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Alra van den Berg
Representing the PGA is 27 year old Alra Van Den Berg. She has been part of the University of Pretoria winning team in the 2010 World Students Matchplay Championship held in Germany. She has also competed in numerous provincial amateur tournaments as part of the Mpumalanga junior and senior teams. As a professional she enjoys competing in the PGA and Sunshine ladies Tour events when time allows.
Alra is motivated to to participate in the PinkStig invitational because she believes it will showcase the amazing talent and female golfers we have in South-Africa and it will finally give her another opportunity to compete against amazing ladies. The event also allows us to meet with friends and share our knowledge and future plans in pursuing our golf careers. These regular meetings also keep us up to date and motivated to continue working on and improving our game. Alra regularly uses the phrase "Born to golf, forced to work". Having more opportunities to compete and make money will definitely help grow the game and financially boost our good players to become great players on the international stage.
Crizelda van Niekerk
33 Year old Crizelda Van Niekerk. Turned Pro in 2006 with PGA of South Africa and joined the SAWPGA in 2008.
She has been to Singapore for a year to coach at Academy and is now working for Global Golf at Randpark GC.
Crizelda works hard and plays hard. She always strives for what she wants. She faces life’s challenges head on and says that being humble keeps her grounded.
Crizelda believes that Pinkstig is a Fundamental part for Ladies golf and that the invitational will change young women’s life’s wanting to turn Pro in their golfing career.
She use to dream of a time when she would turn professional and now she is playing her best golf, 27 year old Francesca Cuturi from the North Riding.
Due to the lack of ladies tournaments in SA she started out her preparation for the “comeback” Sunshine Ladies Tour in 2014 playing IGT tournaments (men’s development tour)
Francesca understands the important of teamwork and says that the PinkStig Invitational is a great initiative.
Date of Birth: 1988/03/04.
Turned Pro in 2012.
Highlights during Amateur career:
• Represented South Africa in 2010 – All Africa Games.
• Won Team event and Individual.
• Represented South Africa in 2011 – Astor Trophy in England.
Played in the Ladies European Tour Access Series.
Favourite Coach: Doug Wood at Serengeti.
• Clovely – Fishhook Cape Town.
• Elements - Warmbath.
Favourite Golf club: Driver.
Kim Williams a dynamic 30 year old golf champion she represents GFG Academy and was presented with the WGSA’s golfer of the year award in 2010 at the Compleat Golfer awards ceremony held at the country club Johannesburg.
During 2009 she competed against her peers in the South African Provincial stroke play tournaments, Kim won five of them, namely North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng Nomads, Southern Cape and Boland championships. She was runner-up in the Free State and Limpopo Championships, as well as the SA Amateur stroke play championship. She also won the KwaZulu Natal and Boland match play Championships and finished the year as the top-ranked woman in the country. She represented South Africa at The Spirit in Texas, USA in October 2009, and also at the Mexican Women's Amateur Championship She represented South Africa at The Spirit in Texas, USA in October 2009, and also at the Mexican Women's Amateur Championship.
Leanda Schulze born 1994 and since turning professional in 2015 has already made quite an impression on those who are following her career and who believes she holds great promise as a professional golfer. She recalls one of her highlights as an amateur playing in the North West Championships and finished T7 on +3 at Pecanwood. She also went on to represent the Free State and Northern Cape womens IPT team in 2012 and 2013.
“As this year was my first year as a professional and being able to play the Ladies Sunshine Tour I don’t have a lot of achievements yet but hopefully that would change in the near future. But I am proud of how I did in my first season on the tour with an Order of Merit finish on 28th. I managed to pay for my 2nd year at the PGA with my winnings which really helped me. With the PGA I get to do a lot of different stuff and one of them being involved in junior coaching which I enjoy very much.” says Leanda.
Played in nine tournaments … tied for fourth at the season-opening event at the Chris Banister Classic … shot a 221, her best 54-hole score of the year … low round was a 71 in the second round of the Challenge at Onion Creek.
Professional Golfer Lejan Lewthwaite, has always wanted to play Golf. Golf is her passion and her dream. She is a former Bobcat golfer. Have always played many sports, representing South Africa in sailing and golf.
Lejan also likes to play hockey and tennis. I love to spend time with my family and friends, listen to music, gym, and go surfing while I am on holiday. Living a healthy and active lifestyle is fundamental to how I like to live my life. Being outdoors is how I prefer to spend most of my days. I am a firm believer in Jesus Christ, he who I thank for my given talents.
She was one of two women professional golfers that graduated top in their PGA golf professional Class in 2011 which included men golfers.
She has been playing golf for more than 30 years; captained and played for North West as an amateur. Liezl turned pro in 2009 by doing her apprenticeship through the PGA of SA, ever since she coached at Potchefstroom Country Club. Last year she returned to play competitive golf after a 5 year absence. She finished 27th on the Order of Merit on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.”
Amazing 21 year old Mae Cornforth turned Pro in 2015. She was no. 1 player in North West Women’s golf Union for 3 years.
She won Boland Women’s` Open match play championship in 2012. She also won the North West Women’s Open in 2012.
She was then ranked 5th SA amateur player in 2014. Mae has since grown from strength to strength in her career as she earned a Scholarship at the University of Florida Institute of Technology as she was the no.1 player in the golf team.
She enjoys spending time with family and friends, she loves the gym and a healthy lifestyle.
Mae is very excited to be part of the PinkStig invitational and think that it will motivate other amateur players to become Pro.
31 Year old Melissa Eaton. Turned professional in 2009 and has more than grown in her professional career.
She represented the SA golf foundation team at the 2000 South African World junior championship. She won the SA Golf Foundation Girls (u18) Championships 2001 represented SA Golf foundation team in the Netherlands 2001.
She won her first professional tournament on a big tour, 2013 Florida Naturals Charity Classic and has had the pleasure of working with well known guru Dave Stockton.
Melissa says that being part of the PinkStig invitational is a great opportunity to empower young golfers.
Inspired enthusiast Monique Smit says her journey to being a Professional golfer has not been an easy one it has been hard work, sweat and tears.
It is not without its sacrifices though. ‘ I was not an athlete, I did not believe I was one who was physically and mentally strong enough to sustain a winning attitude. Having made some recent changes to my personal lifestyle through new training routines, I have a new perspective or attitude towards myself potential and ability to become No 1 in South Africa and to be more competitive abroad’
Monique is excited to participate in the PinkStig Invitational as it will propel her into the Sunshine Ladies Tour.
Former Limpompo Champion Monja Richards claimed her first provincial victory of the season with a wire-to-wire victory at the Free State & Northern Cape Championship title in 2014.
She also won the Pam Golding Properties WGWP Amateur Championships in March 2016.
She is looking forward to be participating in the PinkStig Invitational as this event will expose her to even greater opportunities.
She started playing golf at the age of 19.She enjoys reading, tennis, yoga and rowing. Representing the WPGA is 36 year old Morgan Robbertze. Worked as couch at Warrick Druian, she is an honorary member of the Randpark Golf Club and is currently sitting on the WPGA board.
Competed in 16 events with her best finish tied 22nd at the Hero Women's Indian Open in 2011. She also finished tied 25th at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open.
Morgana played in four LET events in 2008 and made one cut at the Ladies English Open, where she tied for 61st place. She returned to Final Qualifying School for the 2009 season and finished T16th, earning her full playing rights for the tour.Won the 2005 Pam Golding South African Open. Runner Up in the 2002 Devonvale Kycero Mita SA Open.
For her being part of the PinkStig invitational is a great experience and she hopes to inspire other young women wanting to choose golf as a career.
29 Year old Nicole Becker has been playing golf for the past 11years now. She likes the fact how the game of golf is so humbling for every player.
Nicole was ranked 4th in the country representing South Africa in America Turkey and Zimbabwe. She has won 7 tournaments as an Amateur and as a Pro she played on the Access Tour in Europe, for her, being Pro has been the best experience of her life.
She is motivated to play in the PinkStig Initiative because it gives her a chance as a Professional Player and Golf Coach more opportunities to play the game she loves, she also believes that the PinkStig invitational is a great opportunity for upcoming Amateurs.
Tandi von Ruben
Previously ladies European Tour Professional and Current Sunshine ladies tour player, 30 Year old Tandi Von Ruben was Gauteng junior champion in 2005.
As an Amateur she won the individuals 72 hole teams champs, was runner up in the Gauteng junior champsAs a Professional she won South African ladies open, 2nd SAS Masters Tour (Sweden) made cut in 1st ladies european tour event (Dutch Open) Won FInnish Ladies open (Turku).
She looks forward to playing for PinkStig Invitational as this will allow her to support other Amateurs wanting to turn Professional.
From the beautiful republic of Namibia to Pretoria, and from amateur to pro 24 year old Bonita Bredenhann keeps growing from strength to strength.
She started playing golf at the age of 6 and won her first tournament(Walvisbaai Open) at the age of 8.
As an amateur Bonita reminds us that she won the South African Match Play Open, in 2012, which really motivated her to turn pro and to make professional golf her full time profession. So when people would ask her about her profession, she would confidently and proudly reply: “I am a professional golfer”
She played the European Tour in 2015 and qualified for the tour in 6th position with a course record of 63, a remarkable year for her!Bonita says she feels grateful and privileged to be part of the PinkStig invitational.
Crystal Cooper born in 1994, one of South Africa’s most exciting amateur golfer’s plays out of Wingate Park Country Club. Crystal makes no secret of her ambition, which is to turn pro when the opportunity affords her to do so. She is a favourite amongst those who have coached her and played at many of the amateur provincial and Sunshine Ladies Tour events.
In 2016 she played as an amateur at the Sunshine Ladies Tour Tshwane Open 2016, the Sunshine Ladies Tour Joburg Open 2016 and ended in 10th and 13th position respectively. When Crystal was asked about her recent successes on the Ladies Tour, she attributed it to a sound and regimental coaching and training programme set by her coaches and more so the support she receives from her family.
She added that the junior amateur tournament structures in South Africa allows the player to compete on various courses with conditions affected by the different climates and height above sea level. “One of the key ingredients for any golfer is to have the ability to play courses on the coasts of South Africa and in land. The ball moves differently and that impacts on the type of shot you will play and the swing one uses to manage your way around the course. I reckon this is one of the best country’s to learn and develop a strong and reliable game”
Crystal Cooper is not just an amateur hitting balls, but plays with a good sense of the game and will prove to be quite a challenge at the PinkStig Invitational taking place at the Lost City Golf Course, Sun City.
At 12 years of age it is evident that Xavier has a raw talent for golf. During her four and a half years of playing her swing mechanics have become admirable, which was evident in her win in two tournaments. She also achieved the best net score for the female section in a third tournament. Her goal is to start playing tournaments in the WP Development category for older children, her success in these will ensure her in becoming a SA junior golfer. Her Coach believes that with more practice she will defiantly achieve this goal. Xavier has a knack for learning as well as an understanding for technical instructions and, thus is one to watch.
Xavier Arries joins the Pinkstig cubs as one of the young players who shows great potential and attitude to be a champion.
Ameerah Bibi Mehta
Ameerah Bibi, daughter of Zahira and Dhiren Mehta is a silent warrior and an old soul. Her dad attributes a lot of her ways and qualities to his late mom and it is this bond that drives her. Her determination stems from the passion to lead like her dad, which reflects in all four of his daughters.
As with in any sport, in order to reach the top you have to set yourself some goals and her ambition is to become a professional golfer. Ameerah is ticking off her achievements one by one and one of her most memorable moments on the golf course thus far was when she joined her dad with some of the PinkStig’s local lady professionals and played a few holes with them.
The PinkStig Cub joins a four ball on the 18th hole at Lost City and will play the ceremonial hole as part of the inaugural of the PinkStig Invitational at the Lost City Golf Course, Sun City on the 28th November 2016.
One of the PinkStig cub’s ‘Zimkhitha Ndube’ has been privileged to play at the Little Pace Challenge earlier this year and will feature at the PinkStig Invitational as one of the PinkStig Cubs. She has already met her legend Sally Little and super star Lee-Anne Pace. Her dad recalls some of the defining moments at that event in August at Pearl Valley Golf Club.
” I met Sally little, Dhiren Mehta and the UniMedia team, the night before, within 5 minutes of engaging with them some unexplained energy filled me and that driving force experienced convinced me to drop all and join the journey at Pearl Valley. This positive energy even had me encouraging my daughter to engage on one of the things I do not support, having my daughter bunk school in favour of experiencing the day with the legend in SA women’s professional golf.
Throughout the day, my daughter had the biggest smile, because she was the centre of attraction in a game that she loves most, as much as she might not fully know and place everyone that attended the event, she really walked tall on the day, and she was filled with energy and happiness that light up my day. She really had Christmas in August, because she got a chance of watching and playing alongside Sally the Legend, Lee-Anne the number 1 women golfer in SA, the professional women golfers, and SA celebrities.
When we got home late she never stopped talking to her mother and sisters regarding her “AWESOME” experience as she described the day, and the following day she was early and looking forward to going to school, because she had a story to tell. She is now on my case to honour my commitments going forward for her to earn her 10 000 hrs (as found by Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers The story of Success) through practicing and playing golf twice a week.
The path that Dhiren Mehta is travelling with his wife and team, that of wanting to positively influence and/or impact other people’s lives, is better explained by the Chinese proverb, “If you want happiness for a lifetime ? Help someone else.” And that is the journey that resonates with me, that I wish to continue on in my little corner for years to come.
Zimkhitha and I say thank-you to UniMedia Pro, for giving us the opportunity to be part of a journey filled with true energy, and for bringing to life this journey of women in golf to both a father and his daughter that were on their own trying to find and understand the journey of professional women in golf.
No doubt the PinkStig Invitational and the addition of the PinkStig Cubs will reap great reward and interest from mothers and fathers of daughters who dream of becoming the next champion in women’s golf.
Zahra Tayob started playing golf at the young age of 7. She is a natural in sports which was evident in her participation in her school soccer team. Unfortunately, she had to put sports on hold for two years due to an accident that broke her wrist. Under the guidance of her coach Roy Yates she won many events in her age group in various tournaments. In the last four months her handicap has dropped from 15 to 9 with the help of her new coach Jhon Dickson, at Copperleaf Golf Club. Zahra recently won a golf day event in Rustenburg, where she, the only woman in the event, played against 68 men. Zahra’s goal is to achieve a scratch level handicap. With two more years left of school we look forward to see where her passion and natural ability for golf takes her.
Zara Tayob from Brits is excited to join the PinkStig cubs at the inaugural PinkStig Invitational taking place at Sun City.