Last year, Investec launched the Chase to the Investec Cup, an exciting golf series which has already established itself as a prominent feature on the Sunshine Tour calendar. This year, the number of qualifying tournaments has increased to 21 which means local and international golfers have more opportunities to earn points which will put them in the running to qualify for the final tournament, the Investec Cup in March 2014.
Adding to the successful partnership between the Sunshine Tour and Investec, coupled with the need to support professional women’s golf in South Africa, is the launch of the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies. It promises to be the flagship series that enhances the newly established Sunshine Ladies Tour on South Africa’s golfing calendar.
In a similar format to that of the men’s series, the ladies’ series will include six qualifying tournaments, three of which Investec is sponsoring. Through this series, the top 10 female players, based on an order of merit, will advance to the final tournament, the Investec Cup for Ladies, set to run over three days concurrent with the men’s tournament from 20 – 23 March 2014.
All six qualifying tournaments will take place between February and early March 2014 in the form of a 36 hole strokeplay competition. The top 10 professional women golfers will go through to play in the Investec Cup for Ladies, and will compete with 10 invited Investec clients in a 54 hole strokeplay competition, with a prize fund of R300 000 for professionals as well as a R100 000 donation to the amateur winner’s charity of choice.
Investec’s Janet Larsen commented on the great need to support women’s golf in South Africa. “The South African Women’s Open is the only professional tournament on the calendar, leaving potential professional ladies having to qualify to play on the professional circuit outside of South Africa on the Ladies European Tour, the LPGA in the USA or the Asian circuit. We made the decision to support women’s golf by incorporating a ladies element into the Investec Cup 2014, to indicate support for the commitment, enthusiasm, skill and
personal development that is required to succeed in this sporting code. Women’s sport is an uncluttered market commercially, and we look forward to showcasing some of South Africa’s top female golfers as athletes and individuals.
Margie Whitehouse, WPGA chairman, echoes the need to rally behind the sport, “This new development will not only give our current professional golfers a local tour in which to develop themselves further, but it will encourage our young golfers too. The WPGA is excited to have the commitment and support of Investec and the Sunshine Tour and we thank them for everything they continue to do for the sport. We look forward to building this tour over the years.”
Selwyn Nathan, Sunshine Tour’s executive director, summarises the Sunshine Ladies Tour. “Thanks to Investec’s support, the series will now comprise seven tournaments: three Investec qualifying tournaments, three other tournaments sponsored by SuperSport, Sun International and Dimension Data; and the all-important Investec Cup for Ladies. We are delighted with the increased number of tournaments and added support for our valued and talented ladies golfers and I have no doubt that they will be too.”