Current AIG Women's Open champion Ashleigh Buhai wins her national open for the second time, to claim her fifth LET title. Whilst Scottie Scheffler returns to World Number one...
Report by the LET.
Ashleigh Buhai fired a final round of 68 (-4) to win the 2023 Investec South African Women’s Open at Steenberg Golf Club.
The South African superstar had held a four-shot lead since the midway mark and maintained that advantage on the final day.
Buhai rolled in six birdies and two bogeys on the fourth day of competition to seal her fifth LET title with a score of 22-under-par and win this tournament for the fourth time.
“I’m over the moon right now,” said the Major champion. “I’m ecstatic to have got the job done. My goal was to come in here and win this week. I tried to play it down because it’s a lot of pressure and I knew it was going to be difficult. Now, I’ve got it done and over the line I’m really happy.
“It’s always important for me to try and play the Investec SA Women’s Open when I can, unfortunately the scheduling didn’t work out in the last few years with it moving due to Covid but I’m happy even though it was at the end of a four-week run. I was a little tired at the beginning of the week but obviously, now I’m thrilled I was able to come back and play it.
“With what I’m doing at the moment between my golf swing and the mental side, I just need to stick it. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and hopefully, I can keep up this consistency, that’s what my main goal is to become more consistent and give myself a chance every now and then to win a golf tournament.”
Starting the round as she meant to go on
The 2022 AIG Women’s Open champion began her day with a birdie on the first and then made three birdies on the trot between holes four and six, before adding another on the ninth.
It was a tougher back nine for Buhai with bogeys on 15 and 17, but she finished in style with a birdie on 18 to win her home tournament for the first time since 2018, her last LET win outside of the majors.
She explained: “It was great to start off with a birdie especially after yesterday when I made a bogey. I hit a good putt on two and three, birdied four and five. I just kept it going.
“On the back nine, I felt I hit good shots, I was just in between yardages and the wind got a little bit trickier. Luckily, I had that big lead, so I could just hit it to the space on the green and take my two putts and they had to come chasing. I did what I had to do to get the job done.
“I’m very proud of myself with how I battled through and also Dave keeping me in it especially yesterday, trying not to exert energy. Today my energy was back and it showed with the way I came out and I did really commit to hitting those golf shots.
“I’m sure there will be a celebratory brie tonight! We’ve got a few family and friends here so it’s going to be nice to be able to share it with them.”
Trivino finishes in second
For a consecutive week, Spain’s Ana Pelaez Trivino finished in second place on the LET after she produced a round of 68 (-4) on the final day to reach 18-under-par.
It was a flawless day for the LET winner who rolled in birdies on holes five, 10, 12 and 18 to secure her runner-up finish.
The Spaniard said: “I felt really good this week and last week. We’re focusing on doing our job, eating well, going to the gym, resting, playing golf and being mentally stable. We’re making sure that every area is covered and then just go out there and have fun.
“Luckily, we’re playing good golf and we can enjoy it even more. I’m going to take everything to next week and hopefully get that win. I like runner-up finishes, but I’d rather have the trophy with me!”
Germany’s Chiara Noja ended the tournament in solo third place on 17-under-par after a fourth round of 69 (-3) which included four birdies and one bogey.
“I’m really proud of myself that I managed to pull through this week,” said the teenager. “After the first round, I was feeling really bad physically. I played decent golf today. I had so many missed opportunities and I finally didn’t miss the top 10. We’re back in business.”
Argentina’s Magdalena Simmermacher finished in fourth place on 15-under-par with South Africa’s Kaleigh Telfer in fifth on 11-under-par, while Czechia’s Klara Davidson Spilkova was one shot further back in sixth spot.
Five players finished in a tie for seventh place with France’s Anais Meyssonnier, England’s Gabriella Cowley, South Africa’s Casandra Alexander, Sweden’s Johanna Gustavsson and Italy’s Alessandra Fanali all on nine-under-par.
Race to Costa del Sol update
In the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol, India’s Aditi Ashok continues to lead the way with 1,210 points to her name.
Spain’s Pelaez Trivino moves up to second in the rankings with 754 points with Investec SA Women’s Open champion Buhai third with 545.19 points.
England’s Lily May Humphreys sits in fourth with Sweden’s Maja Stark in fifth, England’s Alice Hewson in sixth and Belgium’s Manon De Roey in seventh.
Germany’s Noja moves up to eighth place with 391.25 points, Sweden’s Linn Grant is ninth and Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela rounds out the top 10.
The LET now heads to Singapore for the first Aramco Team Series event of the year.
Scheffler back on top of the world
Scottie Scheffler secured a sixth PGA Tour title in 13 months and moved back to World number one with a dominant five-shot victory at The Players.
The American is just the third player in the last 40 years to record a first and sixth career PGA Tour wins within 400 days of each other (he did his in 392 days).
Taking a two-shot lead into the final round, the 26-year-old never looked in doubt of relinquishing it and put on a dominant display during an entertaining final day at TPC Sawgrass. With five birdies around the turn, the new World number one shot a final round of 69 to finish on 17-under-par.
The winner of the PGA Tour’s flagship event gets a $4.5 million payday.
Scheffler wasn’t really challenged all day but England’s Tyrrell Hatton put on a sensational display which saw a back nine of 29, to shoot a seven-under-par round and finish on 12-under-par. Viktor Hovland and Tom Hoge were two further shots back in a tie for third, with Hideki Matsuyama in fifth.
Talking of his victory, Scheffler said:
"I did a really good job of staying patient, trying not to force things. I got hot in the middle of the round and tried to put things away as early as I could. I am just trying to improve, not overthink things. I am seeing results and wins and am very thankful."
"I'm just hoping to improve. I'm just trying to get a little bit better at a time, not overthink things and fortunately, I've been able to see some good results and enjoy some wins.
"I think I'm just comfortable with where my game is. I feel like I'm improving. I'm definitely learning more and more the more I get into contention. I would say I maybe am a bit more comfortable knowing what I need to do.
"I get excited for a good hard test. I feel like I can find a way to make pars and hang in there. I like the challenge of harder golf courses. This tournament feels like a major championship to me."
Next up on the PGA Tour is the Valspar Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Campillo wins in Kenya
Spaniard Jorge Campillo was back in the winner’s circle after three years with a two-shot victory at the Magical Kenya Open.
The 36-year-old managed a near faultless round with just one bogey to card a final round five-under-par 66. This is his first victory since the 2020 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, adding a third DP World Tour title to his resume.
Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura finished on 16-under-par with compatriot Ryo Hisatsune another shot further back in a tie for third with Spain’s Santiago Tarrio.
Speaking of his victory, Campillo said:
"Having the lead is not easy and it's such a special feeling to win a golf tournament.
"The crowds were quite fun here and you know the history of the tournament is quite nice as well. I played great all day, beside that little short putt I missed on 11."
The DP World Tour heads to South Africa for back-to-back events co-sanctioned with the Sunshine Tour, first up is t SDC Championship at St Francis Links.
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