 12th on six under 210.

“It’s all or nothing on Saturday,” said Garcia. “I simply must produce a solid performance in the final round to secure my card for 2017. I’m lying in 86 position at the moment and I must break the top 80 to avoid a trip back to Q-School. It’s a lot of pressure, but if I can just get the putter to cooperate in the final round, I know I can do it.

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Garcia makes fast start in Qatar

Nicole GarciaDOHA, Qatar (24 November 2016) – South Africa’s Nicole Garcia pulled within two shots of Lydia Hall from Wales and Finland’s Noora Tamminen, who set the first round target in the Qatar Ladies Open at five under with a pair of flawless 67s in Wednesday.

Kylie Walker from Scotland and Anna Nordqvist from Sweden finished a stroke further back, while Garcia secured a share of fifth with nine players by posting a three-under-par 69.

The Ebotse golfer made the most of the great weather conditions to reel in five birdies on the way home.

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Pace targets SA Women’s Open hat-trick

2016Lee-AnnePace_SLTSouth Africa’s top golfing export Lee-Anne Pace will be targeting an unprecedented record when the South African Women’s Open heads to the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast for a fifth successive year in early 2017.

Thanks to the unwavering support of the Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, Pace has the opportunity to extend her winning tally on the Sunshine Ladies Tour to 10 victories, but more significantly, she could become the first player on the women’s professional golf circuit in South Africa to win the national championship for a record third time.

Pace owns nine titles on the Ladies European Tour and is a LPGA Tour winner, but the prospect of re-writing the history books has the two-time defending champion brimming with excitement.

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Sunshine Ladies Tour unveils 2017 schedule

CAPE TOWN, 24 October 2016 – The Sunshine Ladies Tour today announced a bumper schedule for 2017, featuring nine counting events leading up to the fourth Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final in March.

The season kicks off with the SuperSport Ladies Challenge in the first week of January, followed by the South African Women’s Masters and the South African Women’s Open.

Four events – the Ladies Tshwane Open, Cape Town Ladies Open, Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge and the Sunshine Ladies Classic – will be staged in February, while the Sun International Ladies Challenge and Ladies Joburg Open follows in early March.

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It's a Wrap

CME Group Tour Championship winner Charley HullEngland’s Charley Hull won her first LPGA title, Ariya Jutanugarn from Thailand took home the Player of the Year Award and a cool $1-million, while South Korea’s In Gee Chun birdied the 72nd hole in the CME Group Tour Championship to clinch the Vare Trophy on Sunday.

South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace skipped the season-finale, but finished the 2016 with a career-high ranking of 35th on the LPGA Tour Money List. Compatriot Paula Reto finished 62nd at the Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Florida and sealed a 61st place finish in the Race to the CME Globe Standings and a 72nd place ranking in the Money List.

Here is how world number one Lydia Ko walked away empty-handed as the curtain came down on the 2016 LPGA season on Sunday.

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City of Cape Town revives SA Women's Masters

Lee-Anne PaceWorld Sports Promotions, in collaboration with The City of Cape Town, the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA, is proud to announce the return of the prestigious South African Women’s Masters to the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule.
The SA Women’s Masters will be contested at Rondebosch Golf Club from 19-21 January.
Tournament promotor Lesley Copeman of World Sports Promotions said the championship will have multi-pronged objectives to benefit the professionals, amateurs and the City of Cape Town.

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Promising performance from Pace in Taiwan

Lee-Anne PaceA top five finish on the LPGA Tour in Taiwan this weekend could be a great omen for South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace with the Blue Bay LPGA Championship just two weeks away.

Pace closed with a one under 71 in the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship in Taipei to join local favourite Candie Kung in a tie for fifth at nine under 279 on Sunday.

Two years ago, the Paarl golfer followed victory in the South African Women’s Open with a maiden LPGA Tour victory at the Blue Bay LPGA and she is hitting the right vein of form before the world’s premier women’s professional circuit returns to Hainan Island in China from 20-23 October.

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Pace trails by two in Taiwan

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace battled blustery conditions at the Miramar Golf Country Club in Taipei, Taiwan to finish within striking distance of Sakura Yokomine from Japan in the opening round of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship on Thursday.

Yokomine opened with a five-under-par 67 for a one-stroke lead over Amy Yang from Korea and Americans Brooke Henderson and Paula Creamer.

Pace finished two shots back in tie for fifth with South Korean pair Ha Na Jang and Hee Young Park, Spain’s Beatriz Recari and local favourite Ai Miyazato.

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Home win for Munoz in Marbella

Spanish Open champion Azaharo MunozMARBELLATO, Spain (26 September 20160 - Local hero Azahara Munoz held her nerve over the closing holes to become the first Spanish champion at the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open in Marbella this weekend.

Just a month after her Olympic debut in Rio, the Spaniard posted a closing two-under-par 70 at the magnificent Aloha Golf Club in Marbellato to edge out American Beth Allen by a lone stroke.

The victory was her fourth on the European Ladies Tour, but it was clearly the most emotional.

“This is simply amazing,” said the 28-year-old, who lives nearby in San Pedro Alcantara. “A victory is always a victory, but winning at home is incredible. You know, having everyone here, my family, my friends; this means everything."

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Chen defends in Spain

Connie ChenMARBELLA, Spain (21 September 2016) – Reigning Spanish Open champion Connie Chen is in an upbeat mood as she bids to retain the title she won two years ago in Tenerife.

The 23-year-old from Pretoria was crowned as a first-time winner at Golf Costa Adeje in Tenerife in 2014.

She will start her title defence in the Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España Femenino on Thursday playing alongside Italian Giulia Sergas and Klara Spilkova of the Czech Republic.

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Reto relishes Evian experience

Paula RetoEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (19 September 2016) – South Africa’s Paula Reto loved every minute of the four days at the final major of the season, including the majestic march to victory by South Korea's In Gee Chun at the Evian Championship on Sunday.

Chun shot the lowest ever 72-hole score at a major with a total score of 21 under par, breaking the record of 20 under set by Sweden’s Henrik Stenson at this year’s Open Championship and Jason Day from Australia at the 2015 PGA Championship.

The 2015 US Women’s Open champion closed with a final round two-under-par 69 to win by four shots, better the women’s record by two strokes.

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Record beckons for Evian leader Chun

EVIAN-South Korea's In Gee Chun LES-BAIN, France (18 September 2016) - South Korea's In Gee Chun established a four-shot lead after the third round of the Evian Championship on Saturday to remain on course for her second career Major.

Chun shot a third-round 65 to extend her lead and her three day total of 19-under par 194 broke the 54-hole scoring record of 199, set by Annika Sorenstam at the 2004 LPGA Championship.

In fact, she already tied the 72-hole record in relation to par with 18 holes to play.

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Two-way tie after Evian opener

South Korea's In Gee Chun and Sung Hyun ParkEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (16 September 2016) – South Korea's In Gee Chun and compatriot Sung Hyun Park were tied for the lead starting the second round of the Evian Championship in Evian-les-Bains in France, which got underway in calmer weather this morning.

The South Korean pair, who fired flawless rounds of nine under 63, led Annie Park and Shanshan Feng by one shot.

Chun, the 2015 US Women's Open champion, went out early in the morning wave and picked up six of her eight birdies on her final nine holes – the front nine at Evian Resort Golf Club. She used 28 putts in her round of 63 and did not miss a single green.

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Pace hits great form ahead of Evian

Lee-Anne PaceDUSSELDORF, Germany (12 September 2016) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne will carry some hot form into the season’s final Major in France this week after signing off with a fifth place finish in the ISPS HANDA Ladies European Masters on Sunday.

Pace and Belen Mozo from Spain were set for a spectacular showdown in the final round after the pair tied at nine under, but in the end it was 2014 champion In-Kyung Kim who captured a runaway victory with a superb final round performance at Golf Club Hubbelrath in Germany.

The 28-year-old South Korean began the last day one shot behind Pace and Mozo, but she fired past the leaders with a flawless nine-under 63 to not only record the low round of the tournament, but celebrate a five shot victory in the Ladies European Tour showcase event.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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OLYMPICS - IT’S OFFICIAL

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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Brittany Lang wins US Women's Open

Brittany LangAmerican Brittany Lang won her first major title at the US Women's Open in a play-off with Anna Nordqvist after the Swede was given a two-stroke penalty.
Nordqvist was penalised for touching sand in a bunker with her club on the second hole of a three-hole aggregate play-off with Lang, 30, at CordeValle. USGA officials told Lang of the penalty before her third to the last green but Nordqvist found out after her approach.

"I wish the USGA would have told me a bit earlier," said Nordqvist, 29."They approached me after I already hit my third shot into 18, then kind of ran up to Brittany to tell her that I got penalised. I don't know if it would have changed the outcome, but it certainly would have changed my aggressiveness into the 18th pin."

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Pace pulls out of Rio

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa's top ranked Lee-Anne Pace has withdrawn herself from consideration for the South African Olympic Golf Team for this year's Games in Rio.

Herewith her statement from Lee-Anne Pace regarding 2016 Olympics

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Simon makes Major charge in Seattle

Ashleigh SimonSEATTLE, United States (10 June 2016) – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon capitalized on a resurgence in form to grab a share of fourth on day one of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship in Washington, Seattle.

Simon fired a one-under-par 70 at the Sahalee Country Club in Sammamish to finish three off the pace in Thursday’s first round. The 27-year-old Johannesburg golfer trails by three shots from Canadian Brooke Henderson, who holds a two stroke advantage over South Korean In-Kyung Kim and American Christina Kim.

The South African finds herself in some prestigious company in the logjam behind the leader.

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SA pair slow off the mark at US Women’s Open

Ashleigh SimonSAN MARTIN, California, USA (8 July 2016) – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon opened with a two-over-par 74, but Lee-Anne Pace had a much tougher time in the blustery afternoon conditions and carded an uninspiring first round 78 at the US Women’s Open in California on Thursday.

Pace was in good company though, as none of the players in the marquee group that featured three of the top four players in the world were among the 14 players that broke par at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin in the afternoon.

World number one Lydia Ko birdied her final hole for a 73, Lexi Thompson matched Simon’s 74 and Brooke Henderson shot 76.

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SA’s Reto shares ShopRite Classic lead

Paula Reto4 June 2016 - South Africa’s Paula Reto fired an opening seven-under-par 64 to grab a share of the three-way tie at the top of the ShopRite LPGA Classic, presented by Acer, in New Jersey on Friday.

The country’s second highest ranked player tied for pole position with defending champion Anna Nordqvist and 2010 champion Ai Miyazato at the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club in Galloway.

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Pace pulls out of Rio

Lee-Anne PaceStatement from Lee-Anne Pace regarding 2016 Olympics

“I have advised South African Golf Association, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, Mr Gary Player and Sunshine Ladies Tour that I have withdrawn my name from consideration for the South African Olympic Golf Team for Rio.

I was very much looking forward to the opportunity of being part of the South African Golf Team and the wider South African Olympic Team.  However, over recent months my team has been monitoring the situation regarding the Zika Virus and finding out as much information as possible. After weighing up all the options and discussing it with my family and team, I have decided that due to the health concerns surrounding the Zika Virus, I will not be participating.

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SA’s Simon sizzles at ShopRite Classic

Ashleigh SimonGALLOWAY, New Jersey (6 June 2016) – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon recorded a season’s best tie for 22nd in the Shoprite LPGA Classic in New Jersey on Sunday to take some great form into the season’s second Major – the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – this week.

She opened with an even-par 71 at the Stockton Seaview Golf Club, while fellow South African Paula Reto grabbed a share of the three-way lead with a first round 64. Simon rallied with four birdies on the back nine for a 69 and defied strong winds on the last day to reel in four birdies on the inward stretch for a 67 to finish at six-under-207.

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Simon, Van Zyl qualify for US Opens

Ashleigh SimonCAPE TOWN, 24 May 2016 – Ashleigh Simon sealed her spot in the field for this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, while Jaco van Zyl was among those who qualified for the U.S. Open via the most recent Official World Ranking on Monday.

Simon competed in one of four Sectional Qualifiers played across the United States. The four-time Sunshine Tour winner fired rounds of 73 and 71 at Oak Park Country Club in River Grove, Illinois to claim one of just two spots on offer to the field of 90 players.

“I think I surprised myself,” said a delighted Simon from Chicago on Monday night.

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Reto ready to fire at ShopRite LPGA Classic

Paula RetoNew Jersey, USA (3 June 2016) - South Africa’s Paula Reto is enjoying her best season since joining the LPGA Tour in 2014 and the Bloemfontein is set to reel in more world ranking points in this week’s ShopRite LPGA Classic in New Jersey.

Last year, the petite Bloemfontein native earned a fraction more than the $100,000 in 22 and finished the season ranked 88th in the final Money List.

But after 12 starts this season, Reto has broken the $120,000 mark and nearly doubled her total earnings of her first two years on the LPGA Tour. She rocketed from outside top 200 in the Rolex World Rankings to 111th, climbed to 51st in the LPGA Tour’s Official Money List and moved to 49th in the Race to CME Globe chase. And, she did all this despite missing four cuts and withdrawing from last week’s LPGA Volvik Championship.

The 26-year-old will bring her A-game when she lines up alongside Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Ashleigh Simon and Bertine Strauss in Galloway for the first round of the $1.5-million event, which tees off at the Bay Course of the Stockton Seaview Hotel and Golf Club today.

Compatriots Simon and Strauss will also be looking for a fast start in Galloway.

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Pace and Strauss push Park to great heights

Carrie Park and Anton HaigJOHANNESBURG, 2 May 2016 - A pure shot at the first hole sent Anton Haig on his way to a maiden IGT Tour victory in the ERPM Challenge, but Carrie Park also felt like a winner after she rolled in a par-putt at the final hole to finish second two weeks ago.

The pint-sized Park fired a 63 in the first round to tie Haig for the lead at ERPM Golf Club. She shot 69 in the second round to keep pace with the former European Tour winner and closed with a 66 to finish four shots behind Haig.

Haig was so impressed with the 19-year-old Park that he asked about investing in her.

“Carrie is one helluva golfer and she is only 19,” Haig said. “She is straight, she’s compact, and accurate and she has a really good sense of where she is going with her shots.

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Garcia, Bregman make great start in China

Nicole GarciaSHANGHAI, China (12 May 2016) - South Africa’s Nicole Garcia fired five birdies for a share of the Buick Championship lead on Thursday, while compatriot Stacy Bregman lies just one off the pace in the Ladies European Tour event at the Shanghai Qishong Garden Golf Club in China.

Garcia signed for an opening four-under-par 68 and shares pole position with Melissa Reid from England and Becky Morgan from Scotland, while Bregman sits in the eight-man bus at three under.

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Happy days at Houghton

Lejan LewthwaiteResurgent Anton Haig kept his comeback campaign on track with back-to-back victories on the IGT Tour, while Benoni’s Lejan Lewthwaite from Benoni and Carrie Park from South Korea upstaged a clutch of Sunshine Tour pros to complete the top three in the Houghton Challenge on Wednesday.

Haig took control at Houghton Golf Club with a bogey-free nine-under-par 63 in round two and shot 69 in the final round to close out his second victory on 10 under 206. Lewthwaite returned a 70 to finish three shots back and Park signed for an even-par 72 to take third on six under.

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SA dozen make history in Morocco

Stacy Bregman5 May 2016 - Stacy Bregman and Dean Burmeester led a dozen South African golfers in a historic first round when the European Tour and Ladies European Tour teed off simultaneously at the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam golf course in Morocco on Thursday.

Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Laurette Maritz and Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini started alongside Connie Chen in the Lalla Meryem Cup on the Blue Course while Burmeester spearheaded the local attack in the Trophée Hassan II on the Red Course.

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Pace gets her groove back in California

Lee-Anne PaceCALIFORNIA, United States (25 April 2016) - South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace outgunned three of the world’s top 10 players to claim a runner-up finish in the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic on Sunday.

The Mossel Bay golfer navigated the high winds that whipped around the Lake Merced course in California to close with a two-over-par 74. She finished on five under 283, four shots behind winner Haru Nomura from Japan and three strokes ahead of world number one Lydia Ko, number three Lexi Thompson and number seven Brooke Henderson, among others.

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Ko makes history at ANA Inspiration

2016 ANA Inspiration champion Lydia Ko4 April 2016 - Lydia Ko etched her name into the record books once again with dramatic second major championship victory at the ANA Inspiration on Sunday. The world number one birdied the 72nd hole for a flawless 69 to move to 12-under par and finished one shot ahead of Charley Hull and In Gee Chun.

Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn, who looked like she had the win locked up with three holes to play, bogeyed her final three holes to finish fourth at 10-under par.

At 18 years, 11 months and nine days, Ko is officially the youngest two-time major winner in LPGA history and the youngest male or female with two major wins since Young Tom Morris in 1869.

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Hot putter puts Pace in ANA Inspiration mix

Lee-Anne Pace and Johan SwanepoelRANCHO MIRAGE, California (1 April 2016) – Intense off-season training produced some great results for Lee-Anne Pace at home and definitely helped South Africa’s top golfer to surge within striking distance of the joint leaders in the first women's Major of the year in California on Thursday.

Pace fired an opening four-under-par 68 at the Dinah Shore Course to grab a share of third in the ANA Inspiration with Scotland's Catriona Matthew and Shiho Oyama from Japan.

The trio lag just one shot behind first round pacesetters Spain’s Azahara Munoz and Ai Miyazato from Japan at the Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

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Pace and Reto line up at ANA Inspiration

Lee-Anne Pace and Paula RetoRANCHO MIRAGE, United States – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace comes into the year’s first Major riding a wave of confidence and a game to support it after three victories on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and a solid start to her LPGA Tour season.

The three-time Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion and compatriot Paula Reto will fly the flag for South Africa in the world class field assembled for the ANA Inspiration, which tees off in Rancho Mirage, California on Thursday.

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Park sets pace at Irene Champs

Carrie ParkTSHWANE, 16 March 2016 – Sunshine Ladies Tour rookie Carrie Park was in a cheerful mood ahead of the final round of the Irene Championship after a four under 68 on Tuesday earned her a share of seventh in the 72-hole IGT Tour event.

Park finished just five shots off the pace from joint leaders Russel Franz and CJ du Plessis, who share pole position at 12 under 132 at Irene Country Club.

The 19-year-old Park returned to the country’s premier development Tour just two days after she wrapped up her rookie season on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Park finished eighth in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final at Millvale Private Retreat and closed out the season ranked seventh overall in the Points Rankings after nine events.

“It has been an incredible summer and the highlight was playing with Bertine Strauss in the first two rounds at Millvale,” said the South Korean golfer.

“Bertine was the first player I ever went up against when I started playing on the South African amateur circuit and she was my idol growing up. I am so inspired by her achievements since she turned pro and I learned so much from playing with her. As soon as the Chase finished, I was wishing we could start another one right away.”
Park relocated to South Africa as a 14-year-old and played all her amateur golf on the Womens Golf South Africa circuit. She started competing full-time on the IGT Tour in July last year just after she added the Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur Championship title to an impressive winning tally.

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Hat-trick delight for Pace and Strauss

2016 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies winners Bertine Strauss and Lee-Anne PaceBertine Strauss and Lee-Anne Pace gave the Investec stable a double reason for celebration when both players bagged a hat-trick in the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s final event on Saturday.

Strauss powered to a third victory in a row with a wire-to-wire performance at Millvale Private Retreat, while Pace sealed a third successive Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies title with a tie for second.

Although Pace dominated with podium finishes in all four of her starts this season, it was the rookie who set the tone in the season-ending showpiece near Koster from the get-go when she followed an opening 69 with a 71 to open up a five stroke lead on the field.

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Strauss in a class of her own

Bertine StraussKOSTER, 11 March 2016 – Bertine Strauss stretched a one shot overnight lead to a five stroke advantage with a steely one under 71 to line up a hat-trick of Sunshine Ladies Tour victories in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final on Friday.

Strauss mixed six bogeys, including a trio at eight, nine and 10, with seven birdies in the second round to keep pole position at four-under-par 140.

She will start the final round well clear of Ashleigh Simon and South Korean rookie Carrie Park, who tied for second after respective rounds of 72 and 75.

Strauss was pleased to keep command of the season-finale, given the tougher set-up at Millvale Private Retreat compared to round one, when she posted a three under 69.

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Super Strauss throws down the gauntlet

Bertine StraussKOSTER, 10 March 2016 – She promised the 2016 points leader Lee-Anne Pace a fight at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final and Bertine Strauss delivered with a flawless 69 to lead the first round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s season finale at Millvale Private Retreat on Thursday.

Strauss kicked off with nine straight pars, but broke the monotony with a chip-in birdie at the par four 10th. She added a brace of birdies at 14 and 15 to set the clubhouse target at three under and held the top spot on her own after joint pacesetter Monique Smit bogeyed 18 for a 70.

Smit shares second with rookie Carrie Park, who overcame a bogey-bogey start and two more dropped shots at seven and eight with a five-birdie feast from the par three 13th.

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The Chase is on to catch Pace

Lee-Anne PaceKOSTER, 8 March 2016 – The Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final is heading for a thrilling climax with at least four players aiming to dethrone current point’s leader Lee-Anne Pace at Millvale Private Retreat this week.

Ladies Tshwane Open champion Monique Smit cut Pace’s lead of 1,600 points to just 70, while Ashleigh Simon moved within 475 of the double Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion after a third place finish in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge on Friday.

England’s Rebecca Hudson – the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s first foreign champion – has 1,020 points and rookie Bertine Strauss lags just 628 points behind Pace after successive victories in the Sun International Ladies Challenge and SuperSport Ladies Challenge.

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Steely Strauss seals SuperSport Ladies Challenge victory

SuperSport Ladies Challenge winner Bertine Strauss and SuperSport Brand Manager Nadia GossmannJOHANNESBURG, 4 March 2016 – Bertine Strauss put up a supreme show of composure and mental fortitude to capture a wire-to-wire victory in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge, while Maria Beautell from Spain shattered local rookie Lejan Lewthwaite’s dreams to make the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Final with a superb final round performance at Huddle Park Golf Course on Friday.

Strauss carried a four stroke lead into the final round and produced a grandstand finish with a perfectly executed birdie at the par four final hole to send the crowd into raptures.

She closed with a three under 69 to triumph with a winning aggregate of 14-under-par 202.

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Pace giving chase in Singapore

Lee-Anne Pace4 March 2016 - South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace fired an opening four-under-par 68 to finish just one behind joint first round leaders Candie Kung, a four-time LPGA Tour winner and second season player Minjee Lee from Australia in the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore on Thursday.

The nine-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion dropped just one shot as she navigated a stiff breeze at the Sentosa Golf Club.

Pace will have some impressive company as she chases the leading pair in today’s second round, including defending champ Inbee Park, two-time major champion Suzann Pettersen and fellow LPGA winner Mika Miyazato.

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Strauss stays on course in SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Bertine Strauss and Wian FaberJOHANNESBURG, 3 March 2016 - Bertine Strauss is 18 holes away from a guaranteed spot in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies season finale next week after extending her lead in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge on Thursday.

After blistering the Huddle Park golf course in 64 strokes in round one, Strauss notched only three gains on moving day, but another flawless display moved the 24-year-old Koster golfer to 11-under-par 133.

Strauss leads by four from closest challenger Ashleigh Simon, whose expected charge derailed early on with bogeys at two and three.

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Strauss bolts clear in SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Bertine StraussJOHANNESBURG, 2 March 2016 – Bertine Strauss set a furious pace with a flawless eight-under-par 64 in the first round of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Huddle Park Golf Club on Wednesday.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour novice fired six birdies and an eagle to finish three strokes clear of Ashleigh Simon and four shots ahead of fellow rookie Carrie Park from South Korea.

Nicole Garcia and Melissa Eaton tied for fourth with a pair of 69s.

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Cool R100K stokes the fire at SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Bertine StraussJOHANNESBURG, 2 March 2016 – News of a winner-takes-all prize worth R100 000 for the final event in the 2016 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies sent a huge ripple of excitement through the field starting the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Huddle Park this morning.

Over the last seven tournaments, professionals have been accumulating points to try and finish in the top 10 in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Points Standing to qualify for the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s showpiece at Millvale Private Retreat next week.

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Battle lines drawn for SuperSport Ladies Challenge

Monique SmitJOHANNESBURG, 1 March 2016 – Monique Smit will start the penultimate event of the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour season hell bent on earning the lion’s share of the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies ranking points on offer to dispose of current leader Lee-Anne Pace.

The third edition of the SuperSport Ladies Challenge is a crucial one for every player in and around the top 10, particularly those still chasing a guaranteed berth in the season finale Investec Cup for Ladies final next week.

Only the top 10 available professionals in the point rankings at the conclusion of this week’s tournament will qualify for the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s showpiece at Millvale Private Retreat.

Current number two ranked Smit is in the enviable position of having secured her place in the field after a remarkable season that has included a win, a runner-up finish and four top fives.

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Pace profits with top 20 in Thailand

Lee-Anne Pace29 February 2016 – While American Lexi Thompson picked up her seventh career LPGA Tour win in the Honda LPGA Thailand, South Africa’s number one Lee-Anne Pace also enjoyed a profitable pay-day at Siam Country Club on Sunday.

Pace started the event straight on the back of her ninth successive Sunshine Ladies Tour victory in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge and battled jet-lag in the opening round.

“I didn’t play well in the first round, but I managed to get around without too much damage and signed for a 74,” said Pace.

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Fortune favours Strauss at Sun City

Sun International Ladies Challenge champion Bertine StraussNORTH WEST, 26 February 2016 – Nobuhle Dlamini carried a four stroke lead into the final round of the Sun International Ladies Challenge, but it was rookie Bertine Strauss struck the jackpot with a three stroke victory at the Gary Player Country Club on Friday.

“That’s what I call ‘Mission Almost Accomplished’,” gushed the delighted Strauss, who closed with a two under 70 and edged out Dlamini with a winning aggregate of five-under-par 211.

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Dlamini holds the aces at Sun City

Nobuhle DlaminiNORTH WEST, 25 February 2016 – Rookies Bertine Strauss and Lejan Lewthwaite both launched an assault in round two of the Sun International Ladies Challenge, but the pair couldn’t shake overnight leader Nobuhle Dlamini at the Gary Player Country Club on Thursday.

The big-hitting Swazi pro stayed on track to claim a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory at Sun City with a three-under-par 69 and she will start the final round at seven-under-par 137.

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Dlamini dictates at Sun International Ladies Challenge

Nobuhle DlaminiSUN CITY, 24 February 2016 – Nobuhle Dlamini was as cool as a cucumber in the searing heat at Gary Player Country Club as she raced to an opening four-under-par 68 and a three stroke lead in the Sun International Ladies Challenge on Wednesday.

The 5,800 meter layout sets up perfectly for the big-hitting Swazi golfer, who knows she needs to take advantage of her length at the home of the Nedbank Golf Challenge.

“I struggled at the start of the season, but got into the top 10 in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Point Standings with my eighth place finish at the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge on Sunday,” said 24-year-old Dlamini.

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Strauss ready to power at Sun City

Bertine StraussSUN CITY, 23 February 2016 – Bertine Strauss will have to hit the ground running and keep her foot on the pedal when she starts the Sun International Ladies Challenge at the Gary Player Country Club on Wednesday.

The petite Koster golfer made a superb start to her LPGA Tour rookie season and earned cheques in the Bahamas and Australia, but Strauss missed out on four tournaments on the local circuit.

Only the top 10 professionals will qualify for the R1-million finale at Millvale Private Retreat in March and Strauss is well out of position in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies race.

With just two events remaining, the 24-year-old Strauss knows she is under the gun.

“I’ve slipped to 19th in the points standings, so I will have to make the last two count,” said Strauss. “Unfortunately I have limited starts on the LPGA Tour as a Q-School graduate, so anytime I can get a spot, I have to jump on a plane and try to take advantage.

“It’s a catch 22, really. If I don’t perform really well at Sun City this week and in the SuperSport Ladies Challenge next week, I won’t qualify for Millvale. But, if I don’t play every chance I get on the LPGA Tour, I might not keep my card at the end of the season.

“That’s why I have to make the last two tournaments count.”

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Superior Pace makes it nine in a row in George

Lee-Anne Pace & Graham Parker from Britehouse, a division of Dimension DataGEORGE, 21 February 2016 – Lee-Anne Pace kept one eye on the course clock as she boxed a par putt at the 18th of the Outeniqua course to snatch her ninth consecutive home victory in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Ladies Challenge at Fancourt on Sunday.

She signed off with a two under 70 to close out a three stroke victory on 11-under-par 205 over 2014 champion Monique Smit, who fired a flawless 67.

“Every single victory is special to me, whether it’s on the LPGA Tour, the Ladies European Tour or right here on home soil, but winning the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge has been a huge goal, because I grew up here in the Southern Cape,” gushed Pace.

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Pace defies conditions for Di-Data Ladies Challenge lead

Lee-Anne PaceGEORGE, 20 February 2016 – Lee-Anne Pace defied wet and windy conditions at Kingswood Golf Estate to open up a comfortable lead over the chasing pack in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am on Saturday.

Pace fired a solid four-under-par 68 to move to nine under 135 and the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader will start the final round at the Outeniqua course at Fancourt with a three stroke cushion over Rebecca Hudson from England.

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Pace defies conditions for Di-Data Ladies Challenge lead

Lee-Anne PaceGEORGE, 20 February 2016 – Lee-Anne Pace defied wet and windy conditions at Kingswood Golf Estate to open up a comfortable lead over the chasing pack in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am on Saturday.

Pace fired a solid four-under-par 68 to move to nine under 135 and the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader will start the final round at the Outeniqua course at Fancourt with a three stroke cushion over Rebecca Hudson from England.

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Bregman ready to play it again

Stacy BregmanGEORGE, 18 February 2016 - A recharged Stacy Bregman feels it is time to perform again and where better than at the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge in George, where she shared the centre stage with Dimension Data Pro-Am winner, Branden Grace, 12 months ago.

In the span of two months early in 2015, Bregman reeled in a hat-trick of victories to boost her tally on the local circuit to four, but the 29-year-old Johannesburg pro has battled to convert four credible performances this season into a podium finish.

“I worked on a number of things in the off-season, and I have been trying these changes out to see what best suits me,” Bregman said.

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Eaton edges clear in Di-Data Ladies Challenge

Melissa EatonGEORGE, 19 February 2016 – Former Symetra Tour winner Melissa Eaton returned to form in sublime style with a six-under-par 66 in the opening round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Ladies Challenge on Friday.

The Port Shepstone golfer raced into a one stroke lead at George Golf Club, eclipsing fine earlier efforts from nine-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace and 2014 champion Monique Smit, who carded 67 and 68 respectively.

England’s Rebecca Hudson – already a winner this season – and Maria Beautell from Spain produced a pair of 69s, while South Korean rookie Carrie Park grabbed a share of sixth with defending champion Stacy Bregman with an opening two under 70.

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Dimension Data gives ladies 450,000 reasons to smile

Sunshine Ladies Tour campaignersGEORGE, 15 February 2016 – Dimension Data has announced a significant prize money hike for the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour Dimension Data Challenge, teeing off in George on Friday, 19 February.

“For the third year running, Dimension Data has raised the stakes in the overall prize money on offer for the ladies,” announced Sunshine Ladies Tour tournament director Pauli van Meersbergen.

“This year, the players will be competing for a purse of R350 000, with the Betterball Competition also receiving a momentous boost with prize money of R100 000.

“This marks a jump of R150 000 from the initial purse and an additional R75,000 for the leading 10 professionals in the Betterball competition.

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Bankable Pace wins Cape Town Ladies Open

2016 Cape Town Ladies Open champion Lee-Anne PaceCAPE TOWN, 12 February 2016 – Lee-Anne Pace is almost always a certain bet when she gets the bit between her teeth and the Paarl golfer was once again untouchable as she shifted into high gear to capture the Cape Town Ladies Open title on Friday.

Pace birdied five of the six par fives at Royal Cape Golf Club and added another brace of gains at 10 and 18 to bank her eighth consecutive Sunshine Ladies Tour title with a flawless seven-under-par 67.

The victory on 16-under-par 206 padded Pace’s stockpile of trophies, but she quickly pointed out that the three stroke victory over Ashleigh Simon was a lot more work than the leaderboard implied.

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Simon 'rocks up' to lead Cape Town Ladies Open

Ashleigh SimonCAPE TOWN, 11 February 2016 – After she fired five birdies on the back nine at Royal Cape Golf Club for a five-under-par 69 in the first round of the Cape Town Ladies Open, Ashleigh Simon jokingly said she always rocks up on the back nine. But the four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner certainly brought her ‘back nine’ to the party in Thursday’s second round.

The 26-year-old Johannesburg pro negated a bogey at five with four birdies over the first nine holes and added another quartet of gains coming home and a six under 68 handed her the outright lead on 11-under-par 137.

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Samu leads pro stars in Cape Town Ladies Open

Ivanna SamuCAPE TOWN, 10 February 2016 – It was one for the books as top ranked amateur Ivanna Samu upstaged the country’s leading professionals to grab the first round lead in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club on Wednesday.

The lanky 17-year-old Ruimsig golfer showed some exceptional skills in a testy north-westerly wind to fire an opening six-under-par 68 for a one stroke lead over the high profile likes of Lee-Anne Pace, Ashleigh Simon and Monique Smit.

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Bregman plans bold title defence in Cape Town Ladies Open

Stacy BregmanCAPE TOWN, 9 February 2016 - Stacy Bregman is champing at the bit to convert her solid form this season into a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title when she takes up her title defence in the Cape Town Ladies Open this week.

The 29-year-old Country Club Johannesburg player tied for second in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies between joint fourth finishes in the Ladies Joburg Open and Ladies Tshwane Open.

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SA’s Reto races to top 10 finish in Florida

Paula Reto7 January 2016 - South Africa’s Paula Reto to grab her first top 10 finish for 2016 in the Coates Golf Championship, while countrywoman Lee-Anne Pace tied for 22nd at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club on Saturday.

Coming off a tie for 54th with Pace and rookie Bertine Strauss in the LPGA’s season opening Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic, Reto fired rounds of 82, 69 and 70 to move within six shots Ha Na Jang from South Korea and world number one Lydia Ko from New Zealand, who shared the 54-hole lead on 11 under 205.

Pace, meanwhile, added a third round 70 to a pair of 72s to get to one under 215.

Reto signed off with a 71 to tie for ninth on six under alongside American trio Austin Ernst, Lexi Thompson and Alison Lee, while Pace returned a final round 70 to join PK Kongkraphan from Thailand and American Stacy Lewis on three under 285.

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Smith plays it smart to win Ladies Tshwane Open

Ladies Tshwane Open champion Monique SmitTSHWANE, 4 February 2016 – Monique Smit ended a two-year title drought on the Sunshine Ladies Tour with a brilliant trap-shot and a tap-in birdie to defeat Ashleigh Simon at the first play-off hole for the Ladies Tshwane Open title on Thursday.

“I don’t think anyone can appreciate just how happy I am at this moment that I’ve thrown the monkey off my back,” the delighted Southern Cape player gushed. “This is one of the happiest moments of my life. It’s even more special to win this title after the City of Tshwane spoiled us so brilliantly with the two-day outing before the tournament. I feel privileged to be the City of Tshwane’s champion and I salute them for supporting the the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

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Simon sizzles, Smit shadows in Ladies Tshwane Open

Ashleigh SimonTSHWANE, 3 February 2016 – Ashleigh Simon lit up the back nine at Zwartkop Country Club to open up a one shot lead on Monique Smit in the second round of the Ladies Tshwane Open on Wednesday.

The four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion lagged three shots behind Smit at the turn, but served up a birdie-fest to complete the inward loop in 29 strokes.

A six under 66 rocketed Simon into pole position on seven-under-par 135, but if 26-year-old wants to pad her stash of trophies, she will have to fend off in-form Smit. The Southern Cape golfer enjoyed two podium finishes in 2014 and a flawless 68 left her hot on Simon’s heels.

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Dlamini soars with eagle at Ladies Tshwane Open

Nobuhle DlaminiTSHWANE, 2 February 2016 – A little anger, a great approach and an eagle at the last hole proved a winning combination for Nobuhle Dlamini on day one of the Ladies Tshwane Open on Tuesday.

The big-hitting Swazi golfer erased a pair of double bogeys with five birdies and canned a tricky 15-foot downhill putt for an eagle at 18 to sign for a three-under-par 68 and pole position at Zwartkop Country Club.

South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon went some way in justifying her pre-tournament favourite tag.

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South Korea’s Park primed for Tshwane Ladies Open

South Korea's Carrie ParkTSHWANE, 1 February 2016 – Carrie Park is intent on continuing her solid rookie run on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and hopes to go one better in her own back yard when she lines up in the Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club from 2-4 February.

The 19-year-old South Korean ranks second in the Sunshine Ladies Tour Order of Merit and rose to second in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies Points Standings following a third place finish in the SA Women’s Open, 10th at the Ladies Joburg Open and fourth in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies event at Houghton Golf Club last week.

“I was really pleased when I learned that the Ladies Tshwane Open would be staged at Zwartkop Country Club this year,” the GFG Academy player said.

“I joined the Gauteng North Golf Union when I moved to South Africa in 2011 and I have played hundreds of rounds at Zwartkop since I was a junior. I know the course like the back of my hand. I hope I don’t sound arrogant, but if I stick to my game plan, I will have another solid finish.”

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Myeki takes page out of Dlamini’s book

Zethu MyekiTSHWANE, 31 January 2016 – Most golfers would be seriously frustrated to shoot 20 over par in a 54-hole championship and even more so if you are ranked among South Africa’s top three amateurs.

Yet, Zethu Myeki from Border wore a great, big smile after a tie for 30th in her debut in the Ladies Joburg Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in early January.

Myeki vaulted from 55th to third in the senior national rankings during a standout 2015 season, but rounds of 78, 76 and 82 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s West Course were nowhere near the numbers the reigning Border Stroke Play champion was shooting last year.

So what exactly left Myeki so chipper? And why is she still so upbeat ahead of this week’s Ladies Tshwane Open at Pretoria Country Club?

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Myeki takes page out of Dlamini’s book

Zethu MyekiTSHWANE, 31 January 2016 – Most golfers would be seriously frustrated to shoot 20 over par in a 54-hole championship and even more so if you are ranked among South Africa’s top three amateurs.

Yet, Zethu Myeki from Border wore a great, big smile after a tie for 30th in her debut in the Ladies Joburg Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in early January.

Myeki vaulted from 55th to third in the senior national rankings during a standout 2015 season, but rounds of 78, 76 and 82 at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington’s West Course were nowhere near the numbers the reigning Border Stroke Play champion was shooting last year.

So what exactly left Myeki so chipper? And why is she still so upbeat ahead of this week’s Ladies Tshwane Open at Zwartkop Country Club?

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Hudson seals historic victory at Houghton

Rebecca HudsonJOHANNESBURG, 27 January 2016 – Rebecca Hudson frequently pulls out her seven-wood against the long hitters on the Ladies European Tour. Little wonder then that the Englishwoman relied on her trusty companion to guarantee her victory in the Chase to the Investec Cup at Houghton Golf Club on Wednesday.

Needing par at the closing hole to win, Hudson’s well-loved club got her safely on the green in two. She lagged a 60 foot putt very close and became the first international Sunshine Ladies Tour winner since the Tour launched in 2014 when she tidied up for an even-par 72.

A four-time Ladies European Tour champion and former SA Women’s Open winner, Hudson was quite emotional after defeating local hopes Stacy Bregman and Ashleigh Simon by one stroke a winning score of four-under-par 212.

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International pair take aim at Houghton

Rebecca HudsonJOHANNESBURG, 26 January 2016 – Local hopes Ashleigh Simon and Stacy Bregman will have to dig deep to thwart the title hopes of international challengers Rebecca Hudson and Azelia Meichtry in the final round of the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies on Wednesday.

Hudson from England carded a flawless 69 to race to a one stroke lead on four-under-par 140, while the top Swiss amateur Meichtry posted a four under 68 – the low round of the day – to finish just a shot off the pace at Houghton Golf Club.

Joint overnight leader Simon slipped to third on two under after a 73, while Bregman returned an even-par 72 to finish fourth on one under 143.

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Pace predicts; Smit and Simon comply at Houghton

Ashleigh Simon and Monique SmitJOHANNESBURG, 25 January 2016 – Following her Ladies Joburg Open triumph, South Africa’s top golf export Lee-Anne Pace predicted that Ashleigh Simon or Monique Smit would win the next event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the pair certainly didn’t disappoint at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies on Monday.

Smit and Simon opened with a couple of three-under-par 69s to top the first round leaderboard at Houghton Golf Club and they will sleep on a two shot lead.

South African duo Nicole Garcia and Stacy Bregman tied for third at one under in the internationally flavoured chasing pack alongside England's Rebecca Hudson, Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland, South Korea's Carrie Park, Alexandra Lennartson from Sweden.

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Williams targets Chase to Investec Cup double

Kim WilliamsShe claimed her maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour break through at Houghton Golf Club in 2014 and a resurgence to form in the Ladies Joburg Open left Kim Williams hungry to target a Chase to Investec Cup for Ladies double from 25-27 January.

“I gained so much confidence from those first two rounds in the Ladies Joburg Open,” said Williams, who lagged one stroke off the pacesetters in both the first and second rounds at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.

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Strauss, Dlamini eye Ladies Joburg Open prize

Bertine StraussBertine Strauss is on course for a maiden Sunshine Ladies Tour victory after taking a one shot lead in the Ladies Joburg Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Tuesday.

Strauss added a three-under-par 69 to an opening 68 at the West Course to lead on seven under 137, but she is well aware of Lee-Anne Pace, Kim Williams, Ashleigh Simon and Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland looming large in her rear-view mirror.

“It’s very tight at the top and anyone of them has the game to beat me,” said Strauss.

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Simon makes stellar start in Ladies Joburg Open

Ashleigh SimonJOHANNESBURG, 18 January 2016 – For some golfers, it’s a new putter, a change of grips or a new set of irons. For Ashleigh Simon, it was a set of grommets that helped the four-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion to make the perfect start to her 2016 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies campaign in the Ladies Joburg Open at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club on Monday.

Just 10 days after Simon was fitted with two tiny plastic tubes, she fired a five-under-par 67 at the West Course to lay down a marker for a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title.

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Rookies ready to rumble at Ladies Joburg Open

Carrie Park, Lejan Lewthwaite & Bertine StraussJOHANNESBURG, 16 January 2016 – LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace. Two-time European Ladies Tour champion Ashleigh Simon. Four-time Sunshine Tour winner Stacy Bregman.

These names have dominated the leaderboards since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched 2014, but the Big Three better make some space for the arrival of the new kids on the block.

LPGA Tour rookie Bertine Strauss and Sunshine Ladies Tour rookies Lejan Lewthwaite and Carrie Park were out in force at the West Course on Sunday in the practice round for the Ladies Joburg Open, which kicks off at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club’s West Course on Monday.

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Super Strauss seals LPGA Tour card

Bertine Strauss8 December 2015 – South Africa’s former number one ranked amateur Bertine Strauss will make her pro debut alongside Lee-Anne Pace, Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto on the LPGA Tour in 2016 after crossing the final hurdle in the LPGA Tour’s Final Stage Qualifier this weekend.

The 23-year-old from Koster carded rounds of 69, 73, 72 and 70 on the Hill and Jones Courses at the LPGA International in Daytona Beach to make the 72-hole cut to the low 70 players. She closed with a 71 for a total score of five-under par 355 and tied for 15th – finishing well within the top 20 players who secured their cards for womens golf’s biggest stage next season.

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Lejan makes spectacular SLT start

Lejan LewthwaiteSOUTHBROOM, 1 December 2015 – Benoni amateur Lejan Lewthwaite put a loud exclamation point on her amateur career when she lifted the Jackie Mercer Trophy in the 2015 SA Women’s Open on the Hibiscus Coast on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old Wanna Be A Champion player made the best possible start to the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour when she closed with an even-par 72 to lead the amateur field with a runner-up finish in the prestigious national championship at San Lameer Country Club.

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Class act Pace clinches SA Women’s Open

Lee-Anne Pace and Hibiscus Coast Executive Mayor, Cllr Nomusa MqwebuSOUTHBROOM, 1 December – Lee-Anne Pace joined an elite band of back-to-back SA Women’s Open champions when she claimed the sought-after title for a second consecutive year at San Lameer Country Club on the Hibiscus Coast in KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.

The Pearl Valley golfer closed with a 76 to claim a three stroke victory on three over 219 to emulate American Brenda Lunsford and Barbara Pestana from South Africa, who reeled in successive victories in 1990 / 1991 and 1998 / 1999 respectively.

“Now I am really stoked,” said Pace. “I just love statistics and setting records, so this is really, really cool. I knew there were players that won the SA Women’s Open twice, but I never knew Brenda and Barbara were the only back-to-back winners.

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Lewthwaite & Meichtry surge at San Lameer

Lejan LewthwaiteSOUTHBROOM, 30 November 2015 – Ekurhuleni amateur Lejan Lewthwaite will have to stave off top ranked Swiss amateur Azelia Meichtry to secure the Jackie Mercer Trophy at the SA Women’s Open on Tuesday.

Meichtry braved windy conditions to lift the Curro SA World International Junior and the Nomads SA WP Junior Championship titles earlier this season and could pose a serious threat to Lewthwaite’s title aspirations.

Lewthwaite from The Lake Club Benoni overturned three bogeys in the testing conditions on the Hibiscus Coast for a one over 73 and a share of second on seven over at San Lameer Country Club with Kim Williams.

The pair will start the final round eight strokes behind defending champion Lee-Anne Pace, who also coped admirably in the gusting wind to post a 72.

Meichtry signed for a 75 to vault to joint fifth with two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit, who shot 77.

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Unflappable Pace still on top at San Lameer

Lee-Anne Pace & Henriette FrylinckSOUTHBROOM, 30 November 2015 – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace coped admirably in the testing conditions at San Lameer Country Club to build up an almost unassailable lead in the SA Women’s Open on the Hibiscus Coast on Monday.

The defending champion reversed three bogeys for an even-par 72 and an eight stroke lead on one under 143 over amateur Lejan Lewthwaite and joint overnight leader, Kim Williams.

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Pace, Williams a happy duo at San Lameer

Kim Williams and Lee-Anne PaceShe held the outright lead for two holes, but Kim Williams was still quite happy to settle for a share of the top spot with defending champion Lee-Anne Pace on the opening day of the SA Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club.

The pair tied at one under 71 and Williams was smiling broadly as she posed for post-round photos with the tournament favourite.

“I had a nice little run out there, but I let it slip at the last two holes,” the 29-year-old Sunshine Ladies Tour champion said.

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Little Son surprises at SA Women’s Open

Amateur Woo-Ju SonPintsized Woo-Ju Son sparkled in her debut at the SA Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club on Sunday. The 14-year-old braved the strong, swirling wind that coursed over the stunning Hibiscus Coast layout to open with a six-over-par 78 in testing conditions.

The country’s top ranked junior leads the amateur field alongside Serengeti’s Lejan Lewthwaite, while reigning Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur champion Carrie Park from Korea also claimed a share of sixth in her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut.

The trio lag seven shots off the pace from defending champion Lee-Anne Pace and Kim Williams, who claimed the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur in the national championship in 2009 and 2013.

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SA duo primed for LPGA Q-School

Stacy BregmanWhile LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace starts her title defence in the SA Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club on Sunday, two of South Africa’s brightest prospects are heading to the United States to pursue playing privileges on the LPGA Tour.

Rookie Bertine Strauss won the First Stage Qualifier in August and tied for 28th with Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Stacey Bregman at the Second Stage Qualifier in October.

Now the South African pair hope to cross the last hurdle in the Final Stage Qualifier at the Hill and Jones Courses of the LPGA International in Daytona Beach from 2 – 6 December.

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San Lameer gets SA Women’s Open nod

Nicole GarciaSOUTHBROOM, 26 November 2015 – The pace in the SA Women’s Open practice round was leisurely as Nicole Garcia leaned on her putter and watched Ekurhuleni amateur Lejan Lewthwaite used the flat stick to send a few balls towards the 18th hole at San Lameer Country Club.

Near the clubhouse, Monique Smit from Southern Cape was catching up with Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann, while Port Shepstone twins Melissa Eaton and Nicola Eaton-Gutzeit basked in the sunny weather on the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu-Natal while shooting the breeze with England’s Anna Scott.

“As Sunday’s first round approaches, the practice sessions will become more focussed and the sense of urgency will increase considerably, but for today, we just enjoyed the reunion and the beauty of the course,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Garcia.

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Sunshine Ladies Tour poised for glorious run in 2016

Lee-Anne Pace26 November 2015 – It’s that time of the year when big money meets big opportunities for local and international professional ladies and upcoming amateurs. And with more than R2.5-million to play for, the stakes are loaded.

Exciting incentives in store for the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour include a bonus pool worth R1-million for the season-ending Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies, record prize money and 54-hole tournaments.

The third Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies will launch with the R250 00 South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club at the end of November. The season resumes in the new year with a bumper run of seven tournaments leading up to the season-ending Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Millvale Private Retreat from 10 - 12 March 2016.

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Samu and Son sets sights on SA Women’s Open

Ivanna SamuSOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal (24 November 2015) – Two of South Africa’s brightest amateur talents - Ivanna Samu and Woo-Ju Son – are heading to the Hibiscus Coast to join the battle for the Jackie Mercer Trophy in the 2015 South African Women’s Open.

Samu and Son will be among a cast of rising stars, primed to test themselves on golf’s biggest stage at San Lameer Country Club from 29 November to 1 December.

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Eaton bidding for home crown at SA Women’s Open

Melissa EatonSOUTHBROOM, KwaZulu-Natal (20 November 2015) – Hibiscus Coast golfer Melissa Eaton is targeting a Sunshine Ladies Tour breakthrough in the 2015 South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club from 29 November to 1 December.

The Port Shepstone native came close to a maiden victory twice in the Sun International Ladies Challenge and Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am last season.

“It’s going to be great to be back playing in my home tournament,” said the former Symetra Tour winner.

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Park poised for SA Women’s Open pro debut

Carrie ParkSAN LAMEER, KwaZulu-Natal (19 November 2015) – After a memorable top five finish in the IGT Tour’s Race to Q-School this week, Carrie Park from South Korea is primed to take her place among the professionals in the 2015 South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Country Club in KwaZulu-Natal from 29 November to 1 December.

“I am really excited to launch my rookie season on the Hibiscus Coast,” said Park.

“When I made my debut in the SA Women’s Open as an amateur last year, I shot 79 and 82, two of the worst scores I have posted in years. We had so many rain delays and with all the stops and starts, I just never got going.

“I’ve worked really hard the past three months and have been testing my game on the IGT Tour. I believe I am ready to take the plunge on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.”

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Pace & De Lange defend at SA Women’s Open

Shawnelle de Lange and Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s top female golf export Lee-Anne Pace will headline the field in the 2015 South African Women’s Open on the Hibiscus Coast alongside Shawnelle de Lange, who shared the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur with France’s Mathilda Cappeliez last year.

The country’s flagship championship returns at San Lameer Country Club from 29 November to 1 December.

Pace is in a confident mood and eager to defend the title she won in thrilling fashion last year.

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Lee-Anne picks up pace in China

Lee-Anne PaceSANYA, Hainan Island, China (30 October 2015) – After a battling 76 in Thursday’s first round, South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace made a great strides in the blustery conditions to get closer to the top five in the Blue Bay LPGA on Hainan Island in China.

The defending champion mixed three birdies with a quartet of bogeys for a one-over 73 to grab a seat on at five over 149.

Only five players managed to break par on Friday and only the top five on the leaderboard are in red figures through 36 holes. Korean Sei Young Kim carded an even-par 72 to overtake first round pacesetter Lin Xi Yu from China and tops the leaderboard at two under 142.

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Wind plagues Pace in China

Lee-Anne PaceSANYA, Hainan Island, China (29 October 2015) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace struggled to get her title defence off the ground in the Blue Bay LPGA, but China’s Lin Xi Yu breezed to a one stroke lead over American Austin Ernst on a very windy day on Hainan Island.

Xi Yu fired a flawless five-under-par 67, while Pace finished well off the pace at the lengthy Jian Blue Bay Golf Course.

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Pace at peace in China

Lee-Anne PaceSANYA, Hainan Island, China (28 October 2015) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is taking a holiday approach to her title defence in the Blue Bay LPGA at the Greentown Blue Bay Resort on Hainan Island in China this week.

“I’ve got given a suite this week as the defending champion, which is just amazing,” said Pace at her pre-tournament conference.

“I woke up with a smile, had coffee in bed and laughed, and it was just so relaxing. I really honestly feel like I’m on holiday, which is cool, when you’re playing golf.”

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SA pair through to LPGA Q-School Final

Stacy Bregman26 October 2015 – Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Stacy Bregman and Stage 1 medallist Bertine Strauss are heading for the Final Stage of the LPGA Qualifying School in December after both players made the grade in the Stage II qualifier on Sunday.

The South African pair struggled at the start of the 72-hole examination, but rallied over the weekend to tie for 28th on nine-over-par 297.

Bregman carded rounds of 75, 80, 72 and 70, while Strauss posted 75, 78, 71 and 71 to finish in the bus alongside Ladies European Tour winner Rebecca Artis and Symertra Tour champion Breanna Elliott from Australia, as well as Fiona Puyo, Budsabakorn Sukapan from Thailand, Norway’s Caroline Martens and American Ginger Howard.

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SA quartet primed for Venice test

Bertine StraussVENICE, Florida (22 October 2015) –  South Africa’s Bertine Strauss will join three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion Stacy Bregman, Ladies European Tour winner Connie Chen and Ulrika van Niekerk in the LPGA Stage II Qualifier, which tees off at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida today.

Strauss carded rounds of 67-67-70-70 to claim medalist honors by a stroke in the Stage 1 Qualifier at Mission Hills Country Club in August.

The Texas University graduate stayed competitive on the IGT Pro Tour in South Africa during the break, while Bregman and Chen competed on the Ladies European Tour and Van Niekerk warmed up on the Symetra Tour.

Hoping to join compatriots Lee-Anne Pace, Paula Reto and Ashleigh Simon on the LPGA Tour next year, the South African quartet must finish in the top 80 and ties this week to qualify for the Final Stage Qualifier at the LPGA International Golf Course from 2-6 December.

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Hibiscus Coast welcomes SA Women’s Open return

San Lameer Country ClubSAN LAMEER, KwaZulu-Natal (16 October 2015) – The 2015 South African Women’s Open is heading to the KwaZulu-Natal’s Hibiscus Coast for a fourth successive year thanks to the unwavering support of the Hibiscus Coast Municipality.

The 54-hole tournament, sanctioned by the WPGA of South Africa, will carry a purse of R250,000 and will be played at San Lameer Country Club from 29 November to 1 December. It will also be the first counting event on the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour and Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies.

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Sizzling Simon seals top 10 in China

Ashleigh SimonSouth Africa’s Ashleigh Simon tore up the Orient Golf and Country Club to claim a top seven finish in the Xiamen International Ladies Open in China, while compatriot Lee-Anne Pace enjoyed her own birdie barrage in the final round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday.

While South Korean Hye In Yeom closed out a five stroke maiden pro victory on 16-under-par 272, Simon stole the march on the field to take the low round honours in the Ladies European Tour event with a sizzling six-under-par 66.

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Garcia, Pace lead SA challenge abroad

Nicole Garcia9 October 2015 - Nicole Garcia will spearhead the South African challenge in the Xiamen International Ladies Open this weekend, while Lee-Anne Pace is well placed at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

As the 2015 Ladies European Tour season starts to wind down, spots for this year’s Qualifying School graduates are becoming scarce and Garcia is certainly making the most of her week at the Orient Golf and Country Club.

The reigning Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion fired successive rounds of 71 grab a seat on the bus at two under 142 and is tied for 19th with eight players.

The South African lags seven shots behind China’s Jing Yan and Gwladys Nocera from France, who share the 36-hole lead at nine-under-par 135 after respective rounds of 65 and 68.

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Tears of joy as USA wins Solheim Cup

2015 Solheim Cup winners Team USAAfter a dramatic, controversial and tearful final day, the USA defeated Europe on Sunday to win the Solheim Cup for the first time since 2009.

The US team was 10-6 behind going into the 12 singles — the same score that Europe trailed the USA before coming back to win the Ryder Cup at Medinah in 2012 — but rallied to triumph by one point.

Paula Creamer claimed the winning point in the final singles match with a 4 and 3 win over Sandra Gal to hand the United States a 14 1/2 - 13 1.2 victory.

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Major history for SA’s Pace and Evian champ Ko

2015 Evian Championship winner Lydia Ko13 September 2015 – World number two Lydia Ko rewrote women’s golf history with a runaway victory in the Evian Championship and South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace celebrated her best ever finish in a Major championship with a tie for sixth in Evian-Les-Bains, France on Sunday.

Among a swag of records she already held, Ko had been the youngest winner of a professional tournament, the youngest Ladies European Tour winner, youngest LPGA Tour champion and youngest world number one (male or female).

With her victory at the Evian Resort Golf Club, Ko became the youngest women's golf major champion in just her 17th Major appearance.

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Pace slips at Evian Championship

Mi Hyang LeeEVIAN-LES-BAINS, France (11 September 2015) – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace slipped outside the top 30 and compatriots Paula Reto and Connie Chen missed the cut alongside a clutch of 2015 Solheim Cup players, while Mi Hyang Lee from South Korea took control the Evian Championship in Friday’s second round in Evian-Les-Bains in France.

Pearl Valley’s Pace began and finished with birdies, but signed for a disappointing 73 after bogeys at three, four and six.

The LPGA Tour winner joined Alena Sharp from Canada, Americans Stacy Lewis and Danielle Kang and Pernilla Lindberg from Sweden in a tie for 32nd at one over 143.

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Thompson on fire in France

American Lexi ThompsonEVIAN LES BAINS, France (10 September 2015) – Top South African export Lee-Anne Pace got her Evian Championship off to a solid start on Thursday and is in touch with Lexi Thompson from the United States and South Korea’s Mi Hyang Lee, who share the lead in Evian-Les-Bains, France.

LPGA champion Pace had three bogey-birdie combinations on her way to an even-par 71.

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Reto primed for Evian debut in France

Proudly South African - Paula RetoEVIAN, France (9 September 2015) – South Africa’s Paula Reto believes her baptism of fire in the Ricoh British Women’s Open and the added comfort of compatriot Connie Chen for company over the first two rounds will help her debut in the 2015 Evian Championship in Evian-Les-Bains, France.

Reto and 2014 Ladies European Tour winner Chen, who is also debuting in the season’s final Major, will play alongside with American Tiffany Joh.

LPGA Tour champion Lee-Anne Pace, who tied for 16th on debut in 2012, will join Korea’s Chella Choi and American Christina Kim for the first 36 holes at the Evian Resort Golf Club.

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Golfers ready to light up Rio

Golfers ready to light up RioFrom the shores of Lake Geneva to the fairways of Rio de Janeiro, the world’s top women golfers had a taste of what to expect in 2016 when they paid a visit to the Olympic Museum and IOC Headquarters ahead of the Evian Championship.

Seven golfers from five continents, all with aspirations of going to the 2016 Rio Olympics, played a nearest to the pin contest before taking a guided tour of the Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland and posing in front of the Olympic Flame.

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Steady Simon stays the course in Sweden

Ashleigh Simon6 September 2015 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon will start today’s final round of the Helsingborg Open four shots off the pace from Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark, who strengthened her bid for a wire-to-wire maiden Ladies European Tour victory in Sweden with a solid performance Saturday.

For a third successive day, Larsen broke 70 at Vasatorps Golf Club and a third round five under 68 lifted her to 14-under-par 205.

Simon vaulted to second with a roaring eight-under-par 65 in the second round. The Wanna Be A Champion golfer collected three birdies as heavy rain fell in Mörarp. A bogey at 18 saw Simon sign for a two under 71.

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Simon on fire at Helsingborg Open

Ashleigh Simon5 September 2015 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon fired a scorching eight-under-par 65 to roar within a stroke of Nicole Broch Larsen of Denmark in the second round of the Ladies European Tour’s Helsingborg Open on Friday.

The Wanna Be A Champion player collected nine birdies at Vasatorps Golf Club to move to eight under 138, while Larsen kept her overnight lead with a four under par 69.

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2015 Solheim Cup teams finalised

European Solheim Cup Team26 August 2015 - The European Team for this year’s Solheim Cup matches in Germany is complete after Carin Koch selected Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall, Karine Icher from France, Germany’s Caroline Masson and Catriona Matthew from Scotland as her captain’s picks.

All four players shared in the record-breaking 18-10 victory at Colorado Golf Club two years ago.

The rest of the European team includes Carlota Ciganda and Azahara Muñoz from Spain, Germany’s Sandra Gal, Charley Hull and Melissa Reid from England, Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, Gwladys Nocera from France and Suzann Pettersen from Norway.

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Wayward Garcia lurks at Kyalami

Nicole GarciaNicole Garcia described her second round as “one long search for balls there where they are taping the next season of survivor.”

Yet, despite problems off the tee, the reigning Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion finished within striking distance of pacesetter Bryandrew Roelofsz in the IGT Tour’s Gary Player School for Champions Academy Classic on Tuesday.

“I foolishly decided to take a spinning class after the first round,” said Garcia after signing for a two over 74 at Kyalami Country Club.

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Rakes & Cues for Charity

Vodacom Origins of Golf Charity Putt at San Lameer Country ClubProfessional golfer Adilson da Silva is one of the most consistent putters on the Sunshine Tour. When he has a putter in his hands. But at San Lameer Country Club this week, he took part in a putting competition for charity using a bunker rake, surf ski paddle and even a pool cue.

Da Silva joined former women’s professional Nicola Eaton as well as amateurs Dion Scoulelis and Lynette Magasa in the Vodacom Origins of Golf Charity Putt at San Lameer on Wednesday.

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SA pair falter while Henderson sizzles in Portland

Ashleigh Simon17 August 2015 – South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh Simon battled at the weekend in the Cambia Portland Classic, but Canadian qualifier Brooke Henderson hit her stride to capture her first LPGA Tour victory in style.

Simon was inside the top 40 with solid rounds of 71, 72 and 70 and got to three under with a birdie at 16 on Sunday, but she dealt her fine efforts a big blow when she finished with back-to-back bogeys at 17 and 18 at the Columbia Edgewater Country Club.

The Wanna Be A Champion player signed off with a 74 to finish in joint 60th on one under 287.

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Player to captain SA Olympic golf team

Gary Player15 August 2015 – Nine-time Major winner Gary Player has been named captain of South Africa’s first Olympic golf team that will compete at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Player, a winner of more than 165 tournaments worldwide, is the only person to complete the career Grand Slam on both the regular and senior tours amidst his 18 Major Championships.

And 63 years as a professional golfer has given Player extensive experience in team competition.

He captained the International Team for the Presidents Cup on three occasions and also made several appearances for South Africa in the World Cup of Golf.

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SA trio primed for Portland

Lee-Anne Pace12 August 2015 – While world number 13 Louis Oosthuizen heads up an eight-man South African challenge in the PGA Championship, LPGA winner Lee-Anne Pace will lead compatriots Paula Reto and Ashleigh Simon at the 44th playing of the Cambria Portland Classic in Oregon.

The SA trio will vie for a $1.3 million purse at Columbia Edgewater Country Club, hosting the longest running non-major event on the LPGA Tour for a 29th consecutive year.

Pearl Valley’s Pace is coming off a tie for a tie for 24th in the Ricoh British Women’s Open where a $30,000 pay day boosted her to 53rd in the Rolex World Golf Rankings.

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Garcia & Eaton top SA charge in Pilsen 

Chase to thNicole GarciaInvestec Cup for Ladies champion Nicole Garcia and Ladies European Tour rookie Melissa Eaton led the South African challenge with a tie for 25th in the Tipsport Golf Masters in the Czech Republic on Sunday.

Wanna Be A Champion’s Garcia carded rounds of 68, 71 and 70 at Golf Park Pilsen and Eaton from KwaZulu-Natal returned rounds of 73, 65 and 71.

The South African pair joined the bus at four under 209 alongside Sunshine Ladies Tour regular Rebecca Hudson from England, American Beth Allen and Fabienne In-Albon from Switzerland.

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Strauss wins LPGA Q-School First Stage

Bertine StraussSouth Africa’s Bertine Strauss moved one step closer to the LPGA Tour when she claimed the First Stage Qualifying School with a wire-to-wire victory in California on Sunday.

The Koster golfer recorded rounds of 67, 67, 70 and 70 at the Dinah Shore and Arnold Palmer courses at Mission Hills Golf Club in Rancho Mirage to triumph on 14-under-par 274.

“I feel relieved,” Strauss told the LPGA Tour media office after edging out leading American amateur, Megan Khang, by one stroke for the medallist honour.

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Strauss moves clear at LPGA Q-School

Bertine Strauss9 August 201 - South Africa’s Bertine Strauss held on to the lead and moved clear of joint second round leader Megan Khang in the third round at the LPGA Qualifying School Stage One in California on Saturday.

Strauss led the first round, but American Khang joined her 10-under-par 134 at the halfway mark at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage.

The Koster golfer carded a 70 to move into pole position on 12 under 204 and will start the final round two strokes ahead of Khang, who returned a 72.

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Strauss snares share of LPGA Q-School lead

Bertine Strauss8 August 201 - South Africa’s Bertine Strauss claimed a share of the 36-hole lead in Stage One of LPGA Qualifying School with 17-year-old amateur Megan Khang.

The duo lead at 10-under-par 134 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California and have a one stroke edge over Spanish amateur, Noemi Jimenez.

Strauss, who won her first pro title on the SunCoast Pro Tour at the same venue last week, posted two successive rounds of 67 to join Khang in pole position.

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Park pushes to Grand Slam glory

Ricoh British Women's Open champion Inbee Park2 August 2015 - Inbee Park fired a course record-equalling seven-under-par 65 to win the Ricoh Women's British Open in Scotland and seal a career Grand Slam on Sunday.

With this extraordinary feat, Park joined an exclusive list of just six players, including Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Louise Suggs, Karrie Webb and Mickey Wright.

Impressively, the 27-year-old South Korean has won six of her seven majors in her last 14 major starts. She won the ANA Inspiration as part of her 2013 run, took the last three Women's PGA Championships (formerly the LPGA Championship) and reeled in two U.S. Women's Open titles.

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Pace, Simon hold course in Scotland

Lee-Anne Pace1 August 2015 – LPGA Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace rallied with her signature tenacity to join fellow South African Ashleigh Simon in Saturday’s third round of the Ricoh British Women’s Open in Scotland.

Pace failed to take advantage of the sunny conditions on day one and carded a disappointing 75, but when the weather turned nasty at the Trump Turnberry Resort on Friday, the nine-time Ladies European Tour champion got tough.

Pace produced a hard-fought for one-under-par 73 to move to four over, while Simon finished a further stroke adrift after a five over 77.

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Strauss sparkles on SunCoast Tour

Bertine Strauss31 July 2015 - South Africa’s Bertine Strauss claimed her professional breakthrough in her second start on the SunCoast Pro Golf Tour when she defeated American Allison Emrey at the fourth play-off hole at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California on Wednesday.

The pair deadlocked at seven-under-par 209 at the end of regulation play at the Arnold Palmer Course after Strauss carded rounds of 67, 70 and 72 and Emrey answered with 70, 72 and 68.

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Simon takes SA lead at Turnberry

Ashleigh Simon31 July 2015 - Ricoh British Women’s Open qualifier Ashleigh Simon took full advantage of the uncharacteristically sunny Scottish skies to lead the South African pack in Thursday’s first round in Scotland.

The two-time Ladies European Tour winner collected five birdies and an eagle three at the par-five 14th to offset a fistful of drops and returned an even-par 72 to finish seven strokes behind pace setting Kim Hyo-Joo from South Korea at the Trump Turnberry Resort.

LPGA winner Lee-Anne Pace had three bogeys, two birdies and a double bogey at par-three sixth at the Ailsa Course and slept on a 10 stroke deficit.

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Pace ready to roll in Scotland

Lee-Anne Pace30 July 2015 – As soon as she banked a tie for 22nd in the Meijer LPGA Classic in Michigan on Sunday, South Africa’s top export Lee-Anne Pace took the first flight to Scotland to join compatriots Nicole Garcia, Ashleigh Simon and Paula Reto in this week’s Ricoh British Women’s Open at the Trump Turnberry Resort.

“The Ricoh Womens British Open is one of my favourite tournaments of the season and I’m stoked to get started,” the Pearl Valley golfer said. “I've been looking forward to this week all year.”

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Simon joins SA trio at Women’s British Open

Ashleigh Simon28 July 2015 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon boosted the South African tally in this week’s Ricoh Women’s British Open at the Trump Turnberry Resort in South Ayrshire, Scotland after she came through the Final Qualifying Round at Irvine Golf Club with flying colours on Monday.

Simon will join compatriots Lee-Anne Pace, Paula Reto and fellow Wanna Be A Champ Academy stable-mate Nicole Garcia in the starting line-up on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Johannesburg professional offset four bogeys with five birdies and an eagle for a three-under-par 71 to take the third of 12 spots on offer into the season’s fourth Major.

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Who will triumph at Turnberry?

2015 Ricoh Women's British Open27 July 2015 - Turnberry hosted the Ricoh British Women’s Open for the first time in 2002, the second year it was played as a Major .World Golf and LPGA Halls of Famer Karrie Webb claimed her sixth major championship after finishing at 15-under par, two shots clear of Michelle Ellis and Paula Marti. Webb will be making her 14th ap­pearance at this championship.

Rolex Rankings number one Inbee Park has two shots left at a Career Grand Slam this season and could become just the seventh woman in history to achieve the feat.

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Pace in touch at Marathon Classic

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is just four off the pace through 54 holes in the LPGA Tour’s rain-plagued Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Illinois.

The Pearl Valley golfer opened with a four-under-par 67 to lie just one off the pace from South Korea’s Ha Na Jang at Highland Meadows Golf Club on Thursday.

The two-time Investec Cup for Ladies champion stayed in touch with a one-birdie 70 in the second round. She mixed three birdies with three bogeys in the third round, but holed out for an eagle three at the par-five 18th to finish in a tie for 12th on seven-under-par 206.

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Pace within striking distance in Illinois

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace finished just one stroke off the lead in the opening round of the LPGA Marathon Classic in Sylvania, Illinois.

The Pearl Valley golfer fired an opening four-under-par 67 at Highland Meadows Golf Club to tie for second with American Nannette Hill, Australian Sarah Kemp and Hsu Wei-ling of Taiwan.

The quartet are chasing Jang Ha-na of South Korea, who caught fire on the back nine with six birdies for a 66.

Jang, ranked 22nd in the world and a six-time winner on the Korean LPGA Tour, avoided the four-way tie at four under with a final birdie at 18.

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Pace upbeat after US Women’s Open

Lee-Anne Pace15 July 2015 - Lee-Anne Pace did not manage to better her career best tie for 43rd in this year’s US Women’s Open, but the country’s top ranked player was nevertheless happy with her overall performance at Lancaster Country Club and looking forward to the Ricoh British Women’s Open at the end of July.

The double Investec Cup for Ladies champion opened with a 73 at the Old Course and fired a second round 69 to vault to joint 32nd.

“Unfortunately I wasted all that good work with a 77 in the third round,” the Pearl Valley golfer said.

“It was a tough scoring day and it didn’t help that I got off to a bad start. I played a lot better in the final round and signed for a 70 to tie for 56th on nine-over-par 289.

“I’m really happy that I made it to the weekend. I learn more about what it takes to perform well in these big events in every Major that I compete in.”

Pace finished well behind South Korea’s In Gee Chun, who fired a six under 66 to take a one stroke victory on eight under.

A five-time LPGA Tour winner this season, Chun became the first player to win in a US open debut since Birdie Kim in 2005.

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Pace holds steady at US Women’s Open

Lee-Anne PaceLANCASTER, Pennsylvania (11 July 2015) – Two solid rounds at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania sees South Africa’s top export Lee-Anne Pace in a great position going into the weekend at the 70th US Women’s Open Championship.

The 36-year-old Pearl Valley golfer is tied for 32nd on two-over-par 142 and lags seven strokes behind pacesetter Amy Yang.

The Korean golfer carded rounds of 67 and 66 to pull three stroke clear of Shiho Oyama from Japan, who returned rounds of 70 and 66 and American Stacy Lewis, who registered rounds of 69 and 67.

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Strauss joins Pace in US Women’s Open

Bertine StraussLANCASTER, Pennsylvania (8 July 2015) – Former top SA amateur Bertine Strauss will make her professional debut in the US Women’s Open alongside South Africa’s top export Lee-Anne Pace at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania on Thursday.

The 70th US Women’s Open drew a record 1,873 entries and Strauss was among the hundreds of hopefuls who had to pre-qualify at 25 sites around the world for a coveted spot in the 156-strong field lining up in the season’s third Major.

The Koster golfer fired a flawless first round 70 and notched six birdies for a 68 in the second round to win the sectional qualifier at Riverdale Dunes Golf Course in Brighton, Colorado in May.

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SA trio joins weekend action in UK

Ashleigh Simon4 July 2015 – Laurette Maritz Sunshine Ladies Tour champions Ashleigh Simon and Stacy Bregman will join in the action this afternoon in the third round of the ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club.

Simon fired an opening 67 to finish one stroke behind first round pacesetter Sophie Giquel-Bettan from France, but the two-time Ladies European Tour winner slipped to a tie for ninth in Friday’s second round.

The Wanna Be A Champion player mixed three birdies with three bogeys for an even-par 72 to finish four strokes off the pace from Englishwomen Alex Peters, who matched Simon’s course record 63 to take pole position at 11-under-par 133.

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Simon sizzles at Ladies European Masters

Ashleigh Simon2 July 2015 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon is handily placed in a three-way tie for second after an opening five-under-par 67 and is just one stroke shy of Frenchwoman Sophie Giquel-Bettan in ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club on Thursday.

Simon claimed a joint runner-up finish behind seven-time Major champion Karie Webb in this championship in 2013 and was thrilled to pick up where she left off.

“Well, it isn’t close to the 63 I shot in the first round two years ago, but it’s certainly a lot better than I have played in the last few months,” Simon said.

“I’m really pleased with this result. I’ve worked hard on my short game in the last two months and it is so great get the putter working nicely with the rest of my game.”

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Simon in London, Pace to Pennsylvania

Ashleigh Simon1 July 2015 – South Africa’s Ashleigh Simon is ready to tee it up in this week’s ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters at Buckinghamshire Golf Club while compatriot Lee-Anne Pace travels to Pennsylvania this week to put the final touches to her preparation ahead of the 70th US Women’s Open.

Simon joined fellow Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Monique Smit, as well as Melissa Eaton, Connie Chen, Laurette Maritz and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann in the Ladies European Tour (LET) event that tees off near London on Thursday.

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SA’s Reto shines in Arkansas

Paula Reto30 June 2015 – South Africa’s Paula Reto closed the gap on compatriot Lee-Anne Pace after banking a cheque worth $31,213 for top 15 finish in the LPGA Tour’s Walmart NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday and climbed to 78th in the Official Money list with earnings of $76,762.

The Bloemfontein golfer lags a little less than $10,000 behind Pace, who moved to 76th place after a tie for 64th at Pinnacle Country Club.

Reto also jumped 12 spots to crowd Pace’s rear-view mirror in the Race to CME Globe. Reto is 83rd in the standings with 196 points, while Pearl Valley’s Pace is 82nd on 198 points.

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Play-off joy for Lincicome at ANA Inspiration

ANA Inspiration champion Brittany LincicomeAmerican Brittany Lincicome claimed a play-off victory in the ANA Inspiration and celebrated after four tough days at the Dinah Shore Course with her second dip in Poppie’s Pond at Mission Hills Country Club on Sunday.

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Reto moves at ANA Inspiration

Paula Reto5 April 2015 - South Africa’s Paula Reto fired a two-under-par 70 at the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills Country Club to break into the top 40 in the ANA Inspiration on Saturday, but compatriot Lee-Anne Pace had another tough day at the office and slipped to joint 70th in the season’s first Major.

Reto started moving day in a tie for 48th after earlier rounds of 74 and 73 just saw her make the weekend.

She followed a birdie-bogey combo at the second and third with five pars and notched a birdie at the ninth to turn in one under.

The second-season LPGA Tour player birdied the 12th, dropped at the 16th, but signed off with a birdie at the par-five 18th to vault to a tie for 36th on one-over-par 217.

Pace, meanwhile, completed the front nine with nine straight pars, but bogeys at the 11th, 14th, 15th and 18th saw her sign for a 76 that dropped the LPGA champion to six over 222.

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Pace, Reto make ANA Inspiration weekend

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace pulled off an impressive second round performance at Mission Hills Country Club in California to play herself into weekend in the season’s first Major, the at the ANA Inspiration.

The two-time Investec Cup for Ladies champion was in serious danger of missing the cut after a disappointing five over 77 in the first round.

However, Pace rallied with a hat-trick of birdies over the closing holes at the famed Dinah Shore Course to save her championship with an impressive three-under-par 69 on Friday.

The Pearl Valley golfer turned one under after two birdies and a bogey. She notched two more birdies immediately after the turn, stumbled with a double bogey at the par-four 12th, but produced the hat-trick of birdies at the end to finish a stroke above the cut, set at three-over-par 147.

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