Gurgaon: South African golfer Lee-Anne Pace
is hoping to continue her rampaging form and win the Indian
Open Ladies golf tournament starting on Thursday to enhance
her chances of qualifying for the 2011 LPGA tour.
Ladies European Tour money list leader Pace said she is
aiming to win the USD 30,0000 event to stay on top of the
order of merit and qualify for next year`s Ladies Professional
Golf Association tour.
"I would look to win this tournament. As it will help me
to top the order of merit and allow me to get into the
qualifying school for LPGA by the end of the year. So that
would be the main aim this week," Pace said.
The 29-year-old golfer from Mossel Bay won five titles
this year and is coming into the tournament with two
back-to-back triumphs in China.
But this week, standing at her way would be English
veteran golfer Laura Davies who is second in the European
Tour`s Henderson Money List. Pace said she is looking forward
to renewing her rivalry with the veteran golfer.
"I was little bit behind Laura coming into Asia and it
made a massive difference winning the first tournament. It was
a good confidence booster. It is really nice to win when you
really had to," she said at the pre-event media interaction.
"She is a great player, a veteran and to win against her
was great. It has definitely made me a better player and i m
quite thankful to her. So it will be like renewing the
rivalry, of course a friendly one," said Pace, who won the
Sanya Ladies Open in Hainan and then the Suzhou Taihu Ladies
Open in Suzhou.
Others top golfers competing in the tournament would be
Sweden`s Helen Alfredsson and Linda Wessberg, Norway`s
Marianne Skarpnord and two-time winner and defending champion
Phatlum Pornanong of Thailand.
Indian challenge will be spearheaded by seasoned Smriti
Mehra along with rising golfer Sharmila Nocollet, Saaniya
Sharma and Nalini Siwach in the 122-member field of the
54-hole tournament, tri-sanctioned by Ladies European Tour,
Ladies Asian Golf Tour (LAGT) and Women`s Golf Association of
"I know Simi quite well, she is a good player. She would
be getting into the week with confidence as it is her home and
crowd would support her," Pace said.
"Phatlum is another good player. She is the defending
champion and I think it would be tough this week," she said.
A Master in Psychology from University of Tulsa, Pace
would be playing at the DLF golf course for the first time but
the ace golfer said she is good in analysing courses and is
not worried at all.
"My caddie Craig Barber-ball and I are good in analysing
courses and playing without making a mistake," said Pace, who
had played hockey for four years before turning to golf.
"We have a nice story actually. We have been working for
last nine events and we won four of them, so before this week
it was a 50 per cent success rate. So I am not worried about
"I seem to like tighter course because I hit straight but
this course is open so it is good also," she added.
Pace started playing golf when she was 18-year-old and
she said she owes it to her father for teaching her the game.
"My dad Francois played golf and I used to caddie for him
when I was 14. He taught me everything. By the time I turned
18 and started playing amateur I knew all the rules. I won a
couple of junior events and represented South Africa in World
Cup twice. I moved up the rank and turned pro," she said.