KirkwoodGolf: Lee-Anne sets the pace in Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Lee-Anne sets the pace in Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open

Lee-Anne Pace

Lee-Anne Pace holds a one-stroke lead after firing a 66 in the first round of the Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies Open in Abu Dhabi.
A nine-time winner on the Ladies European Tour, Pace birdied six of her first 11 holes at Saadiyat Beach Golf Club and had one blemish at the 16th, but recovered with a birdie on 18.
The 36-year-old South African said afterwards: "I played nicely, hit 14 greens and made quite a few putts for par saves, so the putter was working. I had a long putt, a tap-in and then another longer putt again from off the green. It got me going.
"It wasn't perfect but I did make a lot of putts and seven birdies is quite nice. It's the first time that I've played here and the par-5s are definitely reachable. I messed one up, the 15th, where I went into the water, but I managed to get a par there."
Pace, whose most recent victory on the LET came at the 2014 South African Women's Open, the same year that she won the Blue Bay LPGA in China, is one stroke ahead of six other players: Jenny Haglund, Marianne Skarpnord, Amy Boulden, Isi Gabsa, Aditi Ashok and Florentyna Parker.

Brit Georgia Hall who came so close in 2016 as runner-up, commented earlier this week that it would be 'great to go one better' and win the milestone event this year, and her round of 69 certainly backed up her statement. The 21-year-old racked up seven birdies throughout her round and said: "I played really well today, I hit loads of greens, my long game was really good, I just couldn't hole anything on the front nine.
She added: "I could have easily hit seven-under today. The greens were a little hard to read on the front nine, because you've got to read the grain too but it's a solid start for day one. I've played the first round now so I am off and going, hopefully I can just putt a little better tomorrow."

Beth Allen, the defending champion, chipped in for birdie on 18 in a round of 73 and is seven strokes from the lead, while Mel Reid fired a 77 but later withdrew from the tournament with a back injury.
Kyle Henry was the leading Scot with a 69

To read the full report go to the LET Website