Lee-Anne sets the pace for a Euro­pean Tour ti­tle win

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za South Africa’s No 1 women’s golfer, Lee-Anne Pace, says her burn­ing am­bi­tion is to fin­ish the year on a high note by win­ning the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters.

This win will take her vic­to­ries on the Ladies Euro­pean Tour (LET) to 10.

The Ladies Masters takes place at the Emi­rates Golf Course in Dubai, United Arab Emi­rates, from De­cem­ber 10-13.

This will be the fi­nal LET event of the year.

It will set the stage for Pace’s prepa­ra­tions for what she refers to as “the ar­du­ous task of cam­paign­ing in the tough Ladies PGA Tour (LPGA) in the US next sea­son”.

The 33-year-old golfer from Paarl, Western Cape, made the coun­try proud last Sun­day by win­ning the SA Women’s Open at the San Lameer Coun­try Club on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

Pace ral­lied from be­hind in the back nine of the fi­nal round to beat overnight leader Eng­land’s Holly Cly­burn in a play-off. In tak­ing the ti­tle, she be­came the first South African to win this LET event since its in­cep­tion in 2012.

In an in­ter­view with City Press this week, Pace said from China, where she is com­pet­ing in the Blue Bay LPGA Tour in Sanya, that she was look­ing for­ward to win­ning the fi­nal big cham­pi­onship in Europe be­fore em­bark­ing on a hec­tic US sched­ule next sea­son.

“Win­ning the Ladies Masters and bring­ing my Euro­pean tour ti­tle wins to 10 this year will be some­thing spe­cial.

“I will be play­ing full time in the US tour next year, but I will oc­ca­sion­ally com­pete in Europe,” she said.

“I’m still fi­nal­is­ing my sched­ule, but I ex­pect that I will play about 24 to 28 events on the LPGA.

“I started the year with a con­di­tional tour card.

“I am happy that I have now se­cured a full-time card for 2015,” she said.

Pace said it would be great to be the first South African fe­male golfer to win 10 times on the Euro­pean Tour.

She de­scribed win­ning the Women’s SA Open last week as spe­cial.

“Win­ning my na­tional ti­tle at a tricky coastal course like San Lameer was sim­ply un­be­liev­able. I think I would class this feat as my best win so far.

“The fact that I had my fam­ily and a few of my friends ral­ly­ing be­hind me dur­ing the show­down was awe­some be­cause that spurred me on.”

Pace re­gards Nor­we­gian pro­fes­sional golfer Suzann Pet­tersen, who heads the money list in Europe, as the best player on the Euro­pean and US tours this year.

But she hopes that win­ning big ti­tles on the gru­elling US golf cour­ses next year will con­sol­i­date her golf­ing ac­com­plish­ments. VIC­TO­RI­OUS Lee-Anne Pace on her way to win­ning the SA Women’s Open

PHOTO: DENISE LLOYD

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