Sun City - Lee-Anne
Pace notched in her fifth successive Sunshine Ladies Tour title when she
cruised to victory in her title defence at the Investec Cup for Ladies on
Pace opened her challenge with a four under 68 at the
Millvale Private Retreat and took an insurmountable eight stroke lead into the
final round after a one under 71 at the Lost City Golf Course on Saturday.
The LPGA Tour champion left the field trailing in her
wake at Sun City as she navigated to a final round 71 and an emphatic eight
stroke victory on six-under-par 210.
Bonita Bredenhann from Namibia matched her playing
partner’s 71 to claimed second on two over 218, while Chase to the Investec Cup
for Ladies Glendower champion Nicole Garcia edged into third on six over 222
with a final round 73.
Pace earned R30,000 for the victory, but the 1,000 points
on offer also lifted the Pearl Valley golfer to the number one spot in the
Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies standings, which netted her the winner’s
cut worth R250 000 of the R600 000 bonus pool.
“This is unbelievable,” said the delighted champion.
“People might think that, just because I’ve won on the LPGA Tour and the Ladies
European Tour, winning at home doesn’t matter, but they would be dead wrong.
“It doesn’t get any better than this. It’s an amazing
feeling to win in front of your friends, family and supporters on home soil.
“I brought my sister with me this week, but when I came
back to defend next year, I am bringing the whole family. This is just too good
not to share with everyone.”
Pace turned professional in 2005, but only broke through
for her first victory Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open in 2010.
That victory broke a dam wall for Pace, who notched eight
victories on the Ladies European Tour during an incredible purple patch between
2010 and 2013.
However, she had to wait nearly a decade before she won
her first professional title on home soil.
That breakthrough came in the 2014 Investec Cup for
Ladies last year and followed after a fourth, a third and a second place finish
on the inaugural Sunshine Ladies Tour.
Having broken the victory drought at home, Pace claimed a
play-off victory in Cell C SA Women’s Open in October last year, only eight
days before she broke through on the LPGA Tour in China.
She extended her winning run in the SuperSport Ladies
Challenge and Ladies Tshwane Open over the last two weeks and was absolutely
delighted to successfully defend her title.
“This has been an incredible three week stretch,” Pace
“I am heading back to the LPGA Tour tonight to compete in
the Kia Classic and then it’s off to Mission Hills for the first Major of the
season. I feel incredibly positive about my game, and I’m looking forward to
the next two weeks.
“The Sunshine Ladies Tour is in very good shape and with
the money Investec is investing into the Tour next season, it’s going to be
fantastic to come back. I’m definitely going to play in more events next year
and I will absolutely be back to defend my title.”
PHOTO - Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion,
Lee-Anne Pace (Carl Fourie)
FINAL RESULT (all players RSA unless otherwise
210 - Lee-Anne Pace 68 71 71
218 - Bonita Bredenhann NAM 76 71 71
222 - Nicole Garcia 74 75 73
224 - Melissa Eaton 73 80 71
225 - Stacy Bregman 73 79 73, Monique
Smit 71 78 76
226 - Monja Richards 74 79 73
229 - Nobuhle Dlamini SWZ 78 73 78
231 - Lucy Williams ENG 73 81 77, Kim
Williams 78 75 78