AIG Women’s Open: Ashleigh Buhai defeats In Gee Chun in play-off at Muirfield to win maiden major | Golf News

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Buhai defeated Chun in the fourth play-off hole at Muirfield after a remarkable major Sunday; 2019 champion Hinako Shibuno finished a shot back in third, while Ireland’s Leona Maguire posted a round-of-the-day 66 to finish tied-fourth with world No 2 Minjee Lee and Madelene Sagstrom

Last Updated: 07/08/22 9:22pm

Ashleigh Buhai secured a maiden major title at the AIG Women's Open

Ashleigh Buhai secured a maiden major title at the AIG Women’s Open

Ashleigh Buhai recovered from throwing away a five-shot lead to secure a dramatic play-off victory and maiden major title at the AIG Women’s Open.

The South African took a five-shot lead into the final day at Muirfield and remained three ahead until a triple-bogey at the par-four 15th dropped her level with three-time major winner In Gee Chun.

Chun closed a one-under 70 and set the clubhouse target at 10 under, as Buhai saved par on her final three holes to salvage a four-over 75 and take the contest to extra holes.

The 33-year-old's victory is also her first LPGA Tour title

The 33-year-old’s victory is also her first LPGA Tour title

The pair returned to the par-four 18th for the play-off, where both posted pars on the first extra hole, bogeyed the second and missed birdie looks at the third, before a brilliant par at the fourth play-off hole secured Buhai the biggest win of her career.

Buhai made a clutch par-save at the first but failed to get up and down to avoid a dropped shot at the next, as Chun – playing in the group ahead – made birdies at the second and fourth holes to cut her lead to two shots.

Hinako Shibuno responded to back-to-back three-putts from the third to make a long-range eagle at the fifth and move to 10 under, where Buhai splashed out of the sand to make a close-range birdie, while Chun birdied the sixth to close the gap to two.

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Buhai’s lead reduced to one when she found a bunker off the ninth tee on her way to bogeying the par-five, as Shibuno made birdie to cancel out the previous-hole bogey, while Chun fell three behind after bogeys at the 10th and 12th.

A run of pars on the back nine – including a brilliant save at the 14th – kept Buhai in control, only to blow the contest open with a series of errors on the par-four 15th. Buhai hacked out of a fairway bunker into the rough and barely advanced her ball with her next effort, then missed the green with her fourth shot and two-putted for a triple-bogey seven.

The error from Buhai left her locked on 10 under with Chun, with both players missing birdie opportunities at the par-five 17th and two-putting on the final hole to take the contest to sudden death.

Buhai made a two-putt par on the first extra hole, where Chun produced a spectacular up and down from the greenside bunker, while Chun then holed from eight feet to scramble a bogey at the next after Buhai had failed to save par from the sand.

Buhai becomes just the second South African female golfer to win a major title

Buhai becomes just the second South African female golfer to win a major title

Both players failed to convert birdie chances from inside 20 feet on the third extra hole, while Chun bogeyed the fourth play-off hole after finding sand from the tee to allow Buhai to snatch victory when a spectacular bunker shot set up a close-range par for the win.

2019 champion Shibuno finished a shot back in third, with Ireland’s Leona Maguire posting a round-of-the-day 66 to jump into tied-fourth on seven under with world No 2 Minjee Lee and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom.

Evian Championship winner Brooke Henderson and former world No 1 Lydia Ko finished in the large group sharing seventh on five under, while England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff and Scotland’s Louise Duncan ended the week in tied-19th.



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