Bredenhann hails success of women’s golf series, hopes for SADC adventure

4 Jun 2022

Bonita Bredenhann - Standard Bank Pro-Am 2022

Bonita Bredenhann – Standard Bank Pro-Am 2022

MELKBOSSTRAND – Professional women’s golf received a major lift when the Standard Bank Pro-Am Series was played for the first time last year and as the series grows stronger, it’s also beginning to attract international talent to play in the eight-month-long season.

In its first season which produced some scintillating golf in 2021, the Standard Bank-sponsored series was played at venues across Gauteng only as a way of introduction to the golfing scene. Now, with the growth and popularity among golf fans the series has enjoyed over the last year, regions such as the Western Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and North West will host Standard Bank Pro-Am series tournaments for the first time.

This growth, along with improved prize money and other incentives on offer, has not gone unnoticed by many in the golfing industry. This is thanks to the visible impact the series has made on the golfing scene since the first event at Killarney Country Club last season. For the first time, professional players had a full calendar schedule which lasted the entire year, enabling them to make an income while staying competitive.

“It would be so great to have the Standard Bank Pro-Am series tournaments in Namibia as well,” said Namibian professional golfer, Bonita Bredenhann ahead of the second tournament of the series at the Atlantic Beach Links in Melkbosstrand. “Our courses there are different to what you normally see in Cape Town and Gauteng. There is so much to see. If there is any chance of bringing some of these tournaments here, it would be a great benefit to everyone.”

Bredenhann, who plays out of Hentiesbay Golf Club, enjoyed a solid start to this year’s edition; finishing third – behind Tandi McCallum and eventual winner Lindi Coetzee – at the season-opening tournament which was held at Glendower Golf Club in Ekurhuleni last month. The road to that third-place finish was not smooth.

Bonita Bredenhann - Standard Bank Pro-Am 2022

Bonita Bredenhann – Standard Bank Pro-Am 2022

“I almost didn’t get in,” she explained, “I only get 90 days in the country and I used most for the Sunshine Ladies Tour. So when I heard of this tournament, I applied urgently for a visa which can take weeks to be approved. But I was lucky and I got in.

“I’m happy to finish third, it felt very good after a while of not practising as much as I used to because I worked, and my home course is not like the South African golf courses’ conditions. So, I was pleased with how I played.”

Bredenhann will now look to build on that result from Glendower and her next opportunity for that is the visit to the Atlantic Beach Links on Monday. The golf club has the honours of hosting the series’ first tournament outside of Gauteng and while Bredenhann admits she has never played the course before, she’s certain of one thing.

“Always expect wind! It’s Cape Town,” she says.

Bredenhann is not the only international player to endorse the Standard Bank Pro-Am Series, with eSwatini’s Nobuhle Dlamini even boasting a win here. Other international players who have teed it up on this exciting series include Lejan Lewthwaite while up-and-coming stars like Isabella Van Rooyen are beginning to find their paths.

From the players to the sponsors and hosting golf clubs, the general feeling is that the series is growing rapidly and quickly meetings its objectives of being a premier platform for professional women golfers to thrive and gain valuable experience while attending to the development of the next generation of women golfers.

For more information: Standard Bank Pro-Am Invitational and the Standard Bank Golf Development Programme – contact Lifestyle Golf – Jenny Havenga or Gina Read.

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