Cape Town - The Sunshine Ladies Tour will celebrate its seventh season in 2020 with a bumper schedule, exciting incentives, including a R100 000 bonus for the 2020 Investec Order of Merit winner and record prize money of nearly R6 million on offer.
"The Sunshine Ladies Tour is a very attractive proposition at the start of the season and we are extremely proud of the tremendous growth the local circuit has enjoyed since we launched in 2014," said Sunshine Tour commissioner Selwyn Nathan.
"In addition to increases in prize money and events, the Sunshine Ladies Tour attracted foreign investment and our international participation has tripled in the last three years, with over 40 foreign players competing in South Africa in 2019.
"The local professional circuit is healthy, strong and growing thanks to the continued commitment of Investec and our other key stakeholders and sponsors, including Jabra, Dimension Data, Sun International, SuperSport, Canon, the municipalities of Joburg, Cape Town and Ray Nkonyeni and Serengeti Estates.
"We are excited to offer great playing opportunities for the local and international professionals and a great stage for the rising stars in the amateur ranks to gain experience with eight events, including the co-sanctioned Investec South African Women's Open in 2020."
The seventh edition of the Sunshine Ladies Tour will feature seven Investec Order of Merit counting events, plus the new limited field Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge.
The 2020 season launches at the end of January with the Cape Town Ladies Open at King David Mowbray Golf Club and returns to the Mother City, where the prestigious Investec South African Women's Open at Westlake Golf Club will fittingly draw the curtain on the seventh season in mid-March.
"This November, the LPGA and Ladies European Tour announced an exciting new 50-50 partnership with the joint goal of further developing women's professional golf in Europe and we are thrilled to be a part of this development," Nathan said.
"The Ladies European Tour will once again co-sanction the Investec South African Women's Open with the Sunshine Ladies Tour. In addition to the lion's share of the €200 000 purse, the 2020 champion a Tournament Winner's Category Exemption on the Ladies European Tour and Sunshine Ladies Tour for the remainder of the 2020 season and the 2021 season, as well as exemption into two of the five Majors in 2020 - the Women's British Open and the Evian Championship.
"The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic will also earn exemption for the Jabra Ladies Open, which is the final qualifying event for the Evian Championship. These are fantastic incentives for our players to gain an advantage on the global stage. We look forward to crowing a new Investec Order of Merit champion at the end of what promises to be another exciting and exhilarating season."
Danni Dixon, Head of Marketing Investec SA, said Investec is proud of their continued involvement with the Sunshine Ladies Tour.
"It has been very exciting to be part of the launch of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and to witness the growth of the local women's professional circuit over the last six years," Dixon said.
"The partnership with the Sunshine Ladies Tour showcases the incredible talent of women in sport and ensures that these golfers are recognised for their dedication. We are invested in the next generation of women, and we are thrilled with the Investec South African Women's Open as a platform that aids the promotion and growth of South African women in sport.
"It is further encouraging to see that our local professional and amateur women golfers benefit from our partnership with Sunshine Ladies Tour, by giving them an opportunity to compete on a global stage."
2020 SUNSHINE LADIES TOUR SCHEDULE:
Cape Town Ladies Open - January 29-31
King David Mowbray Golf Club
Prize money: R200 000
SuperSport Ladies Challenge presented by Sun International - February 4-6
Gary Player Country Club & Lost City Golf Club at Sun City
Prize money: R400 000
Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am - February 14-16
George Golf Club & Outeniqua Course at Fancourt
Professional Prize money: R600 000 / Pro-Am Prize money: R100 000
South African Women's Masters - February 19-21
San Lameer Country Club
Prize money: R200 000
Canon Serengeti Par 3 Challenge - February 22-23
Serengeti Estate Par 3 Course
Professional Prize money: R150 000 / Team Calcutta Prize money: minimum R50 000
Joburg Ladies Open - February 26-28
Soweto Country Club
Prize money: R500 000
Jabra Ladies Classic - March 4-6
Glendower Golf Club
Prize money: R600 000
Investec South African Women's Open - March 14-16
Westlake Golf Club
Prize money: €200 000