Standard Bank Pro-Am Series’ Thrilling Finale at Blair Atholl
GOLF – LIFESTYLE GOLF – STANDARD BANK PRO-AM SERIES – BLAIR ATHOLL GOLF AND EQUESTRIAN ESTATE
Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate, Gauteng, 9th November 2023 – The Standard Bank Pro-Am Series wrapped up its 2023 season with a spectacular finale at the Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate, delivering a thrilling display of skill and determination.
The journey, which began in May at Cotswold Downs in KZN, witnessed seven events leading up to the climactic invitational.
Heading into the final event, Isabella van Rooyen was leading the Order of Merit with an impressive margin of over 200 points. Van Rooyen’s final score of 974.17 points secured her position as the series champion. Following closely were Gabrielle Venter with 803.75 points and Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia at 801.25 points.
The opening day started on a high note with remarkable rounds on the leader board, but nature intervened after nine holes. Torrential rain forced a suspension of play, prompting an early end to the day. However, the next morning saw a determined return to the course as the players resumed where they left off, overcoming challenges posed by Gauteng’s unpredictable weather, including a blanket of fog.
Throughout the day, the leader board experienced constant fluctuations. Amateur player Nicola Schoeman stole the spotlight on day one with a remarkable -5 under, showcasing some of her best golf ever. A highlight of the event was Lenanda van der Watt’s hole-in-one on the 11th hole, earning her a brand-new Nissan Magna valued at R300,000 sponsored by Mark White Nissan Fourways.
Day two brought scorching African skies and intense competition for the top spot. A dynamic battle unfolded with Shawnelle de Lange, Kiera Floyd, and Nadia van der Westhuizen vying for supremacy. Ultimately, Lindi Coetzee, Nadia van der Westhuizen, Shawnelle de Lange, and Cara Gorlei ended in a four-way tie for the first professional position, each finishing with an impressive score of -2.
The champion of the invitational, Nicola Schoeman, reflected on her victory, emphasizing the challenges faced on the first day due to rain. Schoeman expressed her commitment to playing her own game, focusing, and committing to every shot. Despite putting struggles in the previous tournaments, she adjusted her approach and credited her success to pushing through adverse conditions and never giving up.
Schoeman, holding the final trophy aloft, revealed her consideration of turning professional in 2024. She acknowledged the vital role of corporate support, with Standard Bank contributing to the success of professional women’s golf in South Africa. The Standard Bank Pro-Am Series not only keeps the players in competitive form during the winter season but also prepares them for bigger aspirations, including entering Q-school and pursuing entry into the Ladies European Tour circuit.
As the curtain falls on the 2023 season, the players are eagerly anticipating the next chapter, gearing up to tee off again at the Standard Bank Pro-Am Series early in 2024. The series continues to be a platform for talent, determination, and the spirit of competition in the world of women’s golf.
Standard Bank – South Africa
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The series seeks to offer chances for ambitious female golfers to demonstrate their abilities and acquire recognition in the field. It also provides a platform for prospective sponsors and financiers to help women’s golf in South Africa grow.
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