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SA Women’s Masters back on SA calendar
- Updated: October 13, 2016
South African women’s golf received a welcome boost with the return of the prestigious South African Women’s Masters to the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour schedule after an absence of eight years.
The tournament 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.
‘We are incredibly grateful to the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille in particular for helping us to put one of the most prestigious championships in women’s golf back on the annual golfing calendar,’ said Copeman.
‘It has always been our commitment to champion South Africa’s golfers and since we successfully reinstated the SA Women’s Open in 2012, we have worked tirelessly to revive the SA Women’s Masters.
‘As the sponsor of the Cape Town Ladies Open since 2014, the City of Cape Town has been a key contributor in the resurgence of women’s professional golf in South Africa and we are extremely pleased to see that support extended to SA Women’s Masters.
‘The 2017 championship will be the second event in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies series and will carry a purse of R500,000, marking it as the richest event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour. We are also very excited to partner with the City of Cape Town to use this wonderful occasion to promote Cape Town as a premier golfing haven and top-class tourist destination.’
De Lille said the City of Cape Town was proud to take up the title sponsorship of the SA Women’s Masters. ‘The SA Women’s Masters enjoyed great success between 1996 and 2008 and we are delighted to partner with World Sports Promotions to revive this prestigious and iconic championship, as we consolidate our reputation as the events capital of Africa,’ said De Lille.
‘The City of Cape Town is committed to supporting sport and sport development programmes because not only is it an integral part of children’s overall development, it is a chance for young talent to be nurtured and a chance for a child to be the best they can be and not fall prey to the evils in our society. As part of that, we need to create opportunities for them to see local sporting heroes so that they can be inspired by that greatness.
‘The SA Women’s Masters will not only set a new beacon of excitement on the annual calendar as the most lucrative women’s golf tournament in the Cape Province, but together with the Cape Town Ladies Open, it will empower female golfers across all age groups, all the while showcasing Cape Town as a golfing destination of choice to our global audience.’
Two-time Major winner Sally Little lifted the inaugural title in 1996 and Ladies European Tour champion Rebecca Hudson – the winner in 2005 and 2008 – was one of five international champions. The Englishwoman will effectively return as the ‘defending champion’ since she won the last championship held in 2008.
Ashleigh Simon became the only amateur winner of the SA Women’s Masters in 2006 and the two-time European Ladies Tour champion will also be lining up to join the title bid alongside world No44 Lee-Anne Pace.
WPGA chairperson Margie Whitehouse congratulated the City of Cape Town and World Sports Promotions, saying that SA Women’s Masters has given the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour a significant boost.
‘Over the last three years, the WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour has strived to establish a regular playing platform for our players and we are extremely pleased that the City of Cape Town is validating our undertaking by helping us to further grow the Sunshine Ladies Tour,’ Whitehouse said.
‘The City of Cape Town collaborated with us on the Cape Town Ladies Open and in establishing the Mayor of Cape Town’s Golf Development Centre. The revival of the SA Women’s Masters further emphasises the spirit of cooperation between all the parties and we applaud the City of Cape Town and World Sports Promotions for their commitment to growing the women’s professional game in South Africa.’
Selwyn Nathan, chief executive of the Sunshine Tour, said the SA Women’s Masters not only gives South Africa’s leading lights the opportunity to showcase their talents in the Mother City, but the championship also represents a wonderful opportunity for up-and-coming amateurs to gain invaluable competitive experience in an event of this stature.
‘It is incredibly important to provide our professionals with a strong competitive platform here at home, but it is equally important to look after the future talent,’ Nathan said.
‘Not only is the SA Women’s Masters a magnificent addition to our schedule, but a prestigious event like this provides a fantastic opportunity for our rising stars to rub shoulders with top professional talent. I am also hopeful that in hosting this prestigious event in Cape Town, we are able to encourage a new wave of young talent in the region to take up the game. We congratulate the City of Cape Town and World Sports Promotion for collaborating to bring this esteemed championship back to life.’
Picture of Pace courtesy of the Sunshine Ladies Tour.