Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn won the Ricoh Women's British Open by three shots at Woburn Golf Club today, after a final round level par 72.
Jutanugarn started the day's play with a two shot lead over Korea's Mirim Lee and appeared to be walking away with the title as she quickly extended that to five by the 8th. With Lee starting birdie, birdie, birdie on the back nine and Jutanugarn making a double bogey on the 13th that margin was quickly back to one and with America's Mo Martin making a charge from the group in front it looked for a short while as though the lead might slip from the twenty-year-old's grasp.
The Thai player demonstrated the composure she had shown all week however and steadied the ship with three pars before holing a sloping twenty-footer to all but seal the title.
A solid two putt par on the last was enough to earn her first major title by three strokes from joint runner-up's Martin and Kim and by doing so also becomes the first Thai to claim a major championship.
''I think it's really important for me and for Thai golf, also,'' Ariya said. ''I really want to win major and I did.''
Ariya credited her new English caddie Peter Godfrey, as well as her sister Moriya (who finished T-43) and mother, Narumon, who travels everywhere with the girls, for their part in her victory.
Local hope Charley Hull got off to a spectacular start with five birdies in the first six holes but was unable to sustain her early pace and eventually signed for a 69.
''It was great fun,'' said the Woburn member on playing in front of a home crowd. ''Today I played great apart from the last six holes, it was unfortunate.''
World number one Lydia Ko had come into the event with a fantastic run in recent major championships but was unable to convert that form into a good performance at Woburn and finished down in T-40.
Ireland's Leona Maguire won the Smyth Salver as the leading amateur despite a poor final day. The twenty-one-year old carded a 75 on Sunday but would finish four-under for the championship, six ahead of the next best placed amateur Bronte Law. Maguire will now head to Rio where she will be one of only two amateur golfers competing at the Olympic women's golf tourament which gets underway on 17 August.
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