Big chance for Lee Ann Pace

Lee-Anne Pace has a golden opportunity at the Sanya Ladies Open this week to regain the No.1 spot on the LET Money List .

Lee-Anne Pace has a golden opportunity at the inaugural Sanya Ladies Open.this week to regain the No.1 spot on the LET Money List.

This because the current No 1 and her rival-in-chief, Laura Daves, is taking this week off for a well earned break

Pace, currently ranked second with three wins this season, is bidding to become the first South African in the Ladies European Tour’s 32-year history to win the Henderson Money List, (previously known as the order of merit).

The former University of Tulsa collegian has posted seven top-10 finishes, including three wins, on the LET this season and is just €4,038 behind first placed Davies.

The first prize this week is €30,000.

The contest to be crowned Europe’s number one player is about to heat up with the top three players, Davies, Pace and Melissa Reid, all travelling to Asia over the next month.

Pace climbed to a career high of first on the Henderson Money List following the Aberdeen Scottish Open earlier in the season, but was overtaken by Davies, who claimed her fourth victory of the season at the Open de Espana Femenino.

Pace, 29, from Mossel Bay, is determined to get back to the top over the next fortnight before Davies resumes her challenge at the Korean Ladies Masters.

Pace has not taken much of a break, having breezed through the first stage of the LPGA’s Qualifying School in late September.

She is playing in the next four events in Asia in China, Korea and India before weighing up her chances of winning the Henderson Money List or ravelling to the LPGA’s Final Qualifying Tournament.

If Pace thinks that she has a chance to be crowned Europe’s No.1, she will play at the season-ending Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at Emirates Golf Club, which with €500,000 in prize money, carries one of the largest purses on the LET schedule.

“It’s good to have options, but if I have to go to Dubai to win the Order of Merit, then I’ll do that rather than going to the LPGA Q-School Finals. There’s always next year,” said Pace, who in 2007, played her rookie season on the LPGA.

The Turkish Airlines Ladies Open champion, Melissa Reid from England, is third on the Henderson Money List and currently trails the top spot by €42,214. She is heading for a fortnight in China followed by a week in Korea, to chase her place at the summit of European women’s golf.

Trish Johnson, who has won twice this season, taking her tally of individual career titles to 20, is also in the field.

Johnson is seventh on the Henderson Money List with €137,749 and is visiting China for the first time in her 24-years as a professional.

Joining her will be Scotland’s Vikki Laing (ninth with €114,538), England’s Florentyna Parker (11th with €110,230), Christel Boeljon from the Netherlands (13th with €102,686), South African Ashleigh Simon (14th with €100,769) Becky Brewerton from Wales (17th with €90,942) and Australian Karen Lunn (20th with €87,746).

There are now five tournaments remaining on the 2010 Ladies European Tour schedule, starting with the inaugural Sanya Ladies Open at Yalong Bay Golf Club in Sanya City from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th October. The next stops on the schedule are the Suzhou Taihu Ladies Open, from October 29-31, the Korean Ladies Masters, from November 5-7, the Hero Honda Women’s Indian Open, from November 11-13 and the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, from December 8-11. Following the season-long competition for the Henderson Money List title, the winner will receive a €20,000 bonus and a 10-year exemption to the Ladies European Tour.