Kass Naidoo spoke to SABC2 Morning Live’s Leanne Manas, who has the good fortune to be invited once again to open the third staging of the Women’s World Cup of Golf, this year being played for at the Gary Player Country Club in Sun City in the North West.
You’re still involved with the Women’s World Cup of Golf this year, what is your role this year?
This year I’ll be doing the opening ceremony of the Women’s World Cup of Golf, on behalf of (SABC2’s Morning Live), we’ll be broadcasting from there, because SABC being key sponsors.
It’s fantastic I think to be able to go there, and showcase just how much bigger this event is becoming every single year, what an impression it’s making on the world, and of course what it’s doing for South Africa and sport in general.
You’ve been around for all the tournaments to date, it’s such a new idea, but it’s taken off so quickly. What have you made of the success of this tournament?
I think firstly that the success of this event is firstly (due to) the people who are running the show. I honestly do believe that, because those ladies, Lesley and Tanya have got such a drive to make this into the biggest thing they possible can do.
I only can see it going from strength to strength, this of course being the third year, and it already has attracted this amount of attention.
The viewership amounts to billions around the world, and there are so many countries around the world that are interested and wanting to play, and all the big names come out to take part in it.
From just a concept to reality, it’s amazing, and I never ever thought they thought it would be this big. This in my opinion is driven by two very passionate individuals.
What about the growth of women’s golf? Since the Women’s World Cup of Golf there seems to be a massive drive towards women playing golf in this country, not just in a corporate level, but also all women that I speak to, a huge number of them are taking to the game:
I think that golf is an amazing activity for women to get involved in. The fact that you have got a tournament of this calibre, and the fact that it originates out of South Africa, and the fact that it’s drawing so much attention, obviously a lot of people are showing more and more attention to it.
What I’m also enjoying about this tournament specifically, is that it seems to be empowering women who never ever thought that they would be able to play golf. One of the most inspirational teams that are going to be participating this year are Kenya, and these guys are in the African invitational group.
I think it’s a good thing to see black women especially getting involved in this, because it’s an untapped source, not that many would move in that direction, but you’re seeing more and more taking to it.
On a personal level, I never really thought that golf would be a thing that I would enjoy, but the fact of being involved in, and having the opportunity to learn it, it’s gotten me, and I have the bug too! Maybe just on a personal level that could explain how the rest of South Africa, or the world is feeling about golf at the moment.
What do you think Ashleigh and Laurette’s chances are this year, because I know that the Europeans have been doing well during the past few years, the local girls, how do you see them going?
The local girls are outstanding, I mean, Ashleigh has had an incredible career, and she just goes from strength to strength. Every time I read a story about her, she’s winning some (event) somewhere else, she’s a strong player! Laurette as well also, I think it’s a strong team.