Date: July 30, 2007

Gulbis ends title wait

American Natalie Gulbis, the glamour girl of the LPGA Tour, ended a frustrating wait for her maiden professional victory by beating the former Women&aposs British Open champion Jeong Jang in a play-off at the Evian Masters in France. Often dubbed the Anna Kournikova of women&aposs golf – a player with model looks but no titles – the 24-year-old Californian finally broke her duck with a birdie at the first extra hole. “There has been a lot of hype in America with people asking if I was ever going to win,” admitted Gulbis, who is more well-known for her calendars and reality television show than her golf. “This is my sixth year on tour but I knew if I was patient it would eventually happen. But it does feel great to have won at last.” Gulbis came good with a two-under-par final round of 70, which included three birdies in an outward nine of 33, to finish four-under for the tournament. Jang shot 72 to force the play-off but when the pair went back down the par-five 18th in sudden-death the US Solheim Cup player hit the green in two and two-putted for birdie, the tiny South Korean failed to get up and down from the back of the green. Mexico&aposs world No.1 Lorena Ochoa (68), South Korea&aposs Shin Ji-Yai and 47-year-old American Inkster, who had a 75 to lose her chance of becoming the Tour&aposs oldest winner, tied for third on three-under. Australian Karrie Webb finished tied for 12th alongside Laura Davies, Laura Diaz and Morgan Pressel just three shots outside the play-off on one-under. Michelle Wie&aposs final warm-up before her first visit to Scotland was a 76 for 16-over. The 17-year-old Hawaiian, who has missed five months this year with a broken wrist, had hit an horrific 84 yesterday but strove to stay positive. “I kept my head together and sat down last night and asked &aposWhy am I playing so badly?”&apos she revealed. “I decided I just needed to be a lot more patient. “Now I&aposm really excited about going to St Andrews and playing the Old Course. But I&aposve heard it&aposs bound to be really cold – that&aposs something I&aposm not looking forward to.” Fourth Round of the Evian Masters (par 72): -4: Natalie Gulbis 72 69 73 70, Jeong Jang 69 71 72 72 -3: Juli Inkster 73 68 69 75, Lorena Ochoa 72 70 75 68, Ji Yai Shin 73 70 70 72 -2: Sun Ju Ahn 69 73 74 70, Sophie Gustafson 69 72 72 73, Christina Kim 67 75 74 70, Annika Sorenstam 71 69 74 72, Angela Stanford 73 74 69 70, Momoko Ueda 74 67 74 71 -1: Laura Davies 71 70 74 72, Laura Diaz 71 71 74 71, Morgan Pressel 73 72 73 69, Karrie Webb (Australia) 70 72 73 72 E: Shi Hyun Ahn 73 69 75 71, Nicole Castrale 75 70 73 70, Maria Hjorth 71 71 74 72, Eun Hee Ji 66 76 75 71 +1: Paula Creamer 75 72 73 69 Also: +5: Rachel Hetherington (Australia) 71 73 75 74