Thursday, February 08, 2018


South African Lee-Anne Pace shook off her early-season rust to capture her 12th Sunshine Ladies Tour title with a play-off victory over France's Anne-Lise Caudal in the Cape Town Ladies Open at Royal Cape Golf Club today (Thu).
England's Kiran Matharu whose third-round 67 put her in the mix slumped a to a final round of 78 for a share of sixth place on 219, five behind Pace and Caudal.

Trailing by two shots to best friend Caudal as they reached the final hole, Pace holed a long birdie putt to deny the Frenchwoman a long-overdue trophy.
A round of 71 from Pace and a 70 from Caudal after a bogey at 18, saw the pair tie one eight-under 214. 
They made the return trip back to the 18th tee for a sudden-death play-off where Pace prevailed with a par.

Pace trailed by three strokes at the start of the day and knew she needed to land some birdies in order to catch long-time leader Ivanna Samu. Pace cancelled out a birdie on the first with bogeys on the second and third holes and racked up four in a row from the fifth before dropping another shot at the ninth.

Her roller-coaster round continued down the back nine with a pair of birdies sandwiched between bogeys at 10 and 13, followed by four pars and the title-saving birdie at 18.
“The bogeys at two and three really fired me up,” said Pace.
“I was angry with myself and I reeled off four birdies in a row as a result. But it’s been that kind of week for me. I made some birdies and then gave shots back as if they were Christmas presents that I needed to return.
“I made a decent start to the season in the Canon Ladies Tshwane Open, but I never really got the putter going. I was ready to fire in the Joburg Ladies Open, but then a virus struck and I was forced to withdraw after just six holes in the first round. That stung, so I really came here this week with a winning mind-set. It’s really great to be back in the winner’s circle.”
Samu, after rounds of 68 and 72 to lead through 18 and 36 holes, subsided with a closing effort of 79 to finish alongside Matharu on 219

Caudal, a regular campaigner on the Sunshine Ladies Tour, was pleased to get back into contention.
The two-time winner Ladies European Tour winner was four-under at the start of the final round, and level heading down the final nine holes, but an eagle at the par five 11th sparked a great run on the home stretch.
Birdies at the 13th, 14th and 16th propelled her into a two-shot lead, but a pulled tee shot on the final hole put the brakes on her victory charge. The ensuing bogey landed her in the play-off and another drop at 18 left Pace to swoop in for her second Cape Town Ladies Open win in the last three years.
“I played really well on the back nine and I’m happy with my week,” Caudal said.
“On the last hole I was up against the tree and had to chip out and then I left my approach shot short – but that’s golf. It’s been a long time and I struggled with my game last year, so it was fun to get into contention again.”
The pair were unaware that, behind them, the leading group overnight had run into trouble, meaning that it had effectively turned into a duel between the two best friends.
“It was tricky because the last time I saw a scoreboard was around the 14th, when eight-under was leading,” said Pace. “I assumed the players behind us was leading. Anne-Lise was going well and when a crowd started following us and the cameramen turned up, I realised one of us had a good chance of winning.”

Meanwhile South Africa’s Nicole Garcia – who lines up in title defence in next week’s Dimension Data Ladies Challenge in George – had three birdies in the last four holes for a 70 and sole third place on seven under 215.
Canon Ladies Tshwane Open winner Stacy Bregman finish fourth on even-par 216.

Royal Cape Golf Club
Players from South Africa unless stated otherwise
214 Lee-Anne Pace 71 72 71, Anne-Lise Caudal (Fra) 74 70 70 (Pace won play-off at first extra hole).
215 Nicole Garcia 70 75 70
215 Stact Bregman 72 73 71

219 Kiran Matharu (Eng) 74 67 78, Ivanna Samu 68 72 79 (T6).
220 Lauren Taylor (Eng) 74 77 69, Hayley Davis (Eng) 69 79 72 (T9)
222 Rachael Goodall (Eng) 72 78 72 (T12)