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Pace pulls away at SA Women’s Open
- Updated: December 1, 2015
South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace coped admirably in Monday’s testing conditions at San Lameer Country Club to build an almost unassailable lead in the SA Women’s Open on the Hibiscus Coast.
The defending champion reversed three bogeys for an even-par 72 and an eight stroke lead on one under 143 over amateur Lejan Lewthwaite and joint overnight leader, Kim Williams.
Williams from Centurion struggled to find form in the gusting conditions, but got to sole second with a birdie at 17.
However, a bogey at 18 for an 80 saw her slip into a tie for second with Lewthwaite from Serengeti Golf & Wildlife Estate, who also managed to erase three of her four bogeys to sign for a 73.
Pace had to chase down Holly Clyburn from England last year to force a play-off, which she won on the second extra hole. Not surprising, the double Investec Cup for Ladies champion is only too happy to sleep on such a big lead in her title defence.
‘I’m going to enjoy the lead, especially if the wind blows again,’ the Pearl Valley golfer said. ‘It’s really tricky out there, especially the tight back nine with all that water. Having a cushion is a welcome relief.
‘I am striking the ball well and the putter is behaving nicely, but the wind swirled so much that it was tough to control the ball. I left a few putts out there, too, but overall it was a solid round, given the conditions.’
Pace also had some advice for the young amateurs competing this week. ‘I know some of the amateurs are hugely disappointed with their scores, but they should give themselves credit for persevering under these tough conditions,’ the Pearl Valley golfer said.
‘It really has been trying and many of them have never played in an event of this stature or under conditions like these. This week is a huge learning curve and the chance to gain experience and they should just embrace the experience and enjoy themselves.’
Lewthwaite graduated from Texas State University in July and the 24-year-old had hoped to launch her Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies campaign this week.
‘I left my application too late, so I made it my goal to hunt down the Jackie Mercer Trophy as the leading amateur and to learn as much as possible from the pros in the process.
‘I never imagined for a moment that I would be playing with Lee-Anne and Kim in the final round, so I am really stoked.
‘I had a rough start, but I played much better today and hopefully the final round will be a more accurate reflection of my game. Hopefully Kim and I can give Lee-Anne a little run tomorrow.’
Photo of pace courtesy of Ian Taylor/Inkwazi Media
SECOND ROUND SCORES
All competitors SA unless otherwise specified and amateurs indicated as (AMA)
143 – Lee-Anne Pace 71 72
151 – Lejan Lewthwaite (AMA) 78 73, Kim Williams 71 80
152 – Carrie Park KOR 78 74
154 – Azelia Meichtry (AMA) SUI 79 75, Monique Smit 77 77
155 – Anna Scott ENG 75 80
156 – Michelle Leigh 80 76, Woo-Ju Son (AMA) 78 78
158 – Francesca Cuturi 83 75, Amy Henning 83 75, Bonita Bredenhann NAM 82 76
159 – Chiara Contomathios (AMA) 82 77, Ivana Samu (AMA) 81 78, Alana van Greuning 80 79
160 – Nicole Garcia 77 83
161 – Tandi von Ruben 83 78, Monja Richards 80 81
162 – Mae Cornforth 83 79, Melissa Eaton 83 79
164 – Danielle du Toit (AMA) 85 79
165 – Lindi Coetzee (AMA) 89 76
166 – Chevonne Botha 82 84, Liezl Klotz 86 80, Ethel Ruthenberg (AMA) 80 86
167 – Vicki Traut (AMA) 84 83, Tijana Kraljevic 82 85, Tara Griebenow (AMA) 87 80
168 – Shawnelle de Lange (AMA) 79 89
169 – Sarah Bouch (AMA) 87 82, Carmia van Wyk 88 81
170 – Nicola Eaton-Gutzeit 92 78
172 – Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ 83 89, Leanda Schulze 85 87, Caro Els (AMA) NAM 86 86
173 – Crizelda van Niekerk 88 85, Michelle de Vries 90 83
176 – Frankie Bosman (AMA) 89 87
177 – Katia Shaff (AMA) AUT 95 82
185 – Leigh van der Berg (AMA) 99 86, Lynette Pretorius (AMA) 101 84
188 – Rhodah Muridzo ZIM 95 93, Cindy Dalton (AMA) 96 92
203 – Chanelle Botha (AMA) 107 96