JOHANNESBURG  The Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its seventh season in early 2020 with a bumper schedule, exciting incentives, including a R100 000 bonus for the 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner and record prize money of nearly R6million on offer.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is a very attractive proposition at the start of the season and we are extremely proud of the tremendous growth the local circuit has enjoyed since we launched in 2014,” said Selwyn Nathan .

“In addition to increases in prize money and events, the Sunshine Ladies Tour attracted foreign investment and our international participation has tripled in the last three years, with over 40 foreign players competing in South Africa in 2019.

“The local professional circuit is healthy, strong and growing thanks to the continued commitment of Investec and our other key stakeholders and sponsors, including Jabra, Dimension Data, Sun International, SuperSport, Canon, the municipalities of Joburg, Cape Town and Ray Nkonyeni and Serengeti Estates.

“We are excited to offer great playing opportunities for the local and international professionals and a great stage for the rising stars in the amateur ranks to gain experience with eight events, including the co-sanctioned Investec South African Women’s Open in 2020.”

The seventh edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour will feature seven Investec Order of Merit counting events, plus the new limited field Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge.

The 2020 season launches at the end of January with the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club and returns to the Mother City, where the prestigious Investec South African Women’s Open, hosted by the City of Cape Town, will fittingly draw the curtain on the seventh season in mid-March.

“This November, the LPGA and Ladies European Tour announced an exciting new 50-50 partnership with the joint goal of further developing women’s professional golf in Europe and we are thrilled to be a part of this development,” Nathan said.

“The Ladies European Tour will once again co-sanction the Investec South African Women’s Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour. In addition to the lion’s share of the €200 000 purse, the 2020 champion a Tournament Winner’s Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into two of the five Majors in 2020 – the Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship.

“The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic will also earn exemption for the Jabra Ladies Open, which is the final qualifying event for the Evian Championship. These are fantastic incentives for our players to gain an advantage on the global stage. We look forward to crowing a new Investec Order of Merit champion at the end of what promises to be another exciting and exhilarating season.”

Danni Dixton, Head of Marketing Investec SA, said Investec is proud of their continued involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

“It has been very exciting to be part of the launch of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last six years,” Dixon said.

“The partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that these golfers are recognised for their dedication. We are invested in the next generation of women, and we are thrilled with the Investec South African Women’s Open as a platform that aids the promotion and growth of South African women in sport.

“It is further encouraging to see that our local professional and amateur women golfers benefit from our partnership with Sunshine Ladies Tour, by giving them an opportunity to compete on a global stage.”

2019 Sunshine Ladies Tour Schedule

January 29 to 31

Cape Town Ladies Open

King David Mowbray Golf Club

Prizemoney: R200 000

February 4 to 6

SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International

Gary Player Country Club & Lost City Golf Club at Sun City

Prizemoney: R400 000

February 14 to 16

Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am

George Golf Club & Outeniqua Course at Fancourt

Professional Prizemoney: R600 000 / Pro-Am Prizemoney: R100 000

February 19 to 21

South African Women’s Masters

San Lameer Country Club

Prizemoney: R200 000

February 22 to 23

Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge

Serengeti Estate Par 3 Course

Professional Prizemoney: R150 000 / Team Calcutta Prizemoney: minimum R50 000

February 26 to 28

Joburg Ladies Open

Soweto Country Club

Prizemoney: R500 000

March 4 to 6

Jabra Ladies Classic

Glendower Golf Club

Prizemoney: R600 000

March 14 to 16

Investec South African Women’s Open

Westlake Golf Club

Prizemoney: R2.8m

African News Agency (ANA)