SA golfer Lewthwaite hopes to regain confidence ahead of new Sunshine Ladies Tour season

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South African golfer Lejan Lewthwaite
South African golfer Lejan Lewthwaite
Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images
  • South African golfer Lejan Lewthwaite is excited for the upcoming Sunshine Ladies Tour season.
  • In January, Lewthwaite tasted victory on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in Sun City, but her season was marred by to personal issues.
  • Lewthwaite admits it's tough to win on Tour but she's determined to get her confidence back next year.

South African golfer Lejan Lewthwaite hopes to shrug off a difficult 2022 year as she looks forward to a jam-packed 2023 Sunshine Ladies Tour season.

Lewthwaite sealed her fourth Sunshine Ladies Tour title in January when she won the Vodacom Origins of Golf Pro-Am title at the Gary Player Country Club.

However, since her early win in Sun City, things haven't been smooth sailing for the Serengeti golfer.

During the recent Investec South African Open at Blair Atholl Golf and Equestrian Estate, Lewthwaite opened up about her personal struggles that affected her game. 

"It's been a hectic year for me personally, but I'm still very optimistic about my career and where I want to go," said Lewthwaite, who had to deal with her parents' separation, losing her pet and having ended a long-term relationship.

"I had a lot going on and I think with sports, you've got to have some peace. As much as you think it doesn't affect you, you got to be in such a good mental space as an athlete to perform. So I'm hoping that next year will be that year for me."

Lewthwaite finished 131st in the Ladies European Tour (LET)'s Costa Del Sol rankings, which included a 16th-place finish at the Women's NSW Open in Australia.

Despite the up-and-down year, she is determined not to let anything distract her from the game again as she prepares for a bumper 2023 season.

"It's not always nice when you're not playing well, but like I said, I'm so passionate about this game and I really do believe in my talent and where it could take me and I'm focusing on that," said Lewthwaite.

"You don't really know how much the personal stuff does affect you, so I definitely think we've got to just let that stuff calm down and hopefully, that'll fix the golf side of things. 

"That's the thing with athletes, you know, you don't always know what's going on behind the scenes if a player plays bad. I definitely can't ignore those factors, but it is better now, so yeah, we're looking forward to the future. It's taking day by day.

"But I've got a lot of fire left in my belly and I'm going to concentrate on myself about the next few months and look forward to 2023."

The Sunshine Ladies Tour announced its 2023 schedule as they plan to host six tournaments, including two co-sanctioned LET events.

It is the Sunshine Ladies Tour's 10th anniversary, with the new season set to begin from 1-3 February for the SuperSport Ladies Challenge at Gary Player Country Club.

"I just think that the Tour really is getting strong," said Lewthwaite.

"It's so more saturated with good players and that's fantastic because it means more sponsors and there's more events on our schedule for next year with a bigger price tag."

Lewthwaite hopes to get her confidence back in the six Sunshine Tour tournaments and let that momentum transfer onto the more-lucrative LET.

"The Sunshine Tour has been a huge step for me personally for getting my confidence up for overseas. Unfortunately, when I was in form, lockdown kind of hit just afterwards and I was so excited to take that form," said Lewthwaite.

"Whenever I come back for just playing one or two events back, I've got like my confidence back. I don't know what it is... It's obviously playing on home soil that makes you a little bit comfortable.

"I'm aiming to play well here and take that overseas with me, hopefully, I can start the momentum that way and it'll mean a lot to us."

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