WorldWomen's British Open: Ashleigh Buhai rallies from late collapse to win first...

Women’s British Open: Ashleigh Buhai rallies from late collapse to win first major title in playoff


Ashleigh Buhai bounced again from a closing day slide to win the Girls’s British Open on a four-hole playoff, clinching her first main title in dramatic style at Muirfield, Scotland.

The South African had held a five-stroke lead heading into Sunday’s closing spherical, however a disastrous triple bogey on the fifteenth gap noticed three-time main champion Chun In-gee draw stage at 10-under to drive a sudden loss of life playoff.

Matching one another for par, bogey, par, the pair couldn’t be separated after three rounds of the 18th gap, but the breakthrough got here on the fourth time of asking when Chun drove her tee shot right into a bunker.

Because the South Korean bogeyed, an excellent method shot from the sand left Buhai needing to faucet house to win with par, and the 33-year-old made no mistake to take her maiden main victory on the first ever Women’s Open held at Muirfield.

Buhai plays a shot from the bunker to set up her winning putt.

It makes Buhai the primary South African to win the occasion since Alison Sheard in 1979 and ends a 34-year watch for the nation’s subsequent girls’s main champion after Sally Little’s victory on the du Maurier Basic in 1988.

Taking part in host to girls golfers for the primary time, Muirfield already held particular significance for the South African males’s recreation because the stage of first Open wins for legendary duo Gary Participant and Ernie Els in 1959 and 2002, respectively.

“It’s an enormous honor to have extra South African success right here,” Buhai instructed reporters.

“To observe these two greats [Els and Player], two of my idols rising up, and for us to play right here for the primary time at Muirfield, making historical past, I’m very, very honored and really, very proud to be South African proper now.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed to be sincere. I’m attempting to take a breath, but it surely’s clearly incredible to win this championship … it’s a dream come true,” she added.

Buhai reacts after sinking the winning putt.

Having turned skilled in 2007, triumph at Muirfield marks Buhai’s first win on the LPGA Tour, with the $1,095,000 prize lifting her profession earnings to $3,503,926, in line with the LPGA website.

The South African has received thrice on the Girls European Tour – together with an early win on the Catalonia Girls Masters – however after a fifth-place end on the 2019 Open in Woburn had marked her finest profession efficiency at a significant, Muirfield represents an unprecedented new peak.

“It’s been an extended journey,” Buhai mentioned.

“I turned professional once I was 18, there have been plenty of issues anticipated of me. I received straight off the bat on the Girls European Tour, however this recreation has a means of supplying you with a tough time.

“I’m simply so pleased with how I’ve caught it out. I’ve mentioned, the final 4 or 5 years, I’ve lastly began to search out my ft on the LPGA and felt I might compete, and though I’m 33 now, I really feel I’m taking part in the perfect golf of my profession.

“It’s been an extended journey, however man, it’s all price it proper now.”

Buhai’s first main win was a becoming encapsulation of that journey. After roaring right into a commanding lead by capturing 70, 65, 64 throughout the primary three rounds on the par-71 course, the South African seemed to be sliding in the direction of an agonizing collapse on the shut.

After sinking eight birdies Saturday, Buhai made only one all through the whole lot of the ultimate spherical, as her four-over 75 opened the door for Chun to reel her in with a one-under 70.

Searching for so as to add the British Open to her three main titles, together with a win at the PGA Championship in June, a runner-up end marked the closest the South Korean has come to successful the occasion.

Chun plays her tee shot from the 13th during the final round.

“I’m at all times pleased to complete in a superb place,” Chun instructed reporters. “I felt like I had an amazing season, and I’ve extra tournaments coming sooner or later.

“I believe now I’ve plenty of confidence I can play nicely at hyperlinks programs.”

Regardless of an eagle on the fifth gap, Japan’s Hinako Shibuno missed out on making the playoff by a stroke after carding an even-71.

Eire’s Leona Maguire, Sweden’s Madelene Sagström and Australia’s Minjee Lee tied for fourth at 7-under, with newly topped Evian Championship winner Brooke Henderson among the many group two photographs behind in seventh.

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