Comeback kid Pace eyes the European and US tours

2013-05-19 14:00

South Africa’s female golf sensation Lee-Anne Pace says she is delighted to snatch a title on the Ladies European Tour after a drought of almost three years.

Pace (32) rallied from behind before she triumphed at the Turkish Airlines

Ladies Open at the National Golf Club in Belek, Turkey, last Sunday. She carded a final score of three under par for a total of 289, with a final round 72.

Pace, born in the Mossel Bay, Western Cape, was two shots behind before she overtook overnight leaders Charley Hull of England and Spain’s Carlotta Ciganda.

It has been a dry and particularly hazardous run for Pace, whose last winning streak on Tour was in October 2010 when she participated in the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open in Suzhou, China. This was the same year in which she registered four other major victories.

Last year, Pace was ranked inside the top five on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit, but her career suffered a serious setback. She was struck by a mirror on her right elbow in a hotel room in China in the run-up to the Sanya Ladies Open in in November. This misfortune forced her to return home.

“It feels extremely great to win again after being out in the cold for some time,” said Pace from Turkey this week. She said having not won a big event in a long time, plus her injury last year, did not cloud her mind during the Turkish tournament as she stayed focused on simply getting the ball in the hole throughout the 72 holes.

Pace said with competition being so intense on the tour, she was preparing for upcoming tough events.

“Our next travel will be to Holland next week and, later, to Germany to play in a bigger tour event,” she said. “My golf is very good at the moment and I have a great caddie too.”

Pace, who was part of a star-studded field that lined up for the SA Women’s Open at Southbroom Golf Club in

KwaZulu-Natal last month – before the contest was marred by bad weather – is hoping to play before her home crowd.

She said: “Pursuing most of my golf career abroad sometimes makes me feel homesick. I’m hoping to play before my home fans.”

The lanky hard-hitter confirmed she would be going to the Ladies Professional Golf Association qualifying school this year to earn a card to play on golf’s biggest stages – the European and US tours’ major events.

Lee-Anne Pace’s successes

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