Pace chooses SA over money

2015-03-22 15:00

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Top golf export Lee-Anne Pace has no qualms about missing the well-paying Ladies European Tour and competing at home instead.

“I was supposed to be in Europe, but decided to come here. I came to give local tournaments my unqualified support by playing at home.

“I hope to win here before I resume my overseas excursion,” she said.

Pace this week continued her dominance of the Sunshine Ladies Tour by winning the Tshwane Open at the Pretoria Country Club on Monday.

This was after securing the SuperSport Ladies Challenge with perfectly timed back-to-back birdies at the closing holes of the Zwartkop Country Club in Pretoria last week.

The 34-year-old golfer, who ranks 30th in the world, is currently teeing up at the Investec Cup for Ladies, the last round of which is being played at the Lost City Golf Course at Sun City, North West, today.

The Cup offers a R600?000 bonus pool in addition to the R100?000 purse.

Pace, who is accustomed to playing on big stages abroad, is happy to compete before her home crowds – even though earnings here are small fry by comparison.

“I know the purses of the local tours are far smaller than those offered abroad.

“But to me it doesn’t matter, because it’s nice to play on home courses,” she said.

Pace was full of praise for the Sunshine Ladies Tour.

She said that being in South Africa was great, giving her a chance to test the fairways of various local courses.

The affable golfer, who hails from Paarl in the Western Cape, plans to be well prepared ahead of the ANA Inspiration, the first women’s major starting on April 2 at the famous Mission Hills Country Club in California.

The event is played under the banner of the LPGA Tour.

“The cream of the crop will be there,” she said.

“I’m hoping to be in great shape by playing there, hence I’m participating in events here at home,” she said.

Pace was also looking forward to competing in the LPGA Kia Classic, due to tee off at the Aviara Golf Club, also in California, on Thursday.

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