Lee-Anne Pace & Paula Reto Make ANA Inspiration Weekend

South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace pulled off an impressive second round performance at Mission Hills Country Club in California to play herself into weekend in the season’s first Major, the at the ANA Inspiration.  The two-time Investec Cup for Ladies champion was in serious danger of missing the cut after a disappointing five over 77 in the first round.  However, Pace rallied with a hat-trick of birdies over the closing holes at the famed Dinah Shore Course to save her championship with an impressive three-under-par 69 on Friday.

The Pearl Valley golfer turned one under after two birdies and a bogey. She notched two more birdies immediately after the turn, stumbled with a double bogey at the par-four 12th, but produced the hat-trick of birdies at the end to finish a stroke above the cut, set at three-over-par 147.  The Pearl Valley golfer shares joint 55th two over 146 with seven players, including reigning Ricoh British Women’s champion Mo Martin and 2014 US Women’s Open winner Michelle Wie.  Fellow South African Paula Reto carded rounds of 74 and 73 to make her second Major weekend, having tied for 48th in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship last year.

Meanwhile Korea’s Sei Young Kim fired a seven under 65 to take the 36-hole lead at seven-under-par 137.  Kim, who broke through for her maiden win in the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic earlier this season, leads by two strokes from overnight pacesetter Morgan Pressel from the United States.  American Brittany Lincicome, the 2009 champion, carded a 68 to tie for third with Korea’s Jenny Shin and Scotland’s Catriona Matthew at four under, while defending champion Lexi Thompson and fellow American Stacy Lewis, the 2011 champion, headline a group of seven players tied for sixth at three under.

World number one Lydio Ko tied Annika Sorenstam’s record 29 consecutive rounds under par on the LPGA Tour with a one under 71 on Thursday.  However, 17-year-old New Zealand teenager’s streak came to an end with a second-round 73 and finished in a tie for 30th on even-par 144.

SECOND ROUND – Leaderboard:

137 Sei Young Kim KOR 72 65
139 Morgan Pressel USA 67 72
140 Brittany Lincicome USA 72 68, Catriona Matthew SCO 71 69, Jenny Shin KOR 71 69
141 Stacy Lewis USA 72 69, Angela Stanford USA 72 69, Lexi Thompson USA 72 69, Shanshan Feng CHI 71 70, Moriya Jutanugarn THA 71 70, Mirim Lee KOR 71 70, So Yeon Ryu KOR 69 72

Photo: Lee-Anne Pace
Photo credit: Justin Klusener