Ricoh Women’s British Open
Sunningdale GC, Berkshire
Jul 31 – Aug 3, purse $2,100,000, par 72
South Korea’s Ji-Yai Shin fired an impressive final round of 66 to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open by three strokes. Shin led an Asian clean sweep with Yani Tseng of Taiwan finishing second and Eun Hee Ji of Korea and Yuri Fudoh of Japan a further shot back in third.
Shin began the final round a shot behind Fudoh but the Korean made birdies at the first and the fifth to close the gap. When Shin made back-to-back birdies at the ninth and tenth she established a two shot lead that she never looked like relinquishing. She completed her final round bogey-free and a first Major title was hers. At just 20-years-old she is the youngest ever winner of the Women’s British Open.
“My whole life, I’ve been waiting for this time and my dream comes true now,” said Shin. “This morning I was nervous and last night it was very difficult to sleep because I was so nervous, but I focused and concentrated on my game and now I’ve won.”
Shin’s victory caps an incredible year for young Asian players in the Majors. 19-year-old Yani Tseng won the LPGA Championship at the start of June then another 19-year-old, Inbee Park, won the US Women’s Open at the end of the month. 26-year-old Lorena Ochoa won 2008’s other Major, the Kraft Nabisco Championship. The average age of ladies Major champions this season is just 21.
Cristie Kerr was the leading player from outside Asia. The American ended the week in sixth place. Minea Blomqvist was top European taking a share of 17th. England’s Karen Stupples who won the tournament last time it was held at Sunningdale finished in a share for 24th spot along with Annika Sorenstam.
The Swede, playing in her final Major Championship, closed with a 68 and received a great reception as she made her way up the 18th. “When I made the corner from the leaderboard, it says, ‘Annika, you’ll be missed.’ I thought that was very special and I waved at the guys and they clapped and I came up 18 and everybody was cheering. You know, it just makes you feel good when you get that type of applause.”
Another Swede Anna Nordqvist won the Smyth Salver as leading amateur.
1 Ji-Yai Shin (Kor) 66 68 70 66 270 $314,464
2 Yani Tseng (Tai) 70 69 68 66 273 $196,540
T3 Eun Hee Ji (Kor) 68 70 69 67 274 $122,838
T3 Yuri Fudoh (Jap) 66 68 69 71 274 $122,838
5 Ai Miyazato (Jap) 68 69 68 70 275 $88,443
6 Cristie Kerr (USA) 71 65 70 70 276 $76,651
T7 Lorena Ochoa (Mex) 69 68 71 69 277 $65,841
T7 Momoko Ueda (Jap) 66 72 70 69 277 $65,841
T9 In Kyung Kim (Kor) 71 68 72 67 278 $47,653
T9 Hee Won Han (Kor) 71 69 71 67 278 $47,653
T9 Paula Creamer (USA) 72 69 70 67 278 $47,653
T9 Karrie Webb (Aus) 72 69 69 68 278 $47,653
T9 Natalie Gulbis (USA) 69 68 70 71 278 $47,653
Key Moment: Shin rolls in a 40-foot birdie putt across the 13th green to move three shots clear.
Note: Players in bold signifies Titleist ball usage.