/ 16 December 2011

Pace set to come out tops in Dubai Ladies’ Masters

Pace Set To Come Out Tops In Dubai Ladies' Masters

South African Lee-Anne Pace, with a third round 67, moved into a share of third place on eight under par, in the Dubai Ladies’ Masters at the Emirates Golf Club on Friday.

Pace, following opening rounds of 69 and 72, trails American teenager Alexis Thompson by two shots with just the final round to be played on Saturday.

Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson is second on nine under par.

Heading into the last round, the attention will be on Thompson paving the way for Pace to mount a strong challenge.

The defending order-of-merit champion (30), posted a bogey-free five under par round, including five birdies, on her way to the low round of the day.

Impressive iron play
Pace picked up her first birdie of the round on the par five third hole, before another on the par four fifth, to go out in two under par. On the back nine she added birdies at the 11th, 13th and 17th for a closing nine of three under.

Pace’s iron play was impressive as she hit 16 greens in regulation, despite only finding five fairways. With eight top 10 finishes this year; Pace will be eager to notch up a victory to add to the five she claimed in her breakthrough season in 2010.

Lee-Anne Pace (67) and Pernilla Lindberg (68) are two shots behind Thompson.

Pace, the 2010 tour money winner who twice missed winning putts this year on the tour, moved into contention with a bogey-free round that included five birdies. She also is looking for her first win this year and said a victory at $650 000 tournament would be her biggest yet.

“It would be amazing. It’s the win I’ve been looking for,” Pace said. “It’s a big one and I’ve played quite well in big events except the British Open and Evian [Masters] this year. So it would be absolutely amazing to finish and win.”

Fellow South African Stacey Lee Bregman is one shot behind pace. Her third round 68 vaulted her back into contention after falling back with a second round one over par 73. Bregman’s four under score matched her score from the first round. — Sapa