Now, Pace expects perfect end

DUBAI - Lee-Anne Pace expects to make a late rally up the Dubai Ladies Masters leaderboard, with her uncanny knack of producing wondrous weekends coming to the fore.

By Alex Leach

Published: Sat 11 Dec 2010, 1:34 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:09 AM

The South African, 29, looks set to be crowned the European Tour’s (ET) Henderson Money List winner on Saturday afternoon regardless, with her only rival, England’s Laura Davies, having seemingly given up on that particular race early on day two.

However, at one-over, Pace isn’t exactly finishing off with a flourish right now and she’s eyeing a last-gasp surge to get back in contention, thus ending a career-high season in the correct manner.

“I still think I can win,” the Mossel Bay-born putter confidently exclaimed. “With two low rounds, if the putts can drop, I think I can still be in it. I’ve come back before on the weekend, so it’s okay.

“My weekend scores have generally been better than my first two rounds and, if I was in contention after the first two rounds, then they were really good on the weekend.

“I’ll put in a bit of a chase and go hunting for the leaders on Friday and, hopefully, they can see my name on the board in the afternoon.”

If she were to make up an eight-shot deficit though, improvements will presumably need to be found in two aspects of her game. “I played better than my score,” Pace said.

“I didn’t make any putts. I think I made the last one and there was another that I hit quite close. I had so many long putts on the front nine and I tried to get them in the hole, but they were just out of range.

“Otherwise, my driving was a bit off, but my irons were pretty solid. I hit 13 greens again, but they just didn’t go in once more.”

Pace is three strokes ahead of Davies heading into the last 36 holes of this 2010 ET season, although she sensibly passed up the opportunity to start the party prematurely.

“She didn’t play too well, but anything is possible,” the five-time ET event champion said. “I cannot focus on her. I have to focus on what I have to do and I’m still trying to get up to the top of the leaderboard, so I’m going to try and do it.

“I don’t want to think about it yet. Of course, it’s at the back of mind, but I want to play the next two days, enjoy the last two rounds of the year and then celebrate hopefully.”

The 5ft 6 pro was nonetheless more forthcoming about where she believed the contest had potentially been decided, with back-to-back wins at the Sanya and Suzhou Taihu Opens in China two months ago putting sufficient distance between her and the chasing pack.

“That was massive,” she admitted. “I knew I had to win in Asia and to win two in a row just made it great.

“I wanted to go to Q School then, but Laura won the following week (at the Hero Honda Women’s Indian Open), which stopped me. Those two wins just made it.”

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