Ashleigh Buhai Wins the AIG Women’s Open Major

Ashleigh Buhai turned promise into reality when she became the first-ever woman golfer to win at Muirfeld Golf Course, outside Edinburgh in Scotland, to claim the Women’s Open Major for her debut career victory, on Sunday, 7 August, 2022. Photo: AIG Women’s Open

Ashleigh Buhai has written her name into the record books in the company of the most august of golfing history, when she followed in the footsteps of her childhood hero Enrie Els to win a Major at Muirfeld, just outside Edinburgh in Scotland, England, on Sunday, 7 August, 2022.

Her win makes Buhai only the second South African woman to win a Major, after Sally Little’s victories in 1980 and 1988.

Among the day’s remarkable victories for Buhai is that she earned her debut career victory by becoming the first woman golfer ever to win at what is known as the bastion of the so-called male-only Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which as recently as 2016 rebuffed the admission of women.

The South African professional exuded calm to overcome the worst of the day’s blustery weather and a heart-stopping three-over par at the 15th hole, which left her sharing the lead with South Korea’s In Gee Chun through to the clubhouse, until the play-off settled the draw in favour of the 33-year old South African professional in fading sunlight at the fourth follow-on hole.

Buhai’s win can be traced to a phenomenal day three, which saw her build on a steady first two days to record eight birdies against a single bogey, and leave her with an overnight lead of five shots going into the final day at the historic golf course.

If Sunday turned out to be more pedestrian in Buhai’s form – with a single birdie against two bogeys and that dreaded triple at the fifteenth flag, it was all the more nervy for the steady advance of Chun, who picked up three birdies, and China’s Hinako Shibuno, who gained five shots on the final day.

It ended for Buhai in a day she will savour for years to come, the most distinguished of victories for the a golfer long rated to be good enough to rub shoulders and perhaps even beat the world’s best, long since her rookie year back in 2008.

 

Photo 1 caption: Ashleigh Buhai turned promise into reality when she became the first-ever woman golfer to win at Muirfeld Golf Course, outside Edinburgh in Scotland, to claim the Women’s Open Major for her debut career victory, on Sunday, 7 August, 2022. Photo: AIG Women’s Open

 

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