Buhai finishes in top 20 in Thailand as Jutanugarn wins

May 9, 2021 | Featured, South Africans abroad

Ashleigh Buhai overcame a double-bogey early in her closing round on Sunday to post a one-under 71 to finish in a share of 17th in the Honda LPGA Thailand in Chinburi, Thailand.

Her tournament total of 13-under-par was nine strokes off the winner Ariya Jutanugarn, the former world number one from Thailand, who birdied the last hole to edge ahead of her youthful challenger from Thailand, Atthaya Thittikul. A third Thai player, Patty Tavatanakit, shared third with Amy Yang and So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and Angel Yin of the United States.

Buhai started fast with successive birdies on the two opening holes, and then she made her double on the fifth. It was all pars after that for the next nine holes, before she was able to go into red figures again with a birdie on 15.

Jutanugarn closed with a final-round 63, her lowest 18-hole score since recording a 62 at the Meijer LPGA Classic. Sitting with the lead as the final two groups took on the 18th, the horns rang out, causing a delay for over an hour due to inclement weather. Waiting in the 18th fairway was 18-year-old Thitikul in the final grouping, who needed an eagle to win or a birdie to force a play-off. When play resumed and she finally landed her approach to the green, a three-putt on the final hole meant Jutanugarn had earned her first victory in 1,507 days.

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