South African Lee-Anne Pace is back in winners circle after she came from two shots behind to win the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open.
The 32-year-old from George carded a final round of one-under-par 72 at the National Golf Club in Belek, Antalya to finish at three-under-par and just one clear of Spain’s Carlota Ciganda (75), Finland’s Minea Blomqvist (70) and England’s Charley Hull (75). It was Pace’s sixth victory on tour.
Pace, who won her previous five titles all in 2010, was thrilled with her victory.
“It is so nice win again, it has been awhile, and to do it again it is just fantastic. “ she said afterwards.
When ask the key to her play this week, she responded “It was patience, this type of golf course where you really have to make shots happen and you have to stay focused, try and get up and down when you make a mistake and that is what I did.”
Playing in the penultimate group, in fine weather, Pace posted the clubhouse lead at three-under before an agonising wait on the putting green to see if she could be caught by Hull, Ciganda or the two-time defending champion Christel Boeljon.
All three players needed a birdie to force a play-off and Boeljon was eliminated after she found the bunker off the tee and had to lay-up to the fairway.
Hull and Ciganda both had fairly long birdie putts to stay in the tournament but Ciganda’s birdie putt from around 25 feet lipped out, before Hull’s edged past the hole.
“My heart stopped for a while, for a beat, but you know, if it happens, it happens. We may have had to go to a play-off but I was just hitting some putts and trying not to look,” said Pace, adding that patience was the key. “It’s so nice to win again. It’s been a while and to do it again is fantastic.”
New South Wales Sarah Kemp finished as the leading Australian. Kemp posted a one-over-par 74 to finish at two-over-par and tied for 12th position. Queensland’s Bree Arthur (73) moved up the leadeboard to finish at tied for 17th place, while WA’s Whitney Hillier (75) finished a further shot back on six-over and tied for 26th.
NSW ‘s Rebecca Artis didn’t have the a great final round posting a 77 to finish at eight-over and tied for 37th. ACT’s Nikki Campbell (76) finished in a share of 39th. The final Aussie in the fiels, SA’s Sarah King (81) finished well back in a tie for 57th place.
The LET has a week off before resuming at the Deloitte Ladies Open in the Amsterdam.