CAPE TOWN, 9 February 2016 – Stacy Bregman is champing at the bit to convert her solid form this season into a fifth Sunshine Ladies Tour title when she takes up her title defence in the Cape Town Ladies Open this week.
Lali Stander – The 29-year-old Country Club Johannesburg player tied for second in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies between joint fourth finishes in the Ladies Joburg Open and Ladies Tshwane Open.
Bregman cut a relaxed figure as she exchanged jokes with LPGA Tour rookie Bertine Strauss and former Symetra Tour winner Melissa Eaton during the practice round at Royal Cape Golf Club on Tuesday, but come the first round on Wednesday, friendships will have to take a back seat.
Miss Bregman means business.
“My game’s feeling pretty good going into this week,” she said. “All our top ranked players are in the field this week and we have a large international line-up, so the competition should be stiff.
“I hit spurts of great form in the last three weeks and it feels like something good is waiting around the corner. Hopefully, it comes together this week.”
Bregman is eager to repeat last year’s final round heroics.
Despite coming under pressure from Britain’s Lucy Williams in the final round, Bregman was the coolest customer on a blistering hot summer’s day in Cape Town.
Starting the final round two off the pace from Eaton, Simon and Nicole Garcia, she reeled in three birdies to hit the front and closed out a two-stroke victory on four under 144 with 11 straight pars.
“I remember every shot in that final round last year,” Bregman said.
“Sinking that par putt at 18 for my fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour title was one of the best moments in my career. I have some great memories from last year and it’s always nice to draw on that when you are defending the title.
“I do feel a little pressure, but you want to play well wherever you compete and it will be no different with this tournament. All I need to do is formulate a game plan and execute it. The course is looking good, especially considering all the severe heat and the water restrictions in Cape Town and the greens are great. I have done a lot of work on my ball striking and I am hitting a lot of greens. If I can get the putts to drop, I should have a good week.”
Bregman will join the top three ranked players in the 2016 Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies – LPGA champion Lee-Anne Pace, two-time European Tour winner Ashleigh Simon and last week’s Ladies Tshwane Open champion Monique Smit – while talented rookie prospects Lejan Lewthwaite and Carrie Park from South Korea are also in the mix.
The 56-strong field also features 20 international competitors who have sampled the exciting offerings in and around the Mother City over the last four days and are geared for action.
Rebecca Hudson will be gunning for a second podium finish after becoming the first foreign winner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour at the Chase to Investec Cup for Ladies at Houghton last month.
The English player spearheads the international challenge alongside compatriots Lauren Blease and Kirsty Fisher, Scotland’s Gemma Webster and Hermoine Fitzgerald from Ireland, Swiss duo Caroline Rominger and Nora Angehrn and Maria Beautell from Spain.
Norway’s Cecilie Lundgreen and the Swedish quartet Alexandra Lennartsson, Elina Bergvall and twins Maria and Hanna Roos complete the foreign line-up alongside the Sunshine Ladies Tour’s regular Africa campaigners Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia, Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini and Sarah Blythe-Wood from Zimbabwe.
Meanwhile, Amy Henning and Verlisha Engelbrecht lead the local charge, while a host of up-and-coming amateurs from Western Province have embraced the opportunity to gain valuable competitive experience by joining the country’s leading lights at Royal Cape from 10-12 February.
City of Cape Town executive mayor Patricia de Lille was very pleased to welcome the Sunshine Ladies Tour back for a second successive year.
“As we affirm our place as the events capital of Africa, the City of Cape Town is delighted to be hosting the Sunshine Ladies Tour Cape Town Open and I extend a warm welcome to all visitors and participants,” De Lille said.
“Cape Town is home to several world-class golf courses nestled between our beautiful natural surroundings and against the backdrop of Table Mountain. As an avid golfer, I value the great benefits of the sport and support the development of golf among young girls and women.
“I would also like to thank the Sunshine Ladies Tour and WPGA for their and contribution to golf development programmes. I wish the organisers every success with the event and good luck to all participants.”