Lee-Anne Steps Up the Pace to Win In Finland

Report from The Times:

South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace won her third tournament of the season on the European Women’s Tour with a victory at the Finnair Masters on Sunday, pocketing R278824 in prize money. Pace leads the tour with total earnings of R2308160

Pace, who, like British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, hails from Mossel Bay, won the Wales Championship two weeks ago and the Deutsche Bank Swiss Open in June.

Her final round two-under-par 69 was enough to clinch the Finnish tournament by three shots, but she was pushed right until the end by Scotland’s Vikki Laing.

Pace held a five-shot lead going to the final hole where Laing made eagle. But the South African kept her head and tapped in for par to secure the à30000 (R278824) prize.

“I’m absolutely amazed to have won another one,” Pace told The Times. “I didn’t expect to have another one so soon. I was going for it but I didn’t expect it to be so soon.

“The way I feel now I’m reaching for the stars and on top of the world.

“I’d like to become one of the best players in the world.”

Pace started playing golf when she was 18 years old. She was caddying for her father Francois at the Mossel Bay Golf Club when a pro visited it.

He saw Pace while she was just messing around hitting some balls after her dad’s round and told her father that she should get some coaching.

When she was 19 she took a year off to play golf, and two years later left South Africa to study psychology at the University of Tulsa in the US and to play golf.

With three victories and three top-five finishes to go along with that, she has manoeuvred herself to the top of the European money list. The leading earner at the end of the season also receives an additional à20000 (R186208).

Pace leads the race with total earnings of à248529 (R2308160) after 18 events. England’s Melissa Reid is second, à43660 (R405973) behind Pace.

Ten tournaments remain for the season, with the next the UNIQA Ladies Golf Open in Austria, which starts on Friday.

Pace is currently in Denmark where she is based with her coach, making sure that every element of her game is up to scratch. She leaves for Austria tomorrow.

The tour then moves to France, Spain (three events), China (two events), Korea, India, and concludes in Dubai.

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