Cape Town - Coming off a glittering amateur career, former GolfRSA Protea Zethu Myeki is relishing her debut in the professional ranks on home soil in this week's Cape Town Ladies Open.
With 12-time champion Lee-Anne Pace spearheading the challenge, former No 2 ranked Myeki will further enhance the strong field in the 2020 Sunshine Ladies Tour opener at King David Mowbray Golf Club from January 29-31.
"I played in some events over the last two years as an amateur and the competition is fierce," said the Randpark golfer. "It really tests your ability and character and it will be a stern examination me, but I am really excited to get my pro career underway.
"Thanks to GolfRSA, Women's Golf South Africa, Ladies Golf Gauteng and the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation, I had a lot of opportunities to gain experience. I made a lot of steps in my amateur career and I feel well prepared to take the next step."
Mdantane-born Myeki became the first black golfer to earn national colours in 2016 when she represented South Africa in the All-Africa Challenge Trophy in Tunisia and she proudly wore the green and gold on six more occasions, going out in style with a top nine finish in the Girls Competition at the 2019 Spirit International in the United States.
After completing a Golf Club Management degree through the Club Managers Association of America at the end of last year, the 26-year-old decided to join former South African Golf Development Board stable-mates Yolanda and Siviwe Duma on the premier women’s professional circuit in Africa.
"This is probably the most challenging step of my career, but the way I played last year has given me a lot of confidence," Myeki said.
"Being part of the GolfRSA Elite Squad gave me exposure to so many benefits. I have been working with Costanza Trussoni on my game for about two years now and I am striking the ball better than I have done in years.
"My short game is dependable and I feel very confident with the putter in my hand. I am also making better decisions on the course. I am able to stay in the moment and play shot-for-shot. I can concentrate on my own shots. I don't think playing with professionals will intimidate me.
"I don't expect to come out guns blazing, but I have set myself some targets for the season. I hope to learn and improve over the next few weeks to take an A-Game to the SA Women's Open at Westlake in March."
Myeki hopes the opening chapter of her professional career at King David Mowbray's 5 622 metre, par 72 course goes off smoothly.
"I haven't played this course before, which is a bit daunting, but I was happy to see that it has a similar layout to Westlake, Royal Cape and Clovelly, which I've played many times before. It's very tight and tree-lined, and you will have to manage your game really well off the tees. Driving is one of my strengths, so hopefully that will work to my advantage," she said.
"I think I will probably have a few butterflies in my stomach on the first tee, but if I approach it as just another tournament, I should do just fine. I'm really looking forward to it."
Myeki will not be the only first-timer making her Sunshine Ladies Tour debut this week.
Former SA Women's Amateur champion Cara Gorlei, Michaela Fletcher, Tara Griebenow, Luzelle Booysen and Cassidy Booysens will also have the opportunity to play alongside the cream of the Sunshine Ladies Tour, with Pace, last year's Order of Merit winner Nobuhle Dlamini, 2019 Ladies Classic champion Anne-Lise Caudal from France and former winners Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia, Kim Williams, Lejan Lewthwaite and Ladies Challenge champion Jane Turner all in action this week.