Buhai confirmed for SA Women's Open as Sunshine Ladies Tour announce 2023 schedule

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Ashleigh Buhai (Getty)
Ashleigh Buhai (Getty)
  • Reigning Women's British Open winner Ashleigh Buhai will headline the SA Women's Open next year at Steenberg.
  • The Sunshine Ladies Tour confirmed their 2023 schedule as they plan to host six tournaments, including two co-sanctioned LET events.
  • Buhai, who had a stellar 2022 season, will vie for her fourth SA Women's Open title in March next year.

South Africa's reigning Major Open champion Ashleigh Buhai has confirmed her place for next year's South African Women's Open at the picturesque Steenberg Golf Club.

Buhai made the history books this year as she became only the second South African woman to become a major champion as she clinched an emphatic victory at Muirfield in August at the Women's British Open.

This past weekend, Buhai finished her year off in style as she won the Women's Australian Open at Victoria Golf Club on the DP World Tour.

On Tuesday, the Sunshine Ladies Tour confirmed their six tournaments for the 2023 season, which includes two co-sanctioned Ladies European Tour (LET) events.

The Sunshine Ladies Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary and the new season will tee off from 1-3 February at Sun City with the R1.3 million SuperSport Ladies Challenge at the iconic Gary Player Country Club.

The circuit then heads to Fancourt for the 10th edition of the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am set from 10-12 February.

The Dimension Data Ladies event's purse has been bumped from R600 000 in 2021 to a staggering R2.5 million. In addition, the leading 10 teams on the final day will fight it out for a share of the R100 000 prize pot in the Betterball Pro-Am Competition. 

Then Atlantic Beach Links in the Cape will host its first Sunshine Ladies Tour event with the R400 000 Cape Town Ladies Open from 15-17 February.

Glendower Golf Club in Edenvale will welcome back the fifth edition of the Jabra Ladies Classic from 22-24 March. 

The winner of the Jabra Ladies Classic receives an invitation to compete in the Jabra Ladies Open on the Ladies European Tour, which returns to Modderfontein Golf Club from 1-4 March. 

The Investec South African Women's Open will draw the curtain on the 2023 season from 8-11 March, playing at Steenberg Golf Club for a second successive year.

The SA Women's Open sees an increased purse of €320 000 (over R5.9 million), thanks to Investec and the City of Cape Town.  

Buhai will headline the SA Women's Open as she vies for her fourth national title in March next year.

"We are extremely excited for this 10th season of the Sunshine Ladies Tour," said Thomas Abt, Sunshine Tour Commissioner.

"The Sunshine Ladies Tour has grown into an attractive product and together with our partners, we will continue to grow this circuit for the benefit of our members.

"We are delighted to have committed sponsors who have gone the distance with us and partners such as the Ladies European Tour with whom our flagship events, the Joburg Ladies Open and the Investec South African Women's Open, are co-sanctioned.

"The success of the Sunshine Ladies Tour has been unfathomable. Participation has increased tenfold, especially with international participation and the prize money has more than quadrupled from what was on offer in our first season. And the knock-on effect for our rising amateurs has been fantastic, with many of our young golfers now flourishing on the international stage and US collegiate circuit."

Throughout the 2023 season, the Sunshine Ladies Tour campaigners will vie for glory in the points-based ranking system.

The top three professionals on the final Investec Order of Merit will gain automatic entry into the 2024 South African Women's Open, and the winner will receive a bonus prize worth R200 000.

Should the winner of the 2023 South African Women's Open be a South African, she will be rewarded with the Investec Homegrown Award worth R100 000. 

Alexandra Armas, Chief Executive Officer of the Ladies European Tour, said the LET is delighted to once again feature two premier events in South Africa on their 2023 schedule.

"We welcome the opportunity for international competition for our members, and we are very proud of our strong, longstanding relationship with the Sunshine Ladies Tour. Two co-sanctioned events on our global schedule strengthen our goal of providing competitive opportunities for our members on all the continents," said Armas.

"Our sincere thanks to the Cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town and Investec for their incredible commitment. These events not only benefit our members but undoubtedly also positively impact on participation and interest in the women's game in Africa."

Sunshine Ladies Tour 2023 schedule:

1-3 February - SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Gary Player Country Club

10-12 February - Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am at Fancourt (Outeniqua and Montagu Courses)

15-17 February - Cape Town Ladies Open at Atlantic Beach Links

22-24 February Jabra Ladies Classic at Glendower Golf Club

1-4 March - Joburg Ladies Open* at Modderfontein Golf Club

8-11 March - Investec South African Women's Open* at Steenberg Golf Club

*Co-sanctioned with the Ladies European Tour

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