Stacy Lewis of the USA fired a final round of 72 to win the RICOH Women’s British Open over the Old Course at St Andrews by two shots from South Koreans, Hee Young Park and Na Yeon Choi.
Lewis began the final round just a stroke behind her compatriot Morgan Pressel, but started poorly with dropped shots at the 2nd and 4th holes. The World Number 2 responded well though with two birdies at the 6th and 7th holes.
She faltered again at the start of the back nine and dropped two more shots. In windy conditions, all of the leading protagonists were struggling to remain at, or around, par for the day. Na Yeon Choi of South Korea took a two shot lead, but she then dropped shots at the 13th and 14th while Lewis was in the midst of a grandstand finish.
She played the shot of the day into the difficult 17th to set up a rare birdie on the Road Hole. She then boomed a drive down the last to just short of the Valley of Sin. From there she used a putter and it looked like the wrong decision as she fired the ball well past the hole. But, composing herself, she rolled in a fantastic putt for another birdie and a level par 72. She set a four round total of eight-under-par for the clubhouse lead. Those following weren’t able to match it.
“This is crazy,” she said. “I was just hanging in there all day and 17 and 18 happened so fast, my patience won it for me today.”
Lewis is the first American winner of the Women’s British Open since Sherri Steinhaeur back in 2006. She is the first non-Asian women’s Major winner since her own victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2011.
With the victory, Lewis also ended the phenomenal run of Korea’s Inbee Park who was looking for a fourth straight Major victory in this event. Park struggled through the final round to post a closing 78.
“I’m just glad the tournament is over because I’ve gone through four rounds under pressure,” Park said. “Everybody has been watching me. It feels a bit weird because I get to do an interview when I shot six-over par today.”
After the event, Solheim Cup captains Lotte Neumann and Meg Mallon named their picks for the trans-Atlantic match that will take place in less than two weeks time.
Neumann confirmed Caroline Hedwall of Sweden, Italy’s Giulia Sergas and Charley Hull and Jodi Ewart of England as her wildcard selections. Meg Mallon named Gerina Piller and Michelle Wie as her picks.
RICOH Women’s British Open
Old Course St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Aug 1-4, purse €1,920,130, par 72
1 Stacy Lewis (USA) 67 72 69 72 280 €302,982
T2 Hee Young Park (Kor) 70 69 70 73 282 €161,438
T2 Na Yeon Choi (Kor) 67 67 75 73 282 €161,438
T4 Suzann Pettersen (Nor) 70 67 72 74 283 €94,495
T4 Morgan Pressel (USA) 66 70 71 76 283 €94,495
6 Lizette Salas (USA) 68 72 72 73 285 €74,204
T7 Mamiko Higa (Jap) 70 69 72 75 286 €63,759
T7 Miki Saiki (Jap) 69 66 74 77 286 €63,759
T9 Natalie Gulbis (USA) 71 72 74 70 287 €52,420
T9 Nicole Castrale (USA) 67 70 76 74 287 €52,420
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage
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