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Plucky Coakley unable to stay with pace in Far East

REBECCA COAKLEY was the only Irish player to bank any cash over the weekend as the Ladies European Tour's Far East Swing opened in Hainan Province, China.

Coakley earned €1,770 in a tie for 35th place on two-over at the Sanya Open, 13 strokes behind South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace.

With €53,146 earned from 19 events on Tour in 2010, Coakley slipped one place to 38th on the money list but a steady final round of one-under-par 71 will send the Carlow girl to this week's Suzhou Taihu Open with her hopes reasonably high.

Pace's sweet 66 for an 11-under-par total at Yalong Bay Golf Club was enough for a one-stroke victory over long-time leader Stefanie Michl and saw her overhaul England's Laura Davies at the top of the money list.

Michl led by two shots from England's Florentyna Parker after yesterday's third round.

Pace was two shots further back but four birdies on the front nine saw her move into a share of top spot.

Michl responded with three straight birdies from the 12th but she bogeyed the 15th and was made to pay as Pace quickly tied things up with a birdie.

Irish Independent