A bumper season awaits the leading lights of South African women’s golf, and international participants from around the globe when the Sunshine Ladies Tour tees off 2022 boasting a massive prize money hike, two Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned events and new sponsors.
The ninth season will feature seven Investec Order of Merit counting events, starting with the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open from 2-4 February and culminating with the Investec South African Women’s Open from 30 March-2 April.
“We are proud to unveil a schedule packed with great incentives and nearly R13-million to play for,” said Sunshine Ladies Tour General Manager Pauli van Meersbergen.
“We are incredibly grateful to our loyal sponsors and partners who have demonstrated extra-ordinary commitment in these trying times, especially the sponsors of our two Ladies European Tour co-sanctioned events who accommodated the schedule changes due to the travel restrictions imposed on South Africa. Moving the tournaments to latter dates enables us to draw the strongest fields possible.
“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is strong and continues to grow, thanks to the continued commitment of our stakeholders, including Investec, the municipalities of Joburg and Cape Town, Jabra, SuperSport, Dimension Data, Sun International, and our new sponsors SunBet and RE/MAX of Southern Africa. Our partners have stepped up their investment in women’s professional golf immensely to ensure that our players can continue to level up and chase their Sunshine Ladies Tour dreams in 2022.”
SunBet has added its significant weight and prestige to the Sunshine Ladies Tour and doubled the prize money for the season-opener to R 400 000.
“We are delighted to be supporting the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to partner with the City of Cape Town in hosting the SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club,” said Charlotte Archer, SunBet Marketing Manager.
“It is exciting to be part of a sport that continues to gain traction worldwide. SunBet has a rich history with many sporting codes in South Africa, and we are extremely proud to become involved in growing and promoting the women’s professional golf game in Africa.”
The Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am in George returns for a ninth successive year a R600 000 purse and an additional prize pool of R 100 000 for the Pro-Am competition.
SuperSport has also partnered with the Sunshine Ladies Tour since its inception in 2014, and Africa’s premier sports platform has stepped up their commitment in 2022 with a huge prize fund increase for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International, at Sun City.
“The Sunshine Ladies Tour showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that these golfers are recognised for their dedication and given opportunities to excel. It has been very exciting to witness the growth of the local women’s professional circuit over the last eight years and we are thrilled to be part of the journey to grow Africa’s premier women’s professional golf circuit,” said SuperSport Chief Executive, Marc Jury.
From an initial purse of R200 000 in 2019, international audio equipment giant Jabra has upped the ante year-on-year and next year will be no different.
The Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club from 23-25 February will not only offer the winner a spot in the field for Jabra Ladies Open on the 2022 Ladies European Tour, but Jabra has boosted the prize money from R 600 000 to a cool R1-million.
“The Sunshine Ladies Tour has become a very attractive proposition at the start of the season as we have witnessed the international participation more than triple in the last three years. We are thrilled to share in the promotion and growth of golf among women in Africa and to offer an incentive to the champion to take her career to the next level,” said Nicolas Bliaux, Vice President / Managing Director for Jabra Eastern Europe, Russia & CIS, Middle East, Turkey and Africa.
Increasing strength of the Sunshine Ladies Tour is further splendidly illustrated with the announcement that the popular Joburg Ladies Open will be joining the Ladies European Tour stable.
“The Joburg Ladies Open has been hugely successful since its introduction on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2016 and we are confident that the event will enjoy even more success as a co-sanctioned event in 2022,” said Bongi Mokaba, City of Johannesburg Director: Event Management.
“Not only does the Joburg Ladies Open serve an important role in helping to stimulate the South African economy amidst the COVID-19 recovery, but many of our regular Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners were negatively impacted by the travel restrictions levied this year. The 2022 purse will be €250 000 (approximately R4.5-mllion) and the winner will gain playing privileges in Europe. We are delighted to play a part in launching the career of the next champion while inspiring the next generation of future stars of the game.”
The Sunshine Ladies Tour and Ladies European Tour will once again co-sanction the Investec South African Women’s Open.
The 72-hole showpiece will be played at the picturesque Steenberg Golf Club, and the field will be competing for an increased purse of €290 000 (approximately R5.2-million), thanks to the support of the City of Cape Town and a new Sunshine Ladies Tour partnership with RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
Alexandra Armas, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We are delighted to feature two events in South Africa on our 2022 schedule. We have a longstanding relationship with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the addition of a new co-sanctioned event will strengthen our collaboration.
“Our sincere thanks to the Cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, Investec and RE/MAX of Southern Africa for their incredible commitment. This will undoubtedly impact positively on participation and interest in the women’s game in Africa.”
In addition to Ladies European Tour exemptions and the chance to tee it up in the Jabra Ladies Open, the Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners will also vie for glory in the points-based ranking system. The top three professionals on the final Investec Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2023 Investec South African Women’s Open, and the winner receives a bonus prize worth R 200 000. Should the winner of the 2022 Investec South African Women’s Open be a South African, she will be rewarded with the Investec Homegrown Award, worth R 100 000.
Women’s PGA of South Africa chairperson, Margie Whitehouse, said: “The Sunshine Ladies Tour has gone from strength to strength in the past nine years. Once again, thanks to the tremendous support from its loyal partners, sponsors and stakeholders in difficult times, our rising talent will have the opportunity to compete for fantastic incentives and huge purses, and we look forward to watching the future stars showcase their talent on the 2022 Sunshine Ladies Tour.”
2022 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE
2 – 4 SunBet Cape Town Ladies Open
Royal Cape Golf Club
R 400 000
11 – 13 Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am
Round 1 and 2 at George Golf Club & Final Round at Outeniqua at Fancourt
R 600 000
R 100 000 Better Ball Pro-Am
16 – 18 SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International
Gary Player Country Club
23 – 25 Jabra Ladies Classic
Glendower Golf Club
16 – 18 March New event
Prize fund TBC
24 – 26 Joburg Ladies Open *
€ 250 000
30 March – 2 April Investec South African Women’s Open *
Steenberg Golf Club
€ 290 000
*Co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour