As part of its commitment to driving the development of women’s golf, Standard Bank has joined forces with the Sunshine Ladies Tour to add a new event to the 2023 schedule: the Standard Bank Ladies Open, which will be played at Royal Johannesburg & Kensington on the West Course from April 27 to 29.
Headlined by the 14-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner and 11-time Ladies European Tour winner, Lee-Anne Pace, as well as the winner of two tournaments on this year’s Sunshine Ladies Tour, Casandra Alexander, the 54-hole Standard Bank Ladies Open is a welcome addition as Africa’s leading women’s professional circuit celebrates its 10th season in 2023.
“The addition of the Standard Bank Ladies Open extends what has already been a successful 10th season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour. With another competitive event, the season extends beyond March, thereby strengthening preparation for the Ladies European Tour,” said Sanah Gumede, Head: Wealth and Investment, Standard Bank SA.
“At Standard Bank, guided by our firm belief in the potential of Africa, we continue to take bold steps that enable Africa’s people to unleash their potential. This investment is yet another practical expression of our commitment to unlocking potential in women’s professional golf. Such initiatives continue to drive global momentum of women’s sport and secure South Africa’s rightful place in the arena.”
Gumede adds that Standard Bank’s partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour goes beyond just monetary investment, “It demonstrates our investment in equality and meaningful change within the sporting arena.”
In recognition of the fundamental role that sport plays in driving social and economic development, Standard Bank has supported various sporting initiatives over the years aimed at growing sports in the country, at grassroots, amateur and professional levels.
The new event – boasting prize money of R1.1 million – extends the 2023 schedule, giving South Africa’s local professionals, as well as those who ply their trade on the Ladies European Tour, an extra opportunity at home as the Sunshine Ladies Tour grows from its solid base.
In addition to the presence of Pace and Alexander, seasoned veterans and winners like Nicole Garcia, Stacy Bregman and Tandi McCallum will make the tournament a mouth-watering prospect when they tee it up alongside exciting rookies Kiera Floyd and Gabi Venter, young professionals Zethu Myeki and Cara Gorlei and a group of the country’s top-ranked amateurs.
“It is vital for the expansion of the Sunshine Ladies Tour that partners like Standard Bank join us as we work on creating more playing opportunities for our women professionals,” said Sunshine Tour Commissioner Thomas Abt. “Without the support of industry giants like Standard Bank, growing the Sunshine Ladies Tour beyond the six events at the start of the season would be so much more difficult to achieve. We are grateful for all they bring to the table. This is an important step in the growth of the Tour, and we believe it’s the first of many such steps.”
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club has hosted several events since the Sunshine Ladies Tour launched in 2014, and the revamped West Course promises a good test for the field.
“On behalf of the board, members and staff, it gives us great pleasure to host the Standard Bank Ladies Open on our ‘new’ West Course,” said Royal Johannesburg & Kensington Golf Club CEO Christopher Bentley. “During our 131 years of its existence, Royal has played an integral role in the development of golf in our country, and we are proud to be at the forefront once again in supporting the Sunshine Ladies Tour.
“The Club is preparing to ensure conditions of play provide a fair test, so that good golf will be rewarded with good scores and great memories. We look forward to welcoming the players, officials and all golf enthusiasts to another memorable event”
The 54-hole tournament will be preceded by a pro-am at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington West on April 26 and the final round will be broadcast live on SuperSport Channel 213 from 9am to 1:30pm on Saturday April 29.