Duel in Dubai: Pace, Davies square off in LET money race

Laura Davies and Lee-Anne Pace each have five victories this season on the Ladies European Tour -- one of them will win the Order of Merit.

Laura Davies needs a top-2 finish at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters for a shot to steal the Henderson Money List crown from Lee-Anne Pace.

Both players notched five victories this season on the Ladies European Tour, and just 32,000 euros stands between them. Pace can seal it with a top-5 finish – no matter what the Englishwoman does.

“Obviously, it’s been a cracking year,” said Davies, who has won the Order of Merit seven times. “Not so good in America, but on the European front, it’s been a fantastic year – probably my most successful.

“There are so many good young players now, and at the age of 47, it would just be nice to think that I can still mix it up – not just on the odd week but for a whole season.

“So everything considered, it’s a long shot, but the long shots come in now and again.”

Starting Wednesday at Emirates Golf Club, Davies will be targeting her 80th career victory. She has finished equal second, third and tied for fourth in her three appearances in Dubai.

However, Pace is determined not to bowl over. The 29-year-old is in line to become the first South African in the 32-year history of the LET to claim the No. 1 spot, and she skipped LPGA Qualifying School to guarantee that it happens.

Pace was red hot, with five victories from June to October. Since teaming up with caddie Craig Barber-Ball at the S4C Wales Ladies Championship in August, she has won four events, tied for second in Scotland and had two other top-10 finishes.

Davies and Pace will face a stern challenge from a formidable field that includes defending champion In-Kyung Kim of South Korea, who is on target to earn Ryder Cup Wales Rookie of the Year honors, Anna Nordqvist of Sweden, Melissa Reid of England and the American pair of Christina Kim and Michelle Wie.

American teen sensation Alexis Thompson, who tied for second in July’s Evian Masters, will be making her Dubai debut. The 15-year-old will be one to watch, having earned more than $300,000 from six starts this year on the LPGA.

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