24 March 2014
South Africa’s top golfer Lee-Anne Pace entered the Investec Cup for Ladies determined to finally pull off a victory on home soil. At the Lost City resort in North West province on Sunday, she accomplished her goal, recording a resounding six-shot victory in the final event of the inaugural Sunshine Ladies Tour.
“Four, three, two, one. Mission accomplished,” an elated Pace said after lifting the tile.
“I came here to win after finishing fourth, third and second in my other three starts on the new Sunshine Ladies Tour and I am so pleased with this result.”
Pace hit the front with a flawless 70 in the second round and overcame a shaky start to post back-to-back birdies at the 17th and 18th holes for a one-under-par 71 final round and a comfortable victory on even-par 216.
Two-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Monique Smit also picked up two birdies on the back nine to steal into second with a 74, while Sun International Challenge champion Tandi von Ruben took third on eight-over with a 76.
With the winner’s cheque of R100 000, Pace, who recently moved to Pearl Valley Golf Estates, vaulted to the top of the Order of Merit.
“I am so pleased that I could finish the mission I started at Millvale Private Retreat on Friday,” she said.
“I could only compete in three events on the new Sunshine Ladies Tour, due to scheduling conflicts with the Ladies European Tour and the move to Pearl Valley. I finished fourth at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, came third at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Glendower and second at the SuperSport Challenge.
“I jokingly said that the next one better be first, and then I really started wanting it. I wanted to win at least one event on the Sunshine Ladies Tour and for my sponsor, Investec.
“It’s great to show them that they backed the right player and to thank them for putting women’s golf back on the map.”
Preparation for the first Major
With the first Major of the season just two weeks away, Pace said she loved the fact that she could stay competitive at home.
“It is absolutely fantastic that we have a Tour again and we can compete here in front of our friends, fans and family,” Pace said. “I need to do some work with the putter, but otherwise I feel absolutely ready for the Kraft Nabisco Championship in two weeks.
“It’s been fantastic to compete with my peers, as well, but I was most impressed by the amateurs we saw in action over the last few weeks. We have some incredible talent coming through the ranks, and I predict we are going to see a lot of South Africans on the Ladies European Tour in the near future.”