Date: August 04, 2008

Open glory for Shin

Ji-Yai Shin became the third South Korean to win the Women&aposs British Open after a magnificent final round 66 at Sunningdale. The 20-year-old, who has won 12 times on the Korean LPGA Tour in the last two years, finished with an 18-under-par total of 270 and won the 160,000 pound first prize by three shots from Taiwan&aposs Yani Tseng, who also shot 66. Australian Karrie Webb finished in a share of ninth place at 10-under, with Joanne Mills well down the leaderboard at one-under. Pak Se Ri was the first South Korean to win the title, also at Sunningdale, in 2001, while Jang Jeong was the champion at Royal Birkdale three years ago. Grace Park, winner of the 2004 Kraft Nabisco Championship, 2005 US Women&aposs Open champion Birdie Kim and Inbee Park, who triumphed at the US Women&aposs Open last month, are the other South Koreans to claim women&aposs majors. Shin started the final round just one shot behind Japan&aposs Yuri Fudoh, but was one ahead by the time she birdied the first, fifth and ninth to reached the turn in 33. She also birdied the long 10th before making a key 35-foot birdie putt at the 13th and was three ahead after another birdie at the long 14th. Tseng, winner of her first major at the LPGA Championship in June, birdied the last for a 66 to finish on 15-under and South Korea&aposs Eun-Hee Ji and Japan&aposs Yurio Fudoh were tied for third on 14-under. Japan&aposs Ai Miyazato made it an Asian clean sweep of the top five with a 70 for 13-under. Defending champion Lorena Ochoa closed with a 69 for 11-under-par. “But I&aposm not too frustrated,” said Ochoa, the world No.1. “I tried my best and I&aposm very impressed by how the low scores have been this week. It was a great win for Ji-Yai.” An emotional Annika Sorenstam finished on six-under-par when she bowed out the majors in style by holed a 12-foot birdie putt at the last for a final round of 68. Sweden&aposs former world No.1, who has announced that will step away from tournament play at the end of the year, had four birdies and an eagle at the 14th – she holed a 20-foot putt – in her 57th and last major. The putt at the last raised memories of Jack Nicklaus&aposs birdie finish to his last major at the 2005 Open Championship at St Andrews. “To finish with a birdie was a little bit extra,” said Sorenstam, who has won 10 majors, including the 2003 Women&aposs British Open. “I kept it together pretty well today, but I was emotional on the first tee and coming up the final few holes.” “I was pleased to play well and score in the 60s. I just wish the birdie putt at the last had been for the championship.” As she walked up the final fairway, she was caught in a torrential downpour. “But I didn&apost care about the rain,” she continued. “I saw a sign on the scoreboard saying &aposAnnika you&aposll be missed&apos and then I was greeted with all the applause.” “It&aposs been 15 great years of golf and I just really enjoyed the moment. It was also nice to share it with my caddie [Terry McNamara]. We&aposve been together for nine years and we are great friends so I wanted him to enjoy it too.” Fourth Round, WPGA British Open -18: Ji-Yai Shin 66 68 70 66 -15: Ya-Ni Tseng 70 69 68 66 -14: Yuri Fudoh 66 68 69 71, Eun Hee Ji 68 70 69 67 -13: Ai Miyazato 68 69 68 70 -12: Christie Kerr 71 65 70 70 -11: Lorena Ochoa 69 68 71 69, Momoko Ueda 66 72 70 69 -10: Paula Creamer 72 69 70 67, Natalie Gulbis 69 68 70 71, Hee-Won Han 71 69 71 67, In-Kyung Kim 71 68 72 67, Karrie Webb (Australia) 72 69 69 68 -9: Juli Inkster 65 70 71 73, Seon Hwa Lee 71 68 70 70, Hee Young Park 69 71 69 70 Also: -1: Katherine Hull (Australia) 69 73 69 76, Joanne Mills (Australia) 70 73 72 72 +3: Rachel Hetherington (Australia) 70 72 74 75