Lee-Anne Pace Photo: SMP Images
JOHANNESBURG, 19 February 2014 – Dimension Data has raised the stakes in the Investec Cup for Ladies race and underlined its support of women’s golf in South Africa with record prize money of R150,000 on offer at the Dimension Data Pro-Am in George this weekend.
This marks a lucrative R50,000 jump on the initial R100,000 purse announced at the launch of the Sunshine Ladies Tour and the additional R25,000 on offer to the leading six professionals in the Betterball competition takes the overall prize money for the seven-event series to R975,000.
The announcement was welcomed by the country’s leading golfer, eight-time Ladies European Tour winner Lee-Anne Pace, who will join fellow LET winners Ashleigh Simon from South Africa and Anna-Lise Caudal from France in the 36-hole event. “We are very excited by the rebirth on a competitive circuit for women in South Africa and thanks to the support of sponsors like Dimension Data, we have a very solid base to expand from,” the former LET number one said.
“We think it’s fantastic that sponsors from the Sunshine Tour transitioned to the Sunshine Ladies Tour and we are extremely thankful to Dimension Data, not only for increasing the prize money, but also offering an additional purse for the Betterball Competition. “This will definitely heighten the status of this event and support the growth of the Sunshine Ladies Tour as a whole.”
The Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am will mirror the longstanding Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour. The format will see 40 players from the Sunshine Ladies Tour partner 40 amateur guests of Dimension Data in a Betterball format over two rounds. The first round will be contested at Oubaai Golf Club and the final round at the Gary Player-designed Outeniqua Course at Fancourt.
“We have a similar format in the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Ladies Open, so we are all pretty excited with the change in pace,” said the Mossel Bay professional. Pace added that the R24,510 winner’s cheque will be a huge incentive and is certain to raise the level of competitiveness in the event. “I have no doubt that the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am will be a tightly fought battle,” she said. “Every pro in the field wants to make the top 10 for the Investec Cup for Ladies, and with the increased prize money, the winner on Sunday will get a significant boost in the rankings.”
Dimension Data Chairman Jeremy Ord said the decision to host an event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour was a natural progression from the company’s long standing association with the Sunshine Tour. “We have enjoyed a very special relationship with the Sunshine Tour since the inaugural Dimension Data Pro-Am was launched at Sun City in 1996,” Ord said. “Everyone at Dimension Data is passionate about golf and the development of our local players and we are very proud of the support we have been able to give golf in South Africa over the last 17 years.
“We are pleased to see how much women’s golf in this country has grown and thrilled to make a further significant investment by supporting the Sunshine Ladies Tour. By increasing the prize fund, we hope this will further help the Sunshine Ladies Tour to grow in stature.”
Winner of the first Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies, LET rookie Kim Williams, and Sun International Challenge champion Tandi von Ruben, are also in the line-up, as well as LET campaigners Sophie Sandolo from Italy, Norway’s Cecilie Lundgreen, South Africa’s Laurette Maritz and LET Access Series players Lauren Blease and Rachel Drummond from England, Nigeria’s Uloma Mbuko and Hermoine Fitzgerald from Switzerland.