Lee-Anne Pace Photo: Catherine Kotze / SASPA
South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace and compatriots Stacy-Lee Bregman, Kim Williams and Nicole Garcia will miss the final Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies event this week for the 20th edition of the Lalla Meryem Cup at the Golf de l’Océan in Agadir, Morocco.
Virtually assured of their spots in the Investec Cup for Ladies in two weeks, the four players elected to chase down a share of the €450,000 prize money on offer and will join Sunshine Ladies Tour regulars Nobuhle Dlamini from Swaziland and Namibia’s Bonita Bredenhann, as well as South Africa’s Connie Chen at the fifth Ladies European Tour event from 13-16 March.
Pace is hungry for success following three solid performances on the Sunshine Ladies Tour.
“I finished fourth at the Dimension Data Pro-Am, took third at the Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies at Glendower and second at the SuperSport Challenge, so I think it’s logical that a victory should follow,” Pace joked before her departure for Morocco.
“Seriously though, I changed clubs and it’s taken a couple of tournaments for me to get comfortable to the new ones. I’m driving the ball well now and I feel good about going into this week. It would definitely be great to go into the Investec Cup for Ladies will another top five finish under the belt.”
Bregman is also looking to convert two top five finishes at home and a tie for third at the Volvik RACV Ladies Masters in Australia for her maiden pro win.
“I’ve come close a few times since I turned pro in 2007, but I just struggled to pull it through in the final round,” said Bregman, who currently ranks sixth on the LET money list.
“Lately, I feel like I am ready to win. It is time to get the monkey off my back.”
Williams, Garcia and Dlamini are among 25 rookies in the 126-strong field.
Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies champion Williams and Dlamini will be making their LET debut, however, it’s the second start for Garcia after missing the cut in her pro debut at the ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, hosted by Christchurch.
Garcia has certainly been knocking with top 10 finishes on the Sunshine Ladies Tour in the last couple of weeks and ranks fifth on the current Order of Merit.
“I’m very excited about Morocco this week,” she said. “I was unprepared and overwhelmed in New Zealand. It was far more spectacular than I expected and I was intimidated by the spectators, the television cameras and the fanfare in the first round.
“I played significantly better the second round, but just missed the cut, so my first objective this week is to make it past the cut.”
Although the Lalla Meryem Cup was inaugurated in 1993, this is only the fifth year that the tournament has featured on the Ladies European Tour schedule. It is unique in world golf in that two men’s and women’s European Tour events take place in the same city, during the same week.
Whilst the women compete in the Lalla Meryem Cup, the men will contest the 41st edition of the Hassan II Golf Trophy on the European Tour at nearby Golf du Palais Royal from Thursday and there are various shared functions and clinics as well as the prize giving.