HOYLAKE, ENGLAND — Jiyai Shin avoided mistakes in miserable weather conditions Sunday to cruise to a record nine-stroke victory in the Women’s British Open.
In the 36-hole finish Sunday in the wind-delayed tournament, Shin took a three-shot lead into the final round after shooting a 1-under 71 in the morning.
She stayed calm while strong wind and heavy showers sent scores soaring at Royal Liverpool in the afternoon, closing with a 73 to finish at 9-under 279.
“It was a long, very, very tough day out there,” Shin said. “But I kept my focus and concentrated on every shot, and when I made the winning putt, it was great.
The 24-year-old South Korean player won the major championship for the second time in five years and also won for the second time in seven days on the LPGA Tour.
Last Monday morning in Virginia, she finished off Paula Creamer on the ninth hole of a playoff in the Kingsmill Championship.
“When I won at Sunningdale, it was a totally different kind of course, but I finally think I’ve got the right tempo with my swing for links golf,” Shin said.
The 10-time LPGA Tour winner entered the day with a five-stroke lead after shooting a 64 — the lowest competitive round ever at Hoylake — on Saturday. She broke the record for margin of victory of five set by Karen Stupples in 2004 at Sunningdale.
“My goal was 1-under par every single day. So my goal was 4 under. I think it was enough score,” Shin said. “So, I’m really surprised even from yesterday and then also today, I hit even par with 36 holes with this weather, so I’m really surprised and inspired by myself. Because really tough course here, so when I finished it today, I’m just like, `Wow, I can play good score any, any other course, I’m pretty sure of that.”
Shin completed an Asian sweep of the four majors. South Korea’s Sun Young Yoo won the Kraft Nabisco, China’s Shanshan Feng took the LPGA Championship, and South Korea’s Na Yeon Choi won the U.S. Women’s Open. Asian players have won nine of the last 12 majors.
Shin missed the LPGA Championship and U.S. Women’s Open after having surgery on her left wrist.
“I think so many Asia players are playing at the moment on the LPGA Tour, so it makes a lot of chance to win,” Shin said. “Especially, I don’t know I don’t know how can I say, I didn’t play last two major tournaments, but I played in Nabisco and here.
“Well, I work so hard, I guess that’s why I get this trophy, but, I don’t know, I know all the other players doing their best and they work hard, too. So it makes it just happen.”
South Korea’s Inbee Park was second, shooting 72-76.
Creamer shot 72-72 to finish third at 1 over.
“I feel very close,” said Creamer, winless since 2010. “I hit the ball great. I cannot take away from my ball striking. That was definitely not the issue. It was my putting for sure. And a little bit speed related in some aspects, I’m going to take a couple weeks off and try and refresh.”