Lee-Anne Pace was four shots better than world number one Lydia Ko at the LPGA Tour’s Swinging Skirts Classic and finished sole second on five-under-par.
South Africa’s top-ranked female golfer was unable to catch Japan’s Haru Nomura during a tough final round on Sunday, but held her nerve well for a runner-up result.
Pace began the final round three shots back, but struggled to get going and made bogeys right through her first five holes.
‘I don’t think after five holes I was thinking about smiling, but after I made a few birdies, yeah. It was definitely tough out there, but Haru played amazing golf, and she was very steady, so congratulations to her,’ she said.
She fought back with aplomb and over the next nine holes she made five birdies and one drop to rejoin the frontrunners. She made a final bogey at the 16th before signing for 74, earning her second-best result on the LPGA Tour, which follows her 2014 victory at the Blue Bay LPGA.
‘I was close, yeah, towards the end there. I think maybe if I made that putt on the par-three (16th), I could have had a better chance. But I’m very happy with my result,’ she said.
Pace is a nine-time winner on the Ladies European Tour and has been in good form on the LPGA this season. Her result in San Francisco this week moved her into 12th place on the 2016 American earning list.