Madrid - South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace held off a gutsy challenge from Norway's Mikaela Parmlid at Club de Campo Villa de Madrid to claim the Spanish Golf Open in Madrid on Sunday.
Despite an unexpected double bogey at the penultimate hole, the 2010 Ladies European Tour number one closed with a par and final round 71 for a slender one-shot victory on 13-under-par.
The hard-earned conquest not only pushed her winning tally to seven, but Pace's second victory this season saw her leapfrog Gwladys Nocera of France for the number one spot on the Ladies European Tour's money list.
"It's really fantastic to hold this trophy and I'm really thrilled with this victory," Pace said.
"More so, I've made it to the top of the Order of Merit halfway through the season.
"After my season was derailed by injury late last year, my goal this year was to get back to the number one spot.
"I had to work very hard to get back to this kind of form and to see the effort pay off like this."
Joint for the lead on 12-under-par with Celine Herbin from France, Pace seized immediate control of the tournament with an opening birdie at the par-five and reeled in three birdies on the trot from the fifth to pull well clear of the challengers.
Although Pace bogeyed the par-four ninth, the 32-year-old completed the outward loop in three under 34.
Parmlid blasted into contention with an opening birdie, but still trailed four shots at the turn.
The South African dropped another shot at the par-four 12, but remedied the damage when she prevented Parmlid from closing the gap to one shot with tap-in birdie by boxing a 15-footer for birdie at the 15th hole.
The Norwegian fell three behind after a bogey at the 16th and victory was well within Pace's grasp when disaster struck.
After the resulting double bogey, Pace played textbook golf at the final hole.
Pace won the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in May and last month, narrowly lost the Slovak Open to Nocera.