Hinako Shibuno holed a brilliant birdie putt at the 72nd hole to win the Women's British Open by a single shot. But that's just the start of the story
What a week! And one that few will ever forget. Let’s wrap it all up in our AIG Women’s British Open report…
2019 AIG Women’s British Open report: What happened at Woburn?
At the age of just 20 Hinako Shibuno was teeing it up in her first competition outside of her native Japan. Her goal? To simply make the cut.
On Sunday night, she is a major champion.
They call the Japanese star the “Smiling Cinderella”, but they’ll be calling her the “Smiling Assassin” now.
That smile, which was ever present throughout the week, will have briefly disappeared when the 54-hole leader four-putted the 3rd to see her drop back into the chasing pack.
That pack was chasing Lizette Salas, who stormed through the field with a round-of-the-day 65.
Salas had a five-footer for birdie at 18, but it lipped out and Shibuno, who was back on the 18th tee at 17-under, needed a birdie to win. You know the rest…
She becomes the first Japanese major champion for 42 years and astonishingly was level par throughout the week on the front-nine and 18-under on the back-nine.
It might have been a different story for Jin Young Ko, who was playing alongside Salas. Ko had 30 feet for birdie at 18 and it looked in all the way but she came up agonisingly short.
Her final round of 66 saw her finish on 16-under, which turned out to be two off the winning score, and she will have to settle for just two major championships in 2019.
England’s challengers struggled throughout Sunday as Charley Hull, a member at Woburn since she was 11, played her final round in 4-over to finish in a tie for 24th, while defending champion Georgia Hall had weekend rounds of 74 and 73 to finish in a tie for 35th at 3-under.
Bronte Law recording a round of + 6 after not carding a bogey through the opening 54-holes.
The leading amateur award went to Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul for the second year in a row after she finished on 4-under in a tie for 29th.
2019 AIG Women’s British Open report: Leaderboard
-18: Hinako Shibuno
-17: Lizette Salas
-16: Jin Young Ko
- Full AIG Women’s British Open leaderboard (external site)
2019 AIG Women’s British Open report: Quote of the day
Our newly-crowned champion didn’t disappoint in the post-round interview either:
“I’m more nervous now that I’ve won and i still feel like I’m going to vomit.”
About the winning moment, she added:
“I thought I was going to cry but the tears wouldn’t come out.”