The Cell C South African Women’s Open continues its rapid growth since its return to the international schedule, with an increased field playing for more prize money on an upgraded golf course as just a few of the new initiatives for the 2014 tournament.
The 72-hole tournament, co-sanctioned by the Sunshine Ladies Tour (in partnership with the WPGA of South Africa) and the Ladies European Tour, will be played at San Lameer Country Club on KwaZulu-Natal’s Hibiscus Coast from 16-19 October.
The international field has been increased from 108 to 126 players, and will feature such stars as South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace, Ashleigh Simon and Stacy Bregman, English professional and 23-time Ladies European Tour winner Trish Johnson, American Cheyenne Woods, and defending champion Marianne Skarpnord from Norway.
They will be playing for a total purse of R4.5 million, an increase of nearly half a million rand on the 2013 tournament’s prizemoney. The winner will take home R675 000, and the golfers will compete on a San Lameer Country Club course which has recently been upgraded, most notably the greens.
The clubhouse has also undergone a significant upgrade to make it the perfect host of this world-class tournament.
But one of the greatest triumphs of this tournament is the commitment of Cell C, the KwaZulu-Natal government and the Hibiscus Coast Municipality to the development of women through sport.
This year two new events have been launched in the build-up to the Cell C South African Women’s Open as part of the focus on a greater celebration of women in South African sport, and also on the success of women in business and government.
The Platinum Lifestyle Experience Invitational Golf Day at Houghton Golf Club on 13 October and the Champions Dinner at San Lameer Country Club on 16 October will bring together female champions of sport, industry and government. The Champions Dinner will feature some of the past champions of the Cell C South African Women’s Open.
“There are not enough platforms where women who have achieved greatness can be celebrated. The battle of equality in male and female sports has been a problem for years, and it is events such as the Cell C SA Women’s Open that strive to narrow the gap between men and women’s events,” said tournament promoter Lesley Copeman, of World Sports Promotions.
“These two events are part of bringing together the female business, government and golf fraternity through the Cell C South African Women’s Open. We want this year’s tournament to be a celebration of champions in sport, business and government,” continued Copeman.
Copeman envisions that these events will eventually be able to stand on their own as annual celebrations of success amongst women and stretching into sports beyond just golf.
(With editing by gsport)