SA Women’s Open launches Chase to the Investec Cup

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Reigning Investec Cup for Ladies champion Lee-Anne Pace. (Dale Boyce).

Investec and the Women’s PGA of South Africa (WPGA) have announced that the upcoming Cell C South African Women’s Open will launch the 2015 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

Reigning Investec Cup for Ladies champion, Lee-Anne Pace, will headline the strong local and international field in the R4.5-million (€320,000) tournament, co-sanctioned between the WPGA and the Ladies European Tour (LET), at San Lameer Country Club from Thursday to Sunday.

“Investec is very proud to be associated with the Sunshine Ladies Tour and our role in growing the women’s professional game in South Africa,” said Investec’s Janet Larsen.

“We are very pleased to confirm that a tournament of this calibre will be the first event in the 2015 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies series.

“After the initial success of the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies, we decided to increase the prize pool for the 2015 season,” continued Larsen.

“Investec will sponsor two of the seven events on the 2015 Sunshine Ladies Tour. The top 10 professionals, based on an order of merit, will go through to compete in the final tournament resulting in the overall winner of the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies, which will carry a bonus pool of R400 000.”

WPGA Chairman, Margie Whitehouse, said the new format will bring even more drama and excitement to the conclusion of the Sunshine Ladies Tour season.

“The inaugural Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies exceeded all our expectations and provided a fantastic advertisement for professional women’s golf in South Africa,” said Whitehouse.

“The new format offers a very lucrative incentive for our players. It not only guarantees that we will have a glittering array of golfing talent in the season-finale, but promise to deliver a thrilling climax to the season.

“The winner of the Cell C SA Women’s Open will lead the 2015 Chase to the Investec Cup; however, the prize money breakdown will be adjusted proportionately to keep the tournament in line with the other Sunshine Ladies Tour events.

“Hence, all the tournaments on the 2015 Sunshine Ladies Tour will be significant in determining the final field for the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies, where the field will compete for the prize money and a share of the bonus pool.

“Starting from the Cell C South African Women’s Open at San Lameer, we will see a great tussle for position as players try to qualify for the final Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies,” explained Whitehouse.

The last two editions of the SA Women’s Open were won by international contenders and the 120-strong field is once again stacked with this season’s LET winners, including Cheyenne Woods from the United States, Charley Hull, Kylie Walker, Trish Johnson and Florentyna Parker from the United Kingdom and Valentine Derrey and Julie Greciet from France.

Pace won the inaugural Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies when she claimed a seven-stroke victory at the tournament in March.

She will lead a strong local challenge at San Lameer, including Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Ashleigh Simon, Stacy Bregman, Monique Smit, Kim Williams and Tandi von Ruben, a former South African Women’s Open winner, as well as recent Tenerife Open de Espana champion, Connie Chen.

The former LET number one hopes to pick up where she left off when she hunts down her ninth LET title on the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

“The field is very strong; however, local players have the added incentive of the Chase to the Investec Cup to inspire us this year. Investec has been an exceptional sponsor to myself and to women’s professional golf and the addition of a bonus pool to the final of the 2015 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies is a major attraction. Don’t be surprised if you see a South African hoist the SA Women’s Open trophy this year,” commented Pace.

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