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SA’s Pace tied for fifth place in Taiwan
- Updated: October 7, 2016
South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace battled blustery conditions at the Miramar Golf Country Club in Taipei, Taiwan to finish within striking distance of Sakura Yokomine from Japan in the opening round of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship on Thursday.
Yokomine opened with a five-under-par 67 for a one-stroke lead over Amy Yang from Korea and Americans Brooke Henderson and Paula Creamer. Pace finished two shots back in tie for fifth with South Korean pair Ha Na Jang and Hee Young Park, Spain’s Beatriz Recari and local favourite Ai Miyazato.
Playing alongside Jang and Miyazato, the LPGA Tour winner birdied 12 and 16 but surrendered a shot just before the turn. She got it back to two under with a birdie at the par three third, and dipped to four under with a brace of birdies at six and seven, but dropped a further shot at the par four eighth.
Pace aims to compete in all six events on the Asian Swing, a journey that started last week in China with a disappointing 68th.
Compatriot Paula Reto, coming off a 41st place finish in the Reignwood LPGA Classic in Beijing, will also be making the LPGA Tour’s six-week journey that will travel to South Korea next, back to China, and then on to Malaysia and Japan.
Reto mixed three birdies with five bogeys, but an unfortunate double bogey at the 18th saw her tie for 61st on four-over-par 76.
Thirty-year-old Yokomine has 23 victories on the Japan LPGA Tour, but the Japanese player is still hunting a maiden win in her third season on the LPGA Tour. She drained a 15-footer for eagle at the par-five 12th and notched three birdies on the back nine before dropping a shot at the par-five closing hole.
Meanwhile Florentyna Parker opened the Lacoste Ladies Open Open de France with a sparkling seven-under-par 63 to lead by one stroke over American Beth Allen in St Jean-de-Luz.
South Africans Stacy Bregman, Nicole Garcia and Connie Chen tied for 41st with trio of 72s.
Picture of Pace courtesy of the Sunshine Ladies Tour