14th August 2015 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Pace gives chase in Portland
The American pair leads a trio of players by one stroke, while two-time Investec Cup for Ladies champion Pace finished in a group of seven players at five under.
Pace reeled in half-a-dozen birdies on a low scoring day at Columbia Edgewater Country Club.
She bogeyed the 18th hole to spoil an almost flawless card, however the Peal Valley golfer was very pleased to finish within striking distance of leaders in her debut at the LPGA Tour event.
â€œI hit it great and I putted well,â€ Pace said.
â€œIâ€™ve never played this event or this course and I was pleasantly surprised. I really like the layout, because it sets up well for me.â€
â€œIt was a little disappointing to finish with a bogey. I hit what I thought was a good approach, but it was just a little too long and went over the back of the green.
â€œOverall I am very happy with how I played and Iâ€™m looking forward to the second round.â€
Meanwhile Ashleigh Simon carded an opening 71 to tie for 57th.
The Wanna Be A Champion Academy player is one stroke behind world number two, Lydia Ko, and one stroke ahead of defending champion Austin Ernst, who opened with an even par 72.
Pace and Simonâ€™s compatriot Paula Reto is in trouble, though.
The Strand golfer opened with a seven-over-par 79 to finish in a three-way tie at the bottom of the first round leaderboard. Reto will have to pull out all the stops in Fridayâ€™s second round to make the cut, currently hovering around the one under mark.
PHOTO â€“ Lee-Anne Pace; credit Justin Klusener.