Ashleigh Buhai captures emotional first major victory at 2022 AIG Women’s Open after four-hole playoff

Ashleigh Buhai captures emotional first major victory at 2022 AIG Women’s Open after four-hole playoff

Published August 8, 2022
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Ashleigh Buhai had waited until 33 years of age for her first major championship win, so four more holes was nothing. After shooting 75 in the final round of the first Women’s Open at Muirfield to kick away a five-stroke lead, Buhai outlasted In Gee Chun in a playoff that lasted over an hour as the sun set on East Lothian, as well as the men’s and women’s major championship season.

Buhai is a Cinderella story in Wikipedia page only. The South African came into the week with a dearth of major top 10s (her only one came at the 2019 Women’s Open at Woburn), but she was also ranked No. 84 in the world and had notched top 25s at the last two women’s majors at the Women’s PGA Championship and the Evian Championship.

She came out rolling the first three days at Muirfield. A 70 in Round 1 was followed by rounds of 65 and 64 that included 13 birdies, an eagle and just two bogeys to put her five clear of Chun as well as playing partner Hinako Shibuno going into the finale on Sunday to touch off an historic week at Muirfield.

After playing the first 14 holes of the final round in a sufficient 1 over, Muirfield wrought disaster at the par-4 15th. Buhai hit her tee shot into a bunker, and it got much worse from there. A sideways second preceded a duffed third. She made a triple-bogey 7 to fall into a tie for second with Chun, who was one hole ahead. They both parred the last three holes to go to a playoff.