|Lee-Anne Pace who won three titles on the LET in 2013
Ladies European Tour champions Lee-Anne Pace and Ashleigh Simon will launch their 2014 season in Australia this week, where they will spearhead the South African challenge at the VOLVIK RACV Ladies Masters in Queensland.
Having missed last week’s season-opener in New Zealand, Pace and Simon will join compatriots Stacy-Lee Bregman and Connie Chen in the €200,000 LET event at the RACV Royal Pines Resort.
Bregman made a strong start to the season with a top 15 finish at the ISPS Handa NZ Women’s Open, hosted by Christchurch.
The 27-year-old tied for 11th on three-under-par 213 with rounds of 71-75-67 at the Clearwater Golf Club to finish six shots off the pace from champion Mi Hyang Lee from Korea. The 20-year-old LPGA Tour campaigner fired a final round 63 to beat the local favourite, Lydia Ko, by one shot.
Connie Chen from Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni’s Nicole Garcia both missed the cut, set at two-over-par 146.
Chen, playing in her third season on the Ladies European Tour, carded rounds of 74, while Garcia marked her professional debut with an opening 79 and a much approved 73.
While Pace, Simon, Bregman and Chen will join the battle in Australia this week, Garcia has returned to South Africa to gear up for Sunshine Ladies Tour.
Garcia will join other top South Africans, including Tandi von Ruben, Laurette Maritz, Morgana Robbertze, Monique Smit and fellow LET rookie Kim Williams in the first Chase to the Investec Cup for Ladies event at Houghton Golf Club from 13-14 February.
Pace will be joining the action at two of the six tournaments in the series that culminates in the limited-field R300,000 Investec Cup for Ladies in March, however Simon still needs to confirm her participation.