Last hole birdie sees Pace snatch the trophy at Joburg Open | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Last hole birdie sees Pace snatch the trophy at Joburg Open

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JANUARY 20: Lee-Anne Pace during day 3 of the 2016 Joburg Ladies Open at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Course on January 20, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. EDITOR'S NOTE: For free editorial use. Not available for sale. No commercial usage. (Photo by Carl Fourie/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images)

Lee-Anne Pace thrilled the crowd with a grandstand finish at Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club to reel in her seventh consecutive Sunshine Ladies Tour title with victory in the Ladies Joburg Open on Wednesday.
The Pearl Valley golfer edged into the lead on 10-under with a birdie at the 10th hole on the West Course, but Bertine Strauss – playing behind her in the final group – birdied 15 to grab a share of the lead.
Pace shifted into high gear and showed the nerves and composure of a true champion. She boxed a 12-footer for birdie at 17 and lagged a 30-metre eagle putt to an inch from the cup at 18. She tapped in for birdie and a final round six-under-par 66 to claim a five stroke victory on 12-under-par 204.
Strauss bogeyed the last three holes for a 72 to take second, while first round leader Ashleigh Simon’s 72 handed her third on 210.
Swaziland’s Nobuhle Dlamini, Monique Smit and Stacy Bregman tied for fourth on 211 after posting respective rounds of 73, 69 and 67.
Pace started the final round a stroke off the pace from Strauss and tied for second with Kim Williams, Dlamini and Simon.
She reeled in a hat-trick of birdies from the second, and erased a bogey at the fifth with birdie at nine to start the back nine at nine-under with a one stroke lead over Strauss and two shots ahead of Simon.
‘Ashleigh played really well and birdied the 11th and 13th to tie me at 10 under, but I had no idea what Bertine was doing,’ Pace said. ‘Ash dropped a few shots, but I heard that Bertine was 10 under playing 15 when we got to the 17th tee box. There was every chance that she could birdie the par-five. I had my coach James Petts on the bag this week and I said to him we better step it up.
‘I hit a great shot into 17 and when I saw the line, I told James I had this. I knew the putt would drop. I must admit, I felt the pressure at 18, but James cracked a joke that broke the tension.
‘We were discussing the pin position and I told him the pin was 4A. He looked at me and said  ‘what hole are we on?’ That just cracked me up.’
Pace hit a solid approach pin high right and she had about 25m from the fringe of the green to the pin.
‘I aimed to lag the putt close to give myself two putts for par, but the ball just kept going and parked right next to the hole, ‘ Pace said. ‘It was pretty awesome to finish with a birdie.’
The Ladies Joburg Open proved to be the perfect start to the season for Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies leader Pace.
‘I am flying out tonight for two weeks on the LPGA Tour,’ she said. ‘I really set out to win this week, because I knew I would miss the next two tournaments. I had 400 points in the bag after winning the SA Women’s Open, but this victory gives me a little breathing space.
‘No doubt the girls are going to try and narrow the gap in the next two events. I really had to dig deep to come out on top, because the depth on the Sunshine Ladies Tour this season is incredible. Even the amateurs are playing unbelievably well and are gunning for victories. ‘
Ivanna Samu, the country’s second ranked amateur, earned the Leading Amateur honour with an overall seventh place finish on three under 213 after rounds of 75, 70 and 68.
Reigning number one Kaleigh Telfer tied for second with 13-year-old Kaitlyn Mcnab from Ekurhuleni.
The next event – the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies – takes place at Houghton Golf Club from 25-27 January.

Picture of Pace with her trophy, courtesy of Carl Fourie/Sunshine Ladies Tour

FINAL RESULT
204 – Lee-Anne Pace 68 70 66
209 – Bertine Strauss 68 69 72
210 – Ashleigh Simon 67 71 72
211 – Stacy Bregman 71 73 67, Monique Smit 73 69 69, Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ 68 70 73
213 – Ivanna Samu (AMA) 75 70 68
214 – Nora Angehrn SUI 72 72 70, Kim Williams 68 70 76
215 – Carrie Park KOR 69 73 73
216 – Nicole Garcia 73 73 70
217 – Anna Scott ENG 73 70 74
220 – Bonita Bredenhann NAM 73 73 74
221 – Lejan Lewthwaite 74 78 69
223 – Melissa Eaton 71 80 72
224 – Alana van Greuning 71 81 72
228 – Tandi von Ruben 77 75 76
229 – Michelle Leigh 77 77 75
230 – Caitlyn Macnab (AMA) 77 79 74, Kaleigh Telfer (AMA) 82 77 71
231 – Elina Bergvall SWE 81 77 73
233 – Francesca Cuturi 77 77 79, Amy Henning 77 76 80
234 – Monja Richards 79 78 77, Maria Roos (SWE) 74 83 77, Liezl Klotz 82 75 77, Alexandra Lennartsson SWE 79 76 79, Leanda Schulze 80 79 75
235 – Hanna Roos SWE 79 80 76
236 – Anne Sophie Le Nalio FRA 81 74 81, Zethu Myeki (AMA) 78 76 82, Shawnelle de Lange (AMA) 82 78 76
237 – Lynette Pretorius (AMA) 78 76 83
238 – Natasha Carlsson (AMA) 80 80 78
239 – Katia Shaff (AMA) AUT 78 82 79
240 – Casandra Hall (AMA) 80 79 81, Chiara Contomathios (AMA) 83 76 81, Kelsey Nicholas (AMA) 85 76 79
241 – Mae Cornforth 82 80 79, Carmia van Wyk 82 82 77
243 – Virginie Roques FRA 82 80 81
244 – Cindy Dalton (AMA) 80 88 76
245 – Crystal Cooper (AMA) 80 84 81
246 – Michelle de Vries 77 84 85
247 – Marguerite Pienaar 82 80 85
248 – Woo-Ju Son (AMA) 86 82 80, Chante van Zyl (AMA) 87 82 79
257 – Larissa Du Preez (AMA) 87 90 80
WDN – Tijana Kraljevic 81 86 WDN


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