GolfRSA celebrates five Momentum gsport Awards finalists in 2023

GolfRSA, Major champion Ashleigh Buhai, 2023 SA Women’s Amateur Championship winner Kyra van Kan and 2023 ISPS Handa IBGA World Blind Championship women’s champion Charlene Pienaar have made the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards shortlist: credit GolfRSA

22 August 2023 – Major winner Ashleigh Buhai, reigning SA Women’s Amateur champion Kyra van Kan, World Blind Championship winner Charlene Pienaar, former Womens Golf South Africa President Sarah Braude and GolfRSA made it quintet of finalists for golf on the 2023 Momentum gsport Awards shortlist.

The list of 60 finalists across 20 categories was announced today for the 18th edition of Africa’s longest running women’s sport recognition platform.

“We are absolutely delighted to have a record five finalists in five different categories. Considering that over 500 nominations were received this year, this is a wonderful reflection of the progress the golf industry continues to make in raising the profile of women’s golf in South Africa and drives us to stay the course,” said GolfRSA CEO Grant Hepburn.

“The Momentum gsport Awards annually honours our outstanding athletes and those who make valuable contributions to raise the profile of women’s sport on the African continent. We congratulate all this year’s nominees, and especially those who made the shortlist. A big thank you to Momentum and gsport for this recognition.

“The last few years were extremely testing for all sports federations and athletes in South Africa, but looking at the shortlist of finalists, and the achievements being honoured, it illustrates the strength, commitment and determination with which the entire sports industry came through the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“South Africa continues to produce champions and athletes of the highest calibre, while honing the talents of the future stars coming through the ranks. It is fantastic to witness the hard work done by the federations, administrators, coaches and ambassadors to develop and promote women’s sport in our country.

“Congratulations to our fellow finalists in the running for the Federation of the Year award, Cricket South Africa and Netball South Africa, who both hosted very successful World Cups on home soil this year. Golf development and parity remain high priorities for GolfRSA and all our partners and stakeholders, and we are proud to be recognised alongside these bodies for the role we play in advancing and empowering women in the golf industry.”

SA’s leading women’s professional golfer Ashleigh Buhai; credit Sunshine Ladies Tour

Ashleigh Buhai is a finalist in the Telkom Athlete of the Year category alongside Banyana Banyana’s Andile Dlamini, and events and logistics manager, Natasha Petersen.

South Africa’s leading professional and women’s golf icon Buhai etched her name in golfing history when she became only the second women’s Major with her victory in the 2022 AIG Women’s Open. Since her triumph at Muirfield last August, Buhai racked up three more wins in the Australian Woman’s Open, Investec SA Woman’s Open, and the LPGA Shoprite Classic. Her mentorship of the GolfRSA Women National Squad and support of young golfers underlines her dedication to the development and support of the sport.

2023 SA Women’s Amateur champion Kyra van Kan; credit TJGWC | Getty Images

Kyra an Kan is a finalist in the Emerging Athlete of the Year, which recognises athletes excelling at national and provincial level, alongside SA U-19 Vice-Captain, Madison Landsman, and two-time SA national track athlete champion, Prudence Sekgodiso.

The reigning GolfRSA No-1 began the 2023 season at the pinnacle. Despite academic pressure, she delivered a masterclass performance to win the prestigious SA Women’s Amateur Championship, finished as the Leading Amateur in the Investec SA Women’s Open and held the top spot in the GolfRSA Open and Junior standings with a succession of top 3 finishes on both circuits. A beacon of leadership, the GolfRSA Women’s National Squad elite player led the SA Junior Proteas to victory at the All-Africa Junior Team Championship and eighth in the Junior Golf World Cup in Japan.

2023 World Blind Golf Championships Ladies winner Charlene Pienaar; credit Nic Bothma

Charlene Pienaar has been named to the shortlist in the Brand SA Para Sport Star of the Year category with wheelchair tennis Major champion Kgothatso Montjane and Simoné Kruger, who set a new F38 Discus World Record at the Para Athletics World Championships in Paris.

The South African Disabled Golf Association Ambassador made history in March when she became the first South African female disabled golfer to lift a world championship title in the 2023 ISPS Handa IBGA World Blind Championships at Milnerton Golf Club. This came just two days after the petite blind golfer from Ekurhuleni defended her SA Blind Open women’s title at the same venue.

Former Womens Golf South Africa President Sarah Braude; credit GolfRSA

Sarah Braude is in the running for the Special Recognition Award alongside Northern Cape’s women in football advocate, Brenda Mafunisa, and eSports gamer and creator Samantha Wright.

The former president of Womens Golf South Africa served GolfRSA with the same unbridled passion that she gave to the amateur golf for more than a decade when she took office in 2020. Under her guidance, women’s amateur golf – especially in the junior and mid-amateur space – has flourished and record numbers of first-timers entered the 2022 SA Mid-Amateur Women’s Championship and the two junior GolfRSA flagship events.

The winners are decided between a panel of judges and the public.

Show your support for GolfRSA and our three outstanding finalists: register a free membership at gsport.co.za and vote daily for your three leading candidates at gsport.co.za/voting.
Voting opens on 22 August and closes at midnight on 31 August 2023. The finalist with the greatest number of votes, who doesn’t go on to win a category, will be declared the Public Choice Award winner.

View all the finalists HERE: https://gsport.co.za/andile-dlamini-jessica-nkomo-kgothatso-montjane-and-samantha-wright-headline-gsport18-finalists-announcement/