Pace makes it eight Sunshine Tour triumphs on the trot | SASCOC - SASCOC
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Pace makes it eight Sunshine Tour triumphs on the trot

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 12: Lee-Anne Pace during day 3 of the 2016 Ladies Cape Town Open at Royal Cape Golf Club on February 12, 2016 in Cape Town, 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-Ann Pace is almost always a certain bet when she gets the bit between her teeth and the Paarl golfer was once again untouchable as she shifted into high gear to capture the Cape Town Ladies Open title on Friday.
Pace birdied five of the six par fives at Royal Cape Golf Club and added another brace of gains at 10 and 18 to bank her eighth consecutive Sunshine Ladies Tour title with a flawless seven-under-par 67.
The victory on 16-under-par 206 padded Pace’s stockpile of trophies, but she quickly pointed out that the three-stroke victory over Ashleigh Simon was a lot more work than the leaderboard implied.
‘Let me just state for the record that this wasn’t a walkover,’ said the Paarl golfer.
‘I started two behind Ash and she protected her lead with six straight pars. I narrowed the gap with a birdie at the first par five (third) and I pulled one shot clear when I birdied and she dropped seven, but she tied us on 12 under with a great birdie at 12.
‘I holed a 20-footer for birdie at nine to put some pressure on her, but she didn’t even flinch and made her birdie putt.’
Pace edged two strokes clear when Simon responded with a bogey to her birdie at 11.
‘That two-shot swing gave me momentum down the back nine, but Ash never let up,’ she said.
‘I hit it close at all three par fives (11, 14 and 16) for easy birdies, but if Ash’s putter was just a little hotter, it would have been a tight battle right up until the end.’
Pace closed with a birdie at 18 and Simon’s short stick produced back-to-back birdies at the closing holes for a two under 72.
‘I loved the contest, because it really put me under pressure,’ Pace said.
‘Actually, none of my victories this season was walkovers. That just shows you how the standard on the Sunshine Ladies Tour has improved since we launched in 2014.
‘Lejan (Lewthwaite) and Carrie (Park) kept me under pressure in the SA Women’s Open and Ash and Bertine (Strauss) stayed on my tail at the Ladies Joburg Open. Today it was Ash again, but there were a bunch of players behind us also making a move.’
Pace was also seriously impressed by teenager Ivanna Samu, who led the first round.
The 17-year-old Sanlam SA Women’s Amateur and Stroke Play champion finished seventh in the SA Women’s Open and won the Leading Amateur award in her last four starts, including the Cape Town Ladies Open where she finished sixth overall on eight under 214.
‘To be honest, I didn’t know much about her until she led the first round at Royal Cape,’ said Pace.
‘I talked to her yesterday when we did a television interview and I checked her out at the driving range this morning. She is an incredible ball striker. To keep a cool head under pressure like she did playing with top pros like Ash and Monique Smit is quite amazing. That girl has game and she is definitely a future champion.’

FINAL RESULT
206 – Lee-Anne Pace 69 70 67
209 – Ashleigh Simon 69 68 72
212 – Melissa Eaton 71 72 69
213 – Rebecca Hudson ENG 71 73 69, Monique Smit 69 73 71
214 – Ivanna Samu (AMA) 68 74 72
215 – Stacy Bregman 73 71 71, Bertine Strauss 74 69 72
216 – Maria Beautell ESP 73 70 73, Nora Angehrn SUI 73 69 74
218 – Carrie Park KOR 72 74 72, Bonita Bredenhann NAM 74 70 74
219 – Nicole Garcia 73 74 72
220 – Kim Williams 73 75 72, Lejan Lewthwaite 72 74 74, Laurette Maritz 70 73 77
221 – Tandi von Ruben 75 73 73
223 – Caroline Rominger SUI 73 73 77
226 – Francesca Cuturi 77 74 75, Cecilie Lundgreen NOR 77 74 75, Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ 73 77 76, Alexandra Lennartsson SWE 78 72 76
227 – Maria Roos SWE 82 75 70, Chiara Contomathios (AMA) 76 74 77, Amy Henning 75 73 79
228 – Michelle Leigh 76 75 77, Mae Cornforth 76 74 78
229 – Monja Richards 80 69 80
231 – Katia Shaff (AMA) AUT 79 76 76
232 – Hermione Fitzgerald IRL 75 79 78
233 – Hanna Roos SWE 78 80 75
235 – Shawnelle de Lange (AMA) 81 79 75, Lauren Blease ENG 79 76 80
236 – Alana van Greuning 79 76 81
237 – Vicki Traut (AMA) 78 83 76, Elina Bergvall SWE 73 76 88
239 – Marguerite Pienaar 77 80 82
240 – Tara Griebenow (AMA) 82 81 77
241 – Sarah Bouch (AMA) 82 77 82
242 – Lynette Pretorius (AMA) 83 81 78, Kirsty Fisher ENG 82 78 82
243 – Gemma Webster SCO 84 79 80
244 – Zayb Fredericks (AMA) 82 80 82
249 – Ethel Ruthenberg (AMA) 83 80 86
250 – Aaliyah Abrahams (AMA) 87 80 83, Sarah Blythe-Wood ZIM 83 83 84
252 – Aja Ruoss (AMA) SUI 88 82 82, Nadia Lawrance (AMA) 82 86 84
260 – Verlisha Engelbrecht 88 89 83
263 – Rachelle Cardinall (AMA) 87 88 88
266 – Nadia van der Westhuizen (AMA) 84 96 86
273 – Iman Adams (AMA) 87 96 90

Picture of Pace and her trophy courtesy of the Sunshine Ladies Tour


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