With her Spanish Open title defence in just a few days, South Africa’s top golfing export Lee-Anne Pace is more than happy with the state of her game after a top 55 finish at the Evian Championship in France this weekend. The Investec Cup for Ladies champion had back-to-back 73s at the Evian Resort Golf Club to make the cut by one stroke, but fired rounds of 76 and 71 to tie for 54th on nine-over-par 293. “It was definitely not all bad,” said the Pearl Valley golfer, who climbed 13 spots in the final round to join South Korea’s Amy Yang and Haeji Kang and the American quartet of Christina Kim, Sydnee Michaels, Kristy McPherson and Laura Diaz.
“I always enjoy the Evian Championship, even if the course doesn’t always treat me well. It is a really great tournament and Evian-Les-Bains is just stunning. I feel that I played quite well, but I got extremely unlucky on the course. Some weeks are like that and you just have to get on with it. You needed a bit of luck, because the course is extremely slopey and a bit unpredictable,” said Pace. The 33-year old reeled in eight victories on the Ladies European Tour since she turned pro in 2005. However, since her runaway victory at the Investec Cup for Ladies on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in March, the 33-year-old from Mossel Bay has predominantly campaigned in the United States to earn a full LPGA Tour card for 2015.
The $10,292 pay day in France lifted Pace to 65th on the LPGA Tour’s Official Money List and 68th in the Race to the CME Globe, leaving her in a strong position with the Asian leg coming up. Pace is looking forward to her Spanish Open title defence in Tenerife this week. “I spent some time with my coach, James Petts, before the Evian Championship and I’m happy with the state of my game. I’m looking forward to defending in Tenerife and then I’m off to Asia to compete in two LPGA Tour events before I come home to compete in the Cell C South African Women’s Open. Only the top 72 ranked players qualify for the CME Championship later this season, so it is important to try to improve my ranking in Asia. It’s equally important to me to support the WPGA and Sunshine Ladies Tour, though. The Cell C South African Women’s Open is our flagship event and we hold it in high esteem. We all want to own a piece of South African history and put our name on the trophy,” Pace said.
Meanwhile South Korea’s Hyo-Joo Kim continued to make headlines at the season’s final Major. Kim fired an opening 10-under-par 61 on Thursday to better the lowest round recorded in women and men’s Majors. Three days later, at 19 years and two months, she became the third youngest player to win a women’s Major when she beat Australian Karrie Webb to win by one shot on 11-under-par 273.
The Cell C South African Women’s Open tees off from 16-19 October at San Lameer Country Club.
Photo: Investec Cup for Ladies champion Lee-Anne Pace
Photo credit: Luke Walker