Published: Wed, August 07, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Shibuno holds off Salas to win Women's British Open on debut

Shibuno holds off Salas to win Women's British Open on debut

Japan's Hinako Shibuno finished with a birdie to win the Women's British Open by one stroke and wrap up a stunning major championship debut at Woburn Golf Club near Milton Keynes in England.

But on Sunday, thanks to a huge 18-foot birdie on the final hole, Shibuno walked away from the Women's British Open a victor.

"Who expected she could do this much in her first competition overseas, a Major championship?" he said in his morning show on a private TV network.

A flawless drive was followed by a shot to the middle of the green, and she rolled in an unlikely, lengthy birdie putt at pace to capture her first major title.

"I can't really describe in words what I'm feeling, " she said.

Hinako Shibuno will take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Women's British Open, as she aims to complete a remarkable triumph in the first event she has ever competed in outside of her native Japan.

The only other Japanese golfer - male or female - to win a major golf tournament was Chako Higuchi. Kind of felt like I just lost a bit of composure in my rhythm a little bit, but I hit some good shots on the last two holes.

"I don't think not many people, include myself, like to be in a situation where you're leading".

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Shibuno, nicknamed the "Smiling Cinderella", had never played outside of her home country of Japan before this week, but outshone the world's best players with a final round four-under 68 to claim the AIG Women's British Open on her major championship debut.

"I don't just feel happy, I feel superb!" he said. Another dropped shot on the ninth slowed her progress, but three birdies over four holes making the turn shot her back up the leaderboard. I'm not going to lie, I was nervous.

"I'm still here, two shots behind going into the final round playing in the final group".

After her victory Sunday, Shibuno spoke through an interpreter and said she was both hungry and planned to celebrate her victory by "eating candies".

Ko (68) is seeking her third major title of the year after winning the Evian Championship last week in France. Even as the tournament reached its climax, she ate candies and joked with her caddie up the 17th and 18th fairways.

Morgan Pressel (67) finished fourth at 15 under with second-round leader Ashleigh Buhai (70) alone in fifth a shot further back.

Defending champion Georgia Hall faded on Saturday, shooting a three-over 74 to slip back to four under for the tournament.

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