South Africa’s Ashleigh Buhai survived a disastrous fifteenth gap to say a “life-changing” victory in a marathon play-off in opposition to Chun In-gee within the Ladies’s British Open at Muirfield on Sunday.
Each gamers tied on 10 beneath par after 72 holes, and, in close to whole darkness, it was Buhai who ultimately secured the ultimate main of the season with a par 4 on the fourth further gap, the 18th.
Chun bunkered her drive and took 5, whereas Buhai received up and down from a greenside bunker, holing out from two toes for victory.
She was near tears as husband David rushed onto the inexperienced and gave her a kiss and a loving hug.
“It has been plenty of exhausting work over a few years,” stated the 33-year-old, who gained the primary of three South African Novice titles when she was simply 14.
Her skilled profession has by no means fairly hit the identical heights with three wins in Europe and two South African Opens. However she had by no means gained an LPGA title till now, and a significant at that to make it much more particular.
5 forward in a single day, she needed to survive a triple-bogey seven on the fifteenth – that dragged her again right into a tie with Chun – earlier than snatching the dramatic play-off win.
“I am very pleased with myself,” she continued. “I needed to dig deep. However I used to be surprisingly calm within the play-off. Simply tried to remain within the second.
“Earlier than I hit the bunker shot within the play-off, my caddie (Tanya Paterson) stated ‘present them why you might be ranked No.1 in bunkers this 12 months’. It was nice to do it.”
Gary Participant (1959) and Ernie Els (2002), Buhai’s hero rising up, are South African winners of the Open Championship at Muirfield.
“I’m so proud to hitch them as main winners at Muirfield,” Buhai continued.
“It actually goes to be life-changing.”
Chun was magnanimous in defeat.
The winner of three majors, together with this 12 months’s Ladies’s PGA Championship, stated: “I by no means gave up, and gave it might all.”
The 27-year-old Korean added: “Ashleigh performed a superb bunker shot and he or she deserved it. I’m very blissful for her.”
Buhai had regarded in whole management when she led by three pictures with simply 4 to play.
However she drove right into a bunker on the fifteenth, hit out sideways into tough after which moved the ball only a few yards together with her third shot on the way in which to a triple-bogey seven.
Now tied for the lead, she did effectively to par the ultimate three holes for a 75 that matched Chun’s 10-under par whole. The Korean closed with a spherical of 70.
Japan’s Hinako Shibuno, the 2019 winner, completed third on 9 beneath after a remaining spherical 71.
American teenager Rose Zhang gained the Smyth Salver for the main novice. She closed with a 73 for one over par.
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