Sunshine Tour

SA's best primed for glory battle at Westlake

2019-01-28 17:46
Ashleigh Buhai (Sunshine Ladies Tour)

Cape Town - Ashleigh Buhai's seven-year wait for a third Ladies European Tour (LET) title ended in Cape Town when she won the South African Women's Open on the Sunshine Ladies Tour last March.

South Africa's leading international golfer became the third player to achieve a hat-trick of triumphs and she will take up her title defence when the R2-million LET co-sanctioned showpiece returns to Westlake Golf Club from March 14-16.

The world No 116 hopes to join Lee-Anne Pace with four victories, but believes it will be a tougher task to reach the winner's circle this year.

"When Investec took up the title sponsorship last year and put the South African Women's Open back on the LET schedule, the interest in the event really sparked and the tournament drew a strong field of international golfers," said Buhai.

"I really had to work for the win and now that this year's Sunshine Ladies Tour has two new events - the Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower and the Team Championship at Serengeti - the depth of the field will be even stronger.

"With spots into two LET events, courtesy of the South African Women's Open and the Jabra Ladies Classic, we can expect an even bigger presence of LET players. Several Sunshine Ladies Tour players like Lejan Lewthwaite and Nobuhle Dlamini have also made huge strides over the last 12 months. Lee-Anne Pace and Stacy Bregman are always dangerous and, if you factor in the international entries, the level of competition will be even higher.

"I am coming back with the goal of defending the title, but it won't be a walk in the park. I will have to bring my A-game to Westlake to finish in front."

Pace will also be back, chasing title number five, and Stacy Bregman, now the third highest ranked South African in the Rolex Women's World Golf Rankings at No 306, is targeting a maiden win.

"The South African Women's Open trophy is definitely on my bucket list," said the five-time Sunshine Ladies Tour champion and last year's Investec Property Fund Order of Merit winner.

"I didn't practice much ahead of the first event on the LET in Abu Dhabi and I got the bad end of the draw for the first two days, so I was really pleased to finish in the top 16. I plan to defend at the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open at the end of January and then I am heading to Australia.

"I will be playing four events, including the Australian Women's Open and I hope to build up some good form for Westlake. The South African Women's Open is the one title we all aspire to win and I came close last year. I went low on the final day to finish fourth and this year, I'm aiming for the winner's circle."

The South African Women's Open has enjoyed the support of the City of Cape Town since regaining co-sanctioned status last year and moving to the Mother City.

Dan Plato, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, said, "In December last year, Cape Town was named as the 'World's Leading Festival and Events Destination' at the World Tourism Awards. Being able to host fantastic sporting events such as the Investec SA Women's Open further confirms why we are able to celebrate this title. Big events being held in Cape Town mean fantastic entertainment for our residents and visitors, and at the same time bring with them skills development and job creation opportunities for our communities. I want to wish the event organisers and all participants a successful event and I’m looking forward to seeing Cape Town come out to support our South African sporting stars."

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Vote

Which is your favourite event on the golfing calendar?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.