Pace just misses out as locals shine
Lee-Anne Pace had to settle for second, as first-time winner Caroline Masson secured the SA Women's Open by a solitary stroke on one-under on Sunday.
The thrilling finish on Sunday wrapped up an excellent weekend for women's golf on the South Coast, with all the visitors and European players highly impressed with the course and the enthusiasm for the event from locals.
On the course, Melissa-Eaton Jackson shot the round of the day, with a superb 68, which included an eagle on the par-five 12th hole. She finished in a tie for ninth, while Stacy Lee Bregman and Morgana Robbertze were joint 12th at four over par.
Pace and defending champion Tandi Cuningham shot two-under 70s, as the course again proved very difficult for scoring. Pace, with three birdies and a bogey on the opening hole, got better and better as the tournament went on, but she fell agonisingly close of her first national title.
The leading SA player finished in joint second with England's Danielle Montgomery, while Ahsleigh Jackson, who battled the weather and a stubborn tummy bag, had to settle for tied sixth after a final round of 74.
"I played solid all weekend, and I knew I had a chance. When I heard that we were playing, I was excited, and I went out there and made my pars," Pace said of her solid final round.
Meanwhile, Rustenburg's Bertine Strauss shot a final round 78 to win the coveted Jackie Mercer Trophy for the leading amateur.
Ultimately, though, the tournament belonged to Masson, the friendly German who finally won her maiden Ladies European Tour event.
"It's great to do it here in South Africa, and it was a really enjoyable week for all of us. The staff did an amazing job to get the course ready today, and I am just so happy with this win.
And, with the trophy safely tucked in her bag, Masson is already eyeing her defence of the SA Women's Open.
"Yeah, I guess I will see everyone next year again."
With the success of the tournament, and government officials also on hand to see the enthusiasm for the sport, there is already talk that there could be two co-sanctioned events on next year's schedule.