South African athlete Ashley Buhai won her first major title, the 2022 AIG Women’s Open, at Muirfield.
She recovered from losing a five-shot lead to beat South Korea’s Chun In-gi in a dramatic play-off at the AIG Women’s Open to seal her first major win.
Buhai birdied the fourth hole in the playoff after Chun claimed victory at 21:10 BST at Muirfield.
The 33-year-old’s major lead at the start of the day disappeared when she triple-bogeyed the par four, the 15th. That left her tied with three-time major winner Chun at 10 under.
Buhai is the first South African to win the tournament since 1979 and has 18 million rand in his pocket
She explains what it means to win in Scotland: “I’m very pleased to be able to score, I think, in these conditions. You should be able to pat yourself on the back enough to make me think I’m a six instead of a seven, so I was eight down playing a losing game. If I have to look back, it’s probably one of the best golf games ever played.”
“I felt quite calm. You know, I’ve been working on my swing for so long with a coach, and I feel like my lines are where they should be. And I just need to keep my pace. If I keep my pace, most of the time it tends to drop,” Buhai said.
She was also excited to emulate compatriot and childhood hero Ernie Els, who won the 2002 Open at Muirfield.
“The club means to go forward, it means to fall. So yeah, I feel like I had a really good warm-up. I picked up a few extra chips today because yesterday I didn’t feel like I chipped too well when I needed to and at least I tried for 17. And that’s how it feels.”
“Maybe something about Scotland, I honestly just love it. I said it was my favorite tournament of the year. I love links golf. I love how creative you have to be. You don’t need to tie it. You just have to know what shot you want to make and make it. And I also love the city. I had a lot of fun not being able to get an Airbnb in North Berwick or Gullane like in previous years. But this year it is quite difficult to find housing,” she concluded.
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