23 July 2013
South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace captured her second Ladies European Tour (LET) title of the season by winning the Spanish Open at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid on Sunday.
The victory was Pace’s seventh career title on the Tour and her second of 2013, following her success in the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open. Previously she dominated the 2010 season, winning five times in the space of five months.
Her victory in Madrid also lifted her to the top of the ISPS Handa Order of Merit.
‘A lot of confidence’
Interviewed after securing the title, Pace said: “Winning this week gives me a lot of confidence for next week and hopefully the British Open. I’ve just been working really hard with my coaches on my swing, trying to hit the ball both ways, hitting a lot of greens.”
The ISPS Handa Ladies European Masters takes place from 26 to 28 July before the Women’s British Open is played at Saint Andrews from 1 to 4 August.
Pace began the final round in a tie for the lead with France’s Celine Herbin, but a fast start in which she fired four birdies in the first seven holes took the South African star clear.
It wasn’t plain sailing, however, as Pace double-bogeyed the 17th, leaving her with a single shot lead heading into the 18th.
“I thought, re-group, recover, you’ve been hitting it well all week, so smash it down the middle and there you go,” Pace said.
A regulation par on the last hole won her the tournament.
“On 17, I went straight at the pin and probably should have gone a little bit right, but I had a small draw, and a mental error cost me two shots. But I’m really happy I won,” she commented.
Pace closed with a 71 after rounds of 67, 69 and 68 for a four-round total of 275, while Sweden’s Mikaela Parmlid shot a final round two-under-par 70 to finish as runner-up, a shot adrift on 276.
Another South African, Ashleigh Simon, produced a solid showing, finishing in a tie for fifth with Gwladys Nocera on seven-under-par 281 after rounds of 70, 71, 71 and 69. Her final round included an eagle on the far-five fourth.
The win was worth €52 500 (about R678 000) for Pace and took her almost €31 000 clear of second placed Nocera at the top of the Order of Merit, with both players having played in 11 events.