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South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is firmly in contention at the Sanya Ladies Open in China

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South Africa’s Lee-Anne Pace is firmly in contention at the Sanya Ladies Open in China after firing an opening round of 68 to tie for second on Friday. The 29-year-old from Mossel Bay is three shots off the lead set by Austrian Stefanie Michl.

Pace, a three-time winner in Europe this season who is chasing the Ladies European Tour’s 2010 Henderson Money List title, said: “It was pretty solid. I hit 14 greens and 13 fairways. My play was fantastic and the weather throughout was very nice. Four under is exactly what I expected to do today, so I’m very happy where I am.” 

Pace made a slow start and was out in 35 but came back in 33. She fired six birdies and two bogeys in total. 

Michl fired a seven-under 65 to take the opening day lead, but is yet to win on tour and her career best finish was sixth at the 2006 Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open.

Norway’s Cecilie Lundgreen, whose career best finish was second at the 2001 South African Masters, is tied for second with Pace and England’s Florentyna Parker.

The second round at the 54-hole Strokeplay tournament begins at 7.15am local time on Saturday.

LET Sanya Ladies Open Golf Scores at the end of round 1:

65 - Stefanie Michl (AUT)

68 - Lee-Anne Pace (SA), Florentyna Parker (ENG), Cecilie Lundgreen (NOR)

69 - Tania Elosegui (ESP), Marjet van der Graaff (NL), Samantha Richdale (CAN), Yang Hong Mei (CHN)

70 - Hanna-Leena Salonen (FIN), Russamee Gulyanamitta (THA), Lin Tzu Chi (TAI), Karen Lunn (AUS), Yan Pan Pan (CHN)

71 - Elizabeth Bennett (ENG), Zhong Liu Mei (CHN), Jessica Ji (KOR)

72 - Tian Hong (CHN), Li Jia Yun (Am) (CHN), Pan Yan Hong (CHN), Vikki Laing (SCO), Nikki Garrett (AUS), Bai Yun Yan (CHN), Dewi-Claire Schreefel (NL), Chen Wan Zhen (CHN), Maria Verchenova (RUS), Elizabeth Smith (USA), Pornanong Phatlum (THA), Rebecca Coakley (IRE), Katherine Kempter (USA)

73 - Morgana Robbertze (SA), Trish Johnson (ENG), Belen Mozo (ESP), Yang Tao Li (CHN), Ashleigh Simon (SA), Praewnappa Phol-Uayporn (THA), Diana D'Alessio (USA), Wu Hong Lian (CHN), Hannah Jun (USA), Beth Allen (USA), Christel Boeljon (NL), Georgina Simpson (ENG), Kylie Walker (SCO)

74 - Huang Ping (CHN), Becky Brewerton (WAL), Zhong Xiao Long (CHN), Becky Morgan (WAL), Felicity Johnson (ENG), Jenni Kuosa (FIN), Shi Xiao Ying (Am) (CHN), Titiya Plucksataporn (THA), Sharmila Nicollet (IN), Zhang Na (CHN), Virada Nirapathpongporn (THA), Li Wei (CHN), Wang Xin (Am) (CHN)

75 - Lin Xi Yu (Am) (CHN), Ursula Wikstrom (FIN), Nontaya Srisawang (THA), Smriti Mehra (IN), Ana Larraneta (ESP), Jeehae Lee (KOR), Ornthana Chuenarrom (THA), Huang Mei Hao (CHN), Lu Yue Xia (CHN), Laurette Maritz (SA), KM Juul (DEN), Carmen Alonso (ESP), Zhang Yu Yu (CHN)

76 - Stacy Lee Bregman (SA), Yoon Jung Hwang (KOR), Claire Aitken (ENG), Kate Combes (AUS), Shen Yan Hua (CHN)

77 - Danielle Bowers (ENG), Lu Mei Ping (CHN), Narisara Kerdrit (THA), Ren Xiao Zheng (CHN), Lidya Ivana Jaya (IDN), Yang Jia Xin (Am) (CHN)

78 - Gao Shuang (CHN), Yan Jing (Am) (CHN), Margherita Rigon (ITA), Shang Lin Yan (CHN), Melissa Reid (ENG), Tiffany Tavee (USA)

79 - Martina Gillen (IRE), Sophie Walker (ENG), Patcharajutar Kongkraphan (THA), Riikka Hakkarainen (FIN), Wang Yan Hua (CHN), Zhang Hai Ying (CHN), Wei Xiao Rong (CHN), Wang Wen Wen (CHN), Nuchada Vitayakonkomol (THA), Caroline Rominger (SWI), Zhou Qin (CHN)

80 - Tara Delaney (IRE), Heidi Chua (PHI)

81 - Guo Cai Zhu (CHN), Carly Booth (SCO)

83 - Feng Si Min (Am) (CHN), Fu Lan Ying (CHN)

84 - Pu Reum Hwang (KOR)

85 - Hu Ying Bo (CHN), Chiu Ling Ti (TAI)

86 - Tan Ling Ling (CHN)

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