2 minute read
2 Apr 2014
3:02 pm

Pace first woman to be named golfer of the year

Lee-Anne Pace became the first woman to be named 2013 Golfer of the Year at the annual Compleat Golfer Awards, held at the Johannesburg Country Club on Monday.

FILE PICTURE: Lee-Anne Pace during day 4 of the Investec Cup at the Lost City golf course on March 23, 2014 in North West, South Africa. Photo by Petri Oeschger/Sunshine Tour/Gallo Images

In 2010, Pace shared the award with Open champion Louis Oosthuizen after a watershed season that saw her finish the year ranked as the number-one golfer on the Ladies European Tour.

This year marked the first time that a female golfer was named the outright Golfer of the Year.

Pace enjoyed another stellar season in 2013 that culminated in a second-place ranking on the Ladies European Tour’s Order of Merit.

She raised her winning tally in Europe to eight with victories at the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open in May, the Open de Espana in July and the Sanya Ladies Open in China in October.

In addition to a runner-up finish at the Allianz Ladies Slovak Open, South Africa’s top export also reeled in an additional five top-10 finishes.

Pace was named the LET Player’s Player of 2013 by her peers, a distinction she also earned in 2010.

“I suppose I should first thank the boys for not winning a Major last year,” Pace said tongue in cheek in a pre-recorded video.

“I am incredibly honoured to have been named Golfer of the Year. To be the first female to receive this award is a privilege and honour.

“My appreciation also goes to my two coaches, Val Holland and James Petts, without whom this incredible season would not have been possible.”

The Pearl Valley Golf Estate player, who also received the WPGA Golfer of the Year for a fourth year running, enjoyed a superb start to her season on the inaugural Sunshine Ladies Tour.

In three starts, she finished fourth at the Dimension Data Ladies Pro-Am, third in the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Glendower and second at the SuperSport Challenge.

She qualified for the season-ending finale, which was limited to the top-10 available professionals on the Order of Merit, and romped to a six-stroke victory in the Investec Cup for Ladies at Sun City.

“I hope this achievement will inspire other players and help to grow the Sunshine Ladies Tour,” she said.

“It was incredible to finally have a Tour at home again, and for the international players.

“The Sunshine Ladies Tour allowed us to keep competitive for the Ladies European Tour, to compete on home soil in front of friends and family and to inspire the next generation.”