Ashleigh Buhai bounced back after watching her five-shot lead evaporate to claim her first major title Sunday at the Women’s British Open.
The South African golfer beat In Gee Chun in a playoff at Muirfield in Scotland, sinking a par putt on the fourth playoff hole to clinch her first LPGA Tour victory.
“I was surprisingly calm,” Buhai said following her win. “My caddie said to me on the last one, I don’t want to brag, but she said, ‘Show them why you’re No. 1 in bunkers this year.’ So, you know, she gave me the confidence. Maybe it’s got something to do with Muirfield and South Africans and bunker shots.”
The sand save that made Ashleigh Buhai a major champion 🏆In her 221 career Tour start, @ash_simon makes her first win a major championship at Muirfield 🏆#AIGWO pic.twitter.com/AmWba0HBsu— LPGA (@LPGA) August 7, 2022
The sand save that made Ashleigh Buhai a major champion 🏆In her 221 career Tour start, @ash_simon makes her first win a major championship at Muirfield 🏆#AIGWO pic.twitter.com/AmWba0HBsu
Buhai kept her head to close out the tournament after surging to a sizable lead through the opening three rounds of competition. The 33-year-old carded a triple bogey on the par-4 15th to lose the lead, shooting 4-over 75 in a challenging final round.
“I know there are a lot of people in South Africa with lots of gray hairs right now after that 15th hole,” Buhai said. “But I’m very proud of myself, the way I dug deep and kept myself in it to get into that playoff.”
Buhai’s victory marks the first time a South African took home the British Open trophy since Alison Sheard in 1979.