Ladies European Tour star Lee-Anne Pace was thrilled and honoured when she found out that she was one of three female athletes nominated for Sportswoman of the Year in the 2013 South African Sports Awards.
The SA Sports Awards are a partnership between the Department of Sport and Recreation, South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and the SABC and feature more than 19 categories of sporting excellence.
“I am really excited about the nomination. South Africa has such a vast amount of talented sports women in so many different types of sports and I feel extremely honored to be considered for this prestigious title,” said Pace from China this week.
“It was hard to believe when I heard the news. I was on my way to China to compete in two LET events and got the news from my very excited parents and friends. I guess it was over the radio or in the news back home but within two hours everyone was contacting me to tell me the great news.”
Pace is up against long distance runner Mapaseka Makhanya and Springbok Women’s team captain Mandisa Williams.
The 32-year-old has a great chance of taking home the award following another stellar year on the Ladies European Tour. In her 17 appearances thus far this year, the talented player from Mossel Bay recorded victories at the Ladies’ Spanish Open and the Turkish Airlines Ladies Open, and also posted another five top 10 finishes including being runner-up in Slovakia.
Pace currently sits third on the ISPS Handa Order of Merit, with just over Euro 196,000. Only Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and American Lexi Thompson, both whom are based on the LPGA, are above the South African.
Pace also competed in two major championships, the RICOH Women’s British Open and The Evian Championship: both events included all the top players in the world. Pace once again showed she can mix it with the best with her top 25 finish at the Women’s British Open.
Her success this season has also seen her move back up the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, she is currently 60th. This is a great effort considering the LET events do not generate the same ranking points as LPGA events.
The South African is planning on competing on the LPGA and in Europe in 2014 and she just has to get through the final stage of LPGA qualifying in the first week of December.