MILTON KEYNES, England – Hinako Shibuno from Japan made a stunningly big championship debut on Sunday with a birdie putt on the 18th hole for the Women's British Open with one Lizette Salas shot to win.
The 20-year-old Shibuno, a rookie on the Japanese tour that made her LPGA Tour debut, birdied five of the last nine holes to close a four-under-par 68. She finished at 18-under 270 in total.
"What I have done is incredible," she said. “I thought the British Open was being played on a left course. But when I arrived, I was surprised that it was trees, just like Japan.
“That certainly helped. Today I was nervous on the first nine, but felt O.K. on the back nine and just started making birdies.
Salas, who started the day for fourth place, played herself fast in the fight with three birdies in the first four holes, and she added five more in a seven-under 65 at Woburn Golf Club .
But Salas, an American, will regret not taking another birdie chance on the 18th when she shared the lead with Shibuno. It was the best finish of Salas with a big one.
"I take away many positive points," said Salas, whose only L.P.G.A. the win came at the Kingsmill Championship 2014. “We had a game plan at the start of the week and we sticked to it. We have fought every day and I am very happy to play like I did.
"Obviously, I could have finished a little better, and it stings a bit, but I've just worked hard this year and I'm so proud of my team."
Jin Young Ko , looking for her third major title of the year after winning the Evian championship last week, finished third, two shots back after a bogey-free 66.
Morgan Pressel (67) finished fourth at 15 under, just before the early tournament leader Ashleigh Buhai (70), whose hopes were compromised on Saturday when she let go of five shots, Buhai, a 30-year-old South African, finished fifth at 14 under.