Buhai battles her way to 12th in Women’s Scottish Open

It was a puzzling day for Ashleigh Buhai on Sunday as she carded a level-par 72 in the final round of the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open at Dumbarnie Links in Leven in Scotland as every birdie she made was countered by a bogey.

She picked up shots four times, and she dropped shots four times as she ended up in a share of 12th place behind winner Ryann O’Toole of the United States who was three shots clear of runners-up Lydia Ko of New Zealand and Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand.

Buhai, who had played herself into contention with a superb third round of 67, was just unable to get the scoring going on a day when Ko and Ally Ewing each posted cards of nine-under 63, and O’Toole was icy and flawless with her eight-under 64.

The South African birdied the third, but then was unable to add to that gain until she dropped a shot on the ninth. A birdie on 11 was followed by a bogey on 12, and then she bogeyed 14. Just as she seemed to have got herself back to a point when she could have finished even higher up the leaderboard with birdies on 16 and 17, she dropped a shot on the last.

For O’Toole, it was a momentous day. It is her 11th season on tour, and this was her 228th tournament. “I can’t even describe it,” she said. “I’ve been working my whole life for this and dreaming about it since I was a kid. I feel like it’s been ten years now, wondering when is it going to happen and I just feel like this year’s been very much kind of aligning and things are falling together.

“I still feel like I’m in shock and the tears are going to come later when things die down. I’m excited and happy. The hours and grind and heartache this sport brings, the constant travel, for this moment, I hope it only happens again and again.”

The other South African who made the cut was Paula Reto, and she finished with a three-over 75 for a share of 47th on one-over for the tournament.

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