Nerves of Steel as Ashleigh Buhai Defends Her Australian Open Title in Sydney on Sunday

Ashleigh Buhai managed to beat the nerves as she held on to win back-to-back titles at the Women’s Australian Open. The South African overcame a charge from Minjee Lee to seal her second victory in a row, at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday, 3 December 2023. Photo: The LET on X

Ashleigh Buhai managed to beat the nerves as she held on to win back-to-back titles at the Women’s Australian Open. The South African overcame a charge from Minjee Lee to seal her second victory in a row, at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday, 3 December 2023. 

The win didn’t come easy for Buhai, she didn’t just have to contend with tough opponents but also a windy final day, where she shot a 3-over 75 to cling to victory at 9-under par. Korean duo Jenny Shin and Jiyai Shin were tied for third at 4-under.

Home favourite, Lee was also in fine form as she shot a 3-under 69 in a two-player contest that came down to the last hole, the par-5 18th. Buhai hit her shot into the water on the 17th hole which gave Lee a chance to get back in, but Buhai still managed to keep a one-shot lead after suffering the bogey. 

On the 18th hole, Buhai needed just two putts to secure the Patricia Bridges Bowl, and she made no mistake sinking them. The 34-year-old’s scorecard for the four rounds of 68-70-67-75 secured her second consecutive win after claiming last year’s trophy at the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne.

Buhai speaking on golf.au.org said she knew she was going to be in for a tough fight against two-time Major winner Lee but she remained focused on what she could control. 

“I said to my caddie: ‘I know Minjee’s going to come, but she has to chase. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. That’s all I can control.”

The South African’s win sees her become the first player to win back-to-back titles in over a decade.

Photo: caption: Ashleigh Buhai managed to beat the nerves as she held on to win back-to-back titles at the Women’s Australian Open. The South African overcame a charge from Minjee Lee to seal her second victory in a row, at The Australian Golf Club in Sydney, Australia, on Sunday, 3 December 2023. Photo: The LET on X

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