MILTON KEYNES, England — Hinako Shibuno of Japan wrapped up a stunning major championship debut on Sunday by rolling in a birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Women’s British Open by one shot over Lizette Salas.
The 20-year-old Shibuno, a rookie on the Japan tour who was making her L.P.G.A. Tour debut, birdied five of the final nine holes to close out a four-under-par 68. She finished at 18-under 270 over all.
“What I have done is unbelievable,” she said. “I imagined the British Open was played on a links course. But when I arrived I was surprised to find it was trees, just like Japan.
“That definitely helped. Today I was nervous on the front nine but felt O.K. on the back nine and just started making birdies.”.
Salas, who started the day tied for fourth place, quickly played herself into contention with three birdies in the first four holes, and she added five more in a seven-under 65 at Woburn Golf Club.
But Salas, an American, will regret not taking another birdie chance on the 18th when she shared the lead with Shibuno. It was Salas’s best finish at a major.
“I’ll take away a lot of positives,” said Salas, whose only L.P.G.A. victory came at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship. “We had a game plan at the beginning of the week and we stuck with it. We fought every single day and to play the way I did, I’m really happy.
“Obviously I could have finished a little better, and it stings a little bit, but I’ve just been working so hard this entire year and I’m so proud of my team.”
Jin Young Ko, seeking her third major title of the year after winning the Evian Championship last week, finished third, two shots back after a bogey-free 66.
Morgan Pressel (67) finished fourth at 15 under, just ahead of the early tournament leader Ashleigh Buhai (70), whose hopes were dented Saturday when she let a five-shot lead slip. Buhai, a 30-year-old South African, finished fifth at 14 under.
Source: Read Full Article