Laurette Maritz has never played a professional tournament at the famed Augusta National golf course, but says that the Gary Player Country Club course is the closest to what she believes playing at the home of the US Masters would be like.
“This course looks a lot like the television images I’ve seen of Augusta,” Maritz said of the venue for this week’s Women’s World Cup of Golf, where she will represent South Africa alongside Ashleigh Simon. The conditioning of the course and the lovely flowers they have planted – it all looks the same.”
This is the second year that the Gary Player Country Club course is hosting the 22-nation event, and Maritz believes it is playing a key role in establishing the identity of the tournament.
Kelli Shean, one of Simon’s winning World Amateur Team Championship team members, only had the best wishes for the South African team: “I wish both Ash and Laurette all the best for the World Cup this week.”
“A venue like this makes the tournament feel like it’s really established,” continues Maritz. “Now when we talk about the Women’s World Cup of Golf, everybody knows that it’s at Sun City. In this sense it’s becoming like the Nedbank Golf Challenge.
Approached about her pairing with Ashleigh Simon, one of two amateurs contesting the World Cup: “Yes, the first year we were just trying to feel each other out. The second year we got it together, and I think we have a chance this year.
“We’ve got our strategy and have spoken about it. I reckon if we stick to it and make sure we’re putting for birdie on every hole, one of us is going to make it, says Maritz.
“If we try to get ourselves under par on the first day we’ll put ourselves in a good position for the foursomes, and then we can go for it on the last day.”
“Ash and Laurette are representing South Africa for the third year in a row,” says Shean, “Its time to keep the trophy here in South Africa. Knowing Ash as well as I do, she definitely has the game to bring in the low scores. Laurette has the experience, and let’s hope that they gel well, and bring it home.”
The 2007 Women’s World Cup of Golf will field 44 players from 22 countries for a total purse of $1.2 million over three days 19 – 21 January 2007 at the Gary Player Country Club, Sun City, in the North West Province, South Africa.
The three-day event will play Singles on Day 1, Foursome Day 2 and Betterball format on Day 3.