|Lee-Anne Pace of South Africa
The 2013 South African Women’s Open will tee off at Southbroom Golf Club from 19-21 April with an increased purse and a strong international field for this tournament co-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour (LET) and the Women’s Professional Golf Association (WPGA).
Following its return to the international schedule last year, South Africa’s oldest women’s professional golf tournament has raised the stakes in 2013 with an increase in the total prize money from €260 000 to €290 000.
Players from at least 20 countries will be represented in this year’s tournament, including defending champion Caroline Masson of Germany and a strong South African contingent of Lee-Anne Pace, Tandi Cunningham, Ashleigh Simon, Stacy Bregman and Nobuhle Dlamini.
“We had such a good response to the 2012 tournament after its absence from the schedule for so many years, and we are delighted with the kind of growth we have been able to achieve and which will be showcased in this year’s event,” said Lesley Copeman of promoters World Sports Promotions.
The 2013 South African Women’s Open will again feature a strong mix of local and international professionals as well as amateur invitees as part of the development drive of an event that continues its resurgence in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal local government and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality.
“It’s extremely important for the development of the South African women’s game at a professional and amateur level that we have a strong South African Women’s Open on our schedule, and which can offer our players an opportunity to compete against international competition,” said Margie Whitehouse, Chairman of the Women’s Professional Golf Association.
The South African Women’s Open has a proud history dating back to 1988. Its return to the Ladies European Tour (LET) schedule last year was widely welcomed as an integral part of bringing top international women’s golf back to South African fairways.
“The South African Women’s Open is extremely important to our members and is one of the most eagerly anticipated tournaments on the schedule. With 70 LET participants out of a field of 108 competitors, we are bringing some of the world’s best golfers to South Africa and we are committed to seeing this tournament go from strength to strength,” said Ivan Peter Khodabakhsh, the LET’s Chief Executive Officer.
The return of the tournament to KwaZulu-Natal and the Hibiscus Coast places it amongst some elite global tournaments that have been hosted in the province.
“It was an incredible honour for us to be able to host the first South African Women’s Open in three years in 2012, and we are delighted that it will be returning this year,” said MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
“We have hosted global men’s events such as the South African Open and most recently the Volvo Golf Champions, and it’s a privilege for us to be able to once again showcase KwaZulu-Natal’s wealth of wonderful golf courses to an international women’s audience as well.”