Mossel Bay professional Lee-Anne Pace and Paula Reto from Bloemfontein booked their berths in the Final Stage of the LPGA Tour’s Qualifying Tournament in December.
The local pair was among the top 80 players and ties in the field of 193 hopefuls who survived the Second Stage Qualifier at the Plantation Golf and Country Club in Venice, Florida and advanced to the Final Stage.
South Africa’s first lady of professional golf gave an impressive account of herself.
Pace navigated the 5,934m par-72 Bobcat Course in six-under-par 282 to claim a share of sixth on the final leaderboard.
The 32-year-old was slow off the mark with rounds of 71, 72 and 70, but found her rhythm to close with a solid final round 69 that catapulted her into the top 10.
“They tucked a lot of pins in the final round and you couldn’t really be aggressive,” Pace said. “I made some good putts coming in and made up good ground. It’s very tough out there, but I’m thrilled to have passed another hurdle.
“I’m heading back to Europe for a couple of events and then I’ll be back for the Final in December.”
Reto will be joining Pace in the last stage at the Champions and Legends courses at the LPGA International Golf Club in Daytona Beach, Floria from 4-8 December.
The University of Oregon graduate, who impressed with top 10 finishes in the Volvik Championship and Symetra Championship, carded rounds of 73-71-71-83 to finish on even-par 288 in a tie for 28th.
Western Province’s Ulrika van Niekerk missed the cut-off after finishing on 12-over-par 300.
(With editing by gsport)