Ashleigh Buhai takes 5-shot lead at Women’s British Open

MUIRFIELD – Ashleigh Buhai took a five-stroke lead at the Women’s British Open after shooting a 7-under 64 in the third round on Saturday.

Now she just has to find a way to finish for her first big win.

The South African also led this tournament in 2019 at Woburn after the second round but finished fifth, her best finish at a major.

Buhai is in a much stronger position at Muirfield after a round that included eight birdies before a single bogey on the final hole, giving him a total of 14 under 199.

Five of those birdies came on the first seven holes, but perhaps the most impressive was the par-5 17, when she participated from the green after hitting her tee shot into the rough.

It was the best round of the week despite the wind picking up to stronger gusts than the first two days.

“To be able to shoot that score under those conditions, you have to be able to congratulate yourself, so much so that I thought I had 6 under, not 7,” Buhai said. “So I had 8 cents playing the last one, which I think I have to look back on, is probably one of the best rounds of golf I’ve ever played.

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Japan’s Hinako Shibuno (66) and second-round leader In Gee Chun of South Korea (70) tied for second. Seven-time major winner Inbee Park and Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom were still two strokes behind.

Buhai has three European Tour wins but has never won an LPGA Tour event. But she never had a five-shot lead going into the final round either.

She does her best not to look too far ahead.

“I’m most proud of how I stayed focused and calm (today). That’s all I try to control. I didn’t think about the outcome,” Buhai said. “I only saw a ranking for the first time, I think, when I was on 12, no, 13. And then I just thought, ‘OK, it’s okay, you’re in a good position. Now check in with yourself and focus on what you are trying to do.

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