Golf: Jutanugarn lands historic British Open title

Ariya Jutanugarn made history on Sunday when she became the first Thai golfer – man or woman – to win a major title with a final round 72 and a 16 under par 272 total at the Women’s British Open.
Ariya Jutanugarn made history on Sunday when she became the first Thai golfer – man or woman – to win a major title with a final round 72 and a 16 under par 272 total at the Women’s British Open. PHOTO: AFP

WOBURN (AFP) - Ariya Jutanugarn made history on Sunday when she became the first Thai golfer - man or woman - to win a major title with a final round 72 and a 16 under par 272 total at the Women's British Open.

Two ahead at the start of the final round, Jutanugarn's lead was six shots by the time she birdied the the long second and short sixth and she looked to be striding confidently to victory.

But she had to survive a great second half challenge from playing partner Lee Mirim before securing an emotional three-stroke victory.

The South Korean birdied three holes in a row from the tenth, and when Jutanugarn had two nervy chips and double-bogeyed the 13th the advantage was down to one.

But the 20-year-old, who won thee tournaments in a row on the LPGA Tour in May, showed her champion's class, rolling in a 20-foot birdie putt at the 17th and then a solid par at the last earned the $450,000 (403,000 euros) first prize.

Lee three-putted the 18th for a bogey and a 73 left her having to share second place with 2014 champion, Mo Martin. The American had a closing 70.

World No 1 Lydia Ko shot a final day 74 and the New Zealander, holder of two of the five majors, finished with a rather disappointing one under par total.

Ireland's 21-year-old Leona Maguire shot a final round 75 for four under par and won the Smyth Salver for the top amateur.