Ivanna Samu proved herself a serial winner in the inaugural season of the Standard Bank Pro-Am series where she claimed four titles, and she is hoping to replicate that success when the 2022 season tees off at Glendower Golf Club on Wednesday.
“It hasn’t even settled in yet,” said Samu of her four victories. “It’s a blessing to be out here. The pro-am is amazing because Standard Bank is not only looking after us but the amateurs as well. For us pros, it’s just about playing regularly and this series provides that opportunity. It’s encouraging to see people supporting women’s golf and believing in us as much as we believe in ourselves.”
While she admits that she’d be happy with a few more wins this season, Samu has refused to put pressure on herself ahead of the season-opener at Glendower Golf Club where the first tournament of this season is currently underway.
“I don’t have any number in my head this week,” adds Samu, “all I want is to just enjoy the golf and feel where my game is at the moment. The aim is to be competitive against really good girls that are playing here, so I will take it one hole at a time and do my best. Golf is a funny game and if you think too much about what you want to shoot, you often get disappointed.”
With the series now in its second season, players have more incentives to look forward to with all the events – with the exception of the Sun City and the Pro-Am Invitational tournaments – carrying a prize money of R600,000 while the winner of the Order of Merit will walk away with a cool R500,000. The Pro-Am Invitational has a purse of R750,000 for the professionals in what is the biggest prize money in this series.
“Our message is clear; that we view great golf as great golf, no matter who is playing; that women golfers are no longer the underdogs and that our support of women golf in the country is steadfast,” Havenga added.
Initiated by Lifestyle Golf, of which Havenga is a founder and director, and in collaboration with the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA), the series, which is now in its second year, is aimed at growing women’s golf on all levels and creating opportunities for them to play professionally throughout the year, which will enable them to hone their skills further.
By Matthews Mfubu (Fullpage Media and Communications)