Cape Town - Lee-Anne Pace and amateur Kajal Mistry eased their way to the top of a tightly-contested Cape Town Ladies Open leaderboard in Thursday’s second round at Royal Cape Golf Club.
Battling steady rain to begin with and the addition of strong winds toward the end of the round, Mistry knocked in a short birdie putt at the last for a level-par 74 to set the clubhouse target at four-under. Meanwhile defending champion Pace mixed five birdies with three dropped shots for a second successive two-under-par 72 to give herself an excellent shot at her 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title.
The joint leaders top a bunched and distinctly international leaderboard.
Three-time Sunshine Ladies Tour winner Carrie Park from Korea and big-hitting Finnish debutant Tiia Koivisto a stroke behind the leaders, while Caroline Rominger from Switzerland is alone in fifth at two-under.
France’s Anne-Lise Caudal – a two-time former Ladies European Tour winner and last year’s runner-up after a play-off loss to Pace – a further stroke adrift, while Swedish duo Emma Westin and Sofie Bringner and overnight leader Kiran Matharu from England are tied on level par.
While the rain may be much needed in the water-scarce Western Cape, it made scoring very difficult for the players around the par-74 Royal Cape layout, with only five players managing to shoot under par for the day.
For Pace, who posted the day’s low round of 72, it was all about hanging tough and taking her chances when they came.
“I hit the ball really well,” she said. “I knocked it really close on 10 and 12 for tap-in birdies, but to be honest I was a little disappointed with how I scored on the par fives today.
“I’ve put in a lot of practise in the last few weeks and I can see it coming through in my game. I’m hitting the shots and making the birdies when I need to.”
The rain that fell during the second round is set to be replaced by strong winds for the final round, adding to the challenge the players will face on the final day.
“It is a tough course in the wind,” said Pace. “It’s very tight, and if the wind blows like they say it will, level par could be a very good score.”
Pace will be paired with Mistry and Park in the final round, but may need to look over her shoulder as there are 11 players within five shots of the lead.
Mistry has been knocking on the door in her last four starts on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, including a play-off loss in the SA Women’s Masters. She will fancy her chances on a course where she won the Nomads SA Girls Rose Bowl Championship by a record eight strokes less than 12 months ago.
The 18-year-old GolfRSA Elite Squad player, who heads to college in the USA later this year, was delighted to be part of the final group for the second time this season.
“Today was all about being patient,” said the Ernie Els and Fancourt Foundation member. “I only hit five fairways all day, compared to 12 yesterday, so I really had to scramble my way round. I stuck it out to the very end and I can’t wait for tomorrow.
“I’m not thinking about winning, but about learning from two great golfers. I played with Lee-Anne in the first round of the Canon Sunshine Ladies Tour Open, so I’m really pleased that I’ll have another chance to tee it up with her, and Carrie is a class player. It’s should be a great experience for me.”
Park only in arrived in South Africa from her native Korea the evening before the tournament started.
She managed to play her best golf in the heavy rain, getting to five under courtesy of three straight birdies from the second hole, however, she undid her hard work with slips at the 15thand 16th, before grabbing a final birdie at the 17th.
“My putting was really good throughout the round,” Park said. “It really saved me today. I misread the wind at the end, because it was swirling a bit, and I let a few shots slip there but I’m really excited to be playing with Lee-Anne and Kajal tomorrow.”
Second Round Scores
144 - Lee-Anne Pace 72 72, Kajal Mistry AMA 70 74
145 - Carrie Park (KOR) 72 73, Tiia Koivisto (FIN) 70 75
146 - Caroline Rominger (SUI) 73 73
147 - Anne-Lise Caudal (FRA) 70 77
148 - Emma Westin (SWE) 75 73, Sofie Bringner (SWE) 74 74, Kiran Matharu (ENG) 68 80
149 - Mimmi Bergman (SWE) 76 73, Kelsey Nicholas 74 75
150 - Hannah McCook (SCO) 74 76, Tara Griebenow AMA 74 76, Tandi Mc Callum 71 79
151 - Bonita Bredenhann (NAM) 77 74, Nobuhle Dlamini (SWZ) 76 75, Maria Beautell (ESP) 75 76
152 - Gabrielle Macdonald (SCO) 77 75, Eleanor Givens (ENG) 77 75, Lora Assad 72 80
153 - Rachael Goodall (ENG) 77 76, Casandra Hall 77 76, Rachel Raastad (NOR) 75 78
154 - Kelly Erasmus AMA 77 77, Bertine Faber 77 77, Isabella Deilert (SWE) 78 76, Monique Smit 75 79, Julie Berton (FRA) 74 80
155 - Jessica Dreesbeimdieke (NAM) 76 79, Kim Williams 76 79, Jane Turner (SCO) 74 81, Sofia Ljungqvist (SWE) 73 82
156 - Lindi Coetzee AMA 76 80, Stina Resen (NOR) 76 80, Dominique Jacobs 74 82
Missed the cut:-
157 - Anna Magnusson (SWE) 79 78, Clara Pietri (SUI) 82 75
158 - Emilie Piquot (FRA) 79 79, Laure Sibille (FRA) 80 78
159 - Millie Saroha (IND) 76 83, Rachel Rossel (SUI) 75 84, Annelie Sjoholm (SWE) 80 79, Moa Folke (SWE) 81 78, Marion Duvernay (FRA) 81 78
161 - Vicki Traut AMA 77 84, Laurette Maritz 80 81, Laura Murray (SCO) 80 81, Lenanda van der Watt AMA 83 78
162 - Katia Shaff AMA (AUT) 81 81, Yolanda Duma 81 81, Shawnelle de Lange 82 80
163 - Rachel Drummond (ENG) 84 79
164 - Lara Weinstein 77 87, Niina Liias (FIN) 83 81
165 - Nastja Banovec (SVN) 84 81, Shanice de Gee AMA 85 80
166 - Anna Svenstrup (SWE) 84 82
169 - Bianca Wernich AMA 84 85
173 - Chiara Contomathios 83 90, Nina Grey AMA 87 86
174 - Kim de Klerk AMA 82 92
176 - Isabella van Rooyen AMA 88 88
177 - Lynette Fourie AMA 87 90
178 - Charlotte Austwick (ENG) 89 89
WDN - Siviwe Duma 85 WDN
RTD - Louisa Tarn (ENG) 85 RTD
DSQ - Pasqualle Coffa (NED) 76 DSQ