Reuters - Sun, 01 Aug 19:16:00 2010
Taiwan's Yani Tseng broke down in tears after she survived a final day showdown with Australia's Katherine Hull to win her third Major at the Women's British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Tseng, the leader from round one, went into the final 18 holes with a four-shot lead. But it was down to one with five to play and she eventually had to hole a six-foot par putt at the last to secure victory with a round of 73.
On 11 under, Tseng finished one ahead of Hull, who shot 70, and the 21-year-old is now the youngest woman to have won three majors. Her previous wins came in the 2008 LPGA Championship and the Kraft Nabisco Championship in March.
Having appeared totally in control during the first 54 holes in which she shot 68 in every round and dropped only one shot, she was much more edgy on Sunday and the tears flowed after she struck the final putt.
"I was so tired and the last few holes were so hard," she said. "I felt so much pressure out there and it's been an unbelievable day. Even when I holed the putt at the last I had to ask my caddie 'did I win?' "Katherine played some awesome golf and pushed me all the way. She's a great, great player."
Hull made an early move with back-to-back birdies at the second and third to close the gap to one, but Tseng was four ahead again by the turn, helped by birdies at the fourth, from 30 feet, and the long sixth.
But Hull again fought back. There was a two-shot swing at the 10th when the 28-year-old Queenslander made a 15-foot putt and Tseng missed a short one for par and Hull hit her second shot to three feet for another gain at the 13th.
With only one top 10 finish in 23 previous Majors, it was a day of mixed emotions for the Australian.
"I am disappointed but there are also a lot of positives to take from this week. I never gave up but it's just a pity I couldn't make a birdie at one of the three long holes at the end."
For Tseng, who came into the championship as the world number five, it is another step towards her goal of becoming number one.
None of the other players managed to really mount a serious challenge. Two South Koreans - Choi Na-yeon (68) and Kim In-kyung (71) - finished in joint third on seven under.
Michelle Wie, struggling after a second-round 76, ended joint 17th on level-par 288.