29th October 2015 | Sunshine Ladies Tour
Wind plagues Pace in China
South Africaâ€™s Lee-Anne Pace struggled to get her title defence off the ground in the Blue Bay LPGA, but Chinaâ€™s Lin Xi Yu breezed to a one stroke lead over American Austin Ernst on a very windy day on Hainan Island.
Xi Yu fired a flawless five-under-par 67, while Pace finished well off the pace at the lengthy Jian Blue Bay Golf Course.
The South African picked up a lone birdie at 18, but dropped shots at five, nine and 12.
A double bogey at the par-five eighth saw Pace find a seat on the bus at five over 76 with 13 other players, including Major champions Michelle Wie and Mo Martin.
â€œI am striking the ball really well, but the greens were another story,â€ Pace said.
â€œThe greens are very hard and I battled to get the ball in the hole in the strong wind. I need a little luck, too, because I had five lip-outs. But itâ€™s early days, yet.â€
World number one Ko dropped five shots in four hole on the front nine and another two at 11 and 12 to finish a further stroke adrift in a tie for 55th.
Imbee Park from South Korea, who lost the top spot in the womenâ€™s world ranking to Ko last week, opened with a 75.
The $2 million event is the penultimate leg of the LPGA Tour’s five tournament Asian swing.
PHOTO: Lee-Anne Pace; credit Getty Images.