The Cell C South African Women’s Open tees off at 6.30am on Thursday at San Lameer Country Club on the Hibiscus Coast in KwaZulu-Natal.
The draw for the 2014 championship has been confirmed with some tantalising match ups in prospect. South African No.1 Lee-Anne Pace will play with American Cheyenne Woods and the defending champion Marianne Skarpnord from Norway in the marquee group starting from the 10th hole at 11.55am on Thursday.
Pace, with eight Ladies European Tour (LET) titles, leads a strong local challenge with 37 South Africans in the field of 120 competitors from 24 countries worldwide.
They include Sunshine Ladies Tour winners Ashleigh Simon, Stacy Bregman, Monique Smit, Kim Williams and Tandi von Ruben, a former SA Women’s Open winner, as well as last month’s Tenerife Open de España champion Connie Chen.
Simon and Chen will compete alongside English Solheim Cup star Charley Hull at 11.44am, while leading Ladies European Tour rookie professional Amy Boulden from Wales will play with South African Paula Reto and England’s Trish Johnson at 11.33am.
The field boasts seven of this season’s LET winners with American Cheyenne Woods, Britons Hull, Kylie Walker, Trish Johnson and Florentyna Parker and Valentine Derrey and Julie Greciet from France.
This is the third straight year that the tournament has been staged on the Hibiscus Coast of KwaZulu-Natal, although this is the first visit to San Lameer Country Club. Last year, Marianne Skarpnord won at nearby Southbroom Golf Club when the event was reduced to 18 holes while the previous year Germany’s Caroline Masson won at Selborne Park Golf Club.
Entry and parking is free for the duration of the tournament, to be held from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 October. Televised highlights will be shown on SuperSport and SABC from Thursday to Sunday, with live coverage on SuperSport over the weekend.