Pace charges to Cell C SA Women’s Open win

2014 Cell C SA Women's Open champion, Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace hardly had time to celebrate her play-off victory in the Cell C SA Women’s Open before she had to board a flight to China on Monday morning.

However, the Pearl Valley golfer the memory of the winning putt at San Lameer Country Club will keep the South African smiling long into the week at the Blue Bay LPGA this week.

The South African broke the international stranglehold in the national championship and claimed her ninth Ladies European Tour title when she defeated England’s Holly Clyburn at the second hole of a sudden-death play-off on Sunday.


SA Women’s Open confirmed until 2021

Lesley Copeman, Ivan Khodabakhsh & Barbara PestanaThe Ladies European Tour (LET) and Women’s Professional Golf Association of South Africa (WPGA) are delighted to jointly announce their agreement with World Sport Promotions to extend the South African Women’s Open through to 2021.

The success of the tournament over the first three years of the relationship has created a tremendous boost to women’s professional golf in South Africa and all parties are delighted to announce a ground breaking extension, which sets the foundation for continual growth of the game in the region from grass roots development to the professional game.


Whittaker leads by one in South Africa

Leigh WhitakerLeigh Whittaker fired a career-best five-under-par 67 to take a one stroke lead into the final day of the Cell C South African Women’s Open on Saturday. 

On the first full day of clear weather in this 54-hole tournament, the 26-year-old from Baden-Baden in south western Germany took advantage of the favourable afternoon conditions to post a two-round total of four-under-par at San Lameer Country Club. She is one stroke clear of England’s Holly Clyburn and Germany’s Ann-Kathrin Lindner.

Leading a Ladies European Tour event for the first time, Whittaker is now seeking to become the second German winner of the tournament in the last three years following Caroline Masson’s triumph at Selborne Park Golf Club in 2012.

“I was one over through three and I just played one shot at a time and judged the wind and the situation,” said the 115th ranked Whittaker, after recording her first round in the 60s in two years as a professional.

“I’m normally pretty straight, so I hit 17 greens and I was never really far away from the pin so I gave myself chances to make the putts and I had a few long ones and a few short ones too.”

As a member of Golf Club St Leon-Rot, which will host The Solheim Cup in less than a year’s time, Whittaker shares a home course with Lindner, last year’s Sberbank Golf Masters champion. The pair are also staying with the same German host family this week – and they now share a final round tee time: in the last group at 12:05 with the 2013 Deloitte Ladies Open winner Clyburn.

Having played in the morning draw in the first round, the leading trio were all able to rest for a full day when Friday’s play was washed out. “We were really lucky with the draw but that’s golf and you’ve got to take it as it comes and I think I just used it as well to have a good time,” said Whittaker.

England’s Charley Hull was the best of the players on the other side of the draw and she ended the day in a share of fourth position with Fabienne In-Albon of Switzerland, who is also staying with the same host family as Lindner and Whittaker.

Overnight leader Hull would have been tied for the lead but was given a two-stroke penalty that saw her finish the day on two under and with a 74.

On the par-three 16th green, Hull’s putter slipped out of her hand, moving her golf ball. That was already a one-stroke penalty. But Hull played the ball from its new position, and that earned her a two-stroke penalty.

“It’s disappointing, but that’s golf I suppose,” she said. “I’m not too fazed by it because I can’t do too much about. I think I played pretty well out there overall. On the final day I can still make plenty of birdies, so I’ll be fine,” she said, having responded to her penalty with birdies at 17 and 18.

A trio of French players lie in a share of sixth place on one under par: Gwladys Nocera, Valentine Derrey and Sophie Giquel-Bettan.

Lee-Anne Pace is the leading South African four strokes off the lead on level par alongside Sweden’s Julia Davidsson and German Nina Holleder.

“I’m feeling good. I’m hitting the ball fantastically well. I just need to make some birdies now,” said Pace, who is seeking to become the first South African winner of this championship since 2009, when Tandi Cuningham won.

While not entirely satisfied with her round, Pace was pleased to finally get an uninterrupted round under her belt.

“I’m not quite happy with 73. I didn’t hit it as close as I wanted to. I hit some great shots but didn’t get the results. But it was nice to get in a full round today. It helps to get a bit of momentum going.”

Photo - Keigh Whitaker; credit Justin Klusener
Written and released by Bethan Cutler, Ladies European Tour

Pace set for SA Women’s Open finale

Lee-Anne PaceSouth Africa’s top golf export, Lee-Anne Pace, is gung-ho ahead of the final round of the Cell C SA Women’s Open on Sunday.

The former Ladies European Tour number one is the lone South African in the top 10 at San Lameer Country Club, having followed an opening 71 in the rain-hit championship with a 73 in the delayed second round on Saturday to finish at even-par 144.

Pace lags four behind afternoon starter Leigh Whittaker from Germany, who fired a career-best five-under-par 67 to take pole position.


Another tough day at San Lameer

Melissa EatonAnother tough day of weather has seen Friday’s second round of the Cell C South African Women’s Open cancelled and the tournament reduced to 54 holes.

Thursday’s first round had to be suspended for similar conditions, forcing the round to be completed on Friday morning. The second round teed off at 8:30am before winds gusting at 40 kilometres per hour and bouts of rain rendered the course unplayable, and another suspension was called at 11:10am. At 13:00, with conditions not improving, Ladies European Tour Tournament Director Michael Wood made the announcement cancelling the second round.


Hull leads tough first round of Cell C SA Women’s Open

Charley HullThe suspended first round of the Cell C South African Women’s Open was completed on Friday morning, with England’s Charley Hull claiming the lead with a four-under-par 68 at San Lameer Country Club.

Hull finished the round one stroke clear of England’s Rebecca Hudson and Germany’s Steffi Kirchmayr.

The round had to be suspended on Thursday because of heavy rain and a waterlogged course. Friday’s conditions have been equally challenging with gusting winds and more rain. Hull took the brunt of this as she resumed her round on the 11th hole.


Weather wins again at SA Women’s Open

Connie ChenMother Nature once again railroaded the start of the Cell C SA Women’s Open, leaving more than half the field to return to action this morning to complete the first round at San Lameer Country Club this morning.

A heavy thunderstorm hit the South Coast on Thursday afternoon, leaving the greens waterlogged and unplayable within an hour. As greenstaff battled to clear the puddles, a second storm hit that rendered the course unplayable and play was called off at 16h00.


Pace focused on Cell C SA Women’s Open glory

Lee-Anne Pace with amateur Lizzie CurrieSouth Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is more determined than ever to win the Cell C South African Women’s Open, which tees off at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

At a time of growth for local women’s professional golf, Pace is keenly aware of her place in this and the stimulus a victory in her national Open could provide.

“A victory here was definitely one of my goals this year,” said Pace, who leads a large South African contingent in an international field featuring eight winners on the Ladies European Tour this year, all of whom are vying for the R4.5 million in prize money.


Pros rally for amateurs at Cell C SA Women’s Open

Kaleigh Telfer, Lizzie Currie, Cheyenne Woods and Ivanna SamuOn the eve of the Cell C South African Women’s Open at San Lameer Golf Club, American Cheyenne Woods and the country’s leading professionals embraced the 15-strong amateur line-up at the international showcase on the Hibiscus Coast.

“I think it’s a fantastic initiative to include amateurs in such a flagship event,” Woods said.


Amateurs relish San Lameer challenge

SA number one amateur and reigning Sanlam SA Women's Stroke Play champion, Carrie ParkTop South African juniors Carrie Park and Ivanna Samu will lead a 15-strong amateur party when the Cell C South African Women’s Open tees off at San Lameer Country Club on Thursday.

The 2014 edition of the €323,000 international championship has drawn all the top local professionals and seven LET winners this season.


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