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Since Ivanna Samu took up golf at the age of 10, she racked up more than 10 national amateur titles, including the prestigious double in the Sanlam SA Women’s Stroke Play and Match Championships.
Ivanna was the top ranked junior and held the number one senior amateur ranking in South Africa for nearly two years before she joined the pro ranks in 2016. She represented South Africa on many occasions and her international highlights include the 27th World Amateur Team Championship in Mexico, two trips to the Junior World Cup in Japan, winning the All-Africa Challenge Trophy in Tunisia for a record 12th time and being presented with a silver medal by His Royal Highness Prince Andrew as the runner-up in the Girl’s Division of the Duke of York Young Champions Trophy.
On home soil, the 18-year-old Ruimsig Country Club golfer guided the Ladies Golf Gauteng A-team to victories in the SA Women’s Inter-Provincial and Women’s 72-Hole Championship for two years running in 2015 and 2016. Ivanna had her first taste of the pro ranks as an amateur on the 2016 Sunshine Ladies Tour, where she impressed with four top 10 finishes in five starts.
In preparation for her pro debut on the 2017 Sunshine Ladies Tour, she cut her teeth on the country’s premier golf development circuit – the IGT Challenge Tour – where she notched a six place finish in the IGT’s Irene Challenge just two weeks before she tested the waters in the Pink Stig Invitational at Sun City in November. Not surprising, Ivanna banked her first cheque, courtesy of UniMedia Pro, with a third place finish at the Gary Player Country Club.
Much was expected from the former amateur star in her pro debut on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and she didn’t disappoint. She opened her account with a tie for fifth in the season-opening SuperSport Ladies Challenge and followed with a joint 14th finish in the SA Women’s Masters and another top 10 in the prestigious SA Women’s Open.
Over nine tournaments, Ivanna accumulated earnings of nearly R78 000, She finished 13th in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies and ended the season ranked 14th on the final Order of Merit with six top 10 finishes and a season best performance of joint fourth in the Dimension Data Ladies Challenge in George.
Ivanna is a fine example of how we can produce successful sporting icons locally and a great role model for youth and young, aspiring amateurs. As such, she was proud to be part of the first Pink Stig Dream Team during the Sunshine Ladies Tour that promoted and enhanced the development of women’s professional golf.
She is well supported by her family, her coach Ashley Roestoff and her peers and she receives a lot of encouragement on the IGT Challenge Tour. All the senior professionals agree that Ivanna has the game to make it, so follow this young talent on Twitter and Facebook and support her journey.
Ivanna is based in Gauteng. Click here for Ivanna’s full profile.