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

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.

Women’s Open plays on

The SA Women’s Open has been extended for seven years. This follows an agreement by the Ladies European Tour, the Women’s Professional Golf Association of SA and World Sport Promotions.

The event will now stretch until 2021.

There were fears that the tournament would be discontinued after last week’s edition.

The event has been staged for three consecutive years at KwaZulu-Natal golf courses – Selborne Park (2012), Southbroom (2013) and San Lameer (2014).

Projected venues for the next seven years

San Lameer – three years

Kimberley (Northern Cape) – one year

Johannesburg (Gauteng) – one year

Cape Town (Western Cape) – one year

One more venue has yet to be decided.

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