'Proud' Ashleigh Buhai flies SA's flag highest at Royal Troon

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Ashleigh Buhai
Ashleigh Buhai
Gregory Shamus / Getty Images via AFP
  • Ashleigh Buhai finished as South Africa's top performer at this year's Women's British Open at Royal Troon Golf Club.
  • The three-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Buhai told Sport24 that she is a bit disappointed but proud of her efforts.
  • Only three South African golfers took part in this year's first women's major.

South African golfer Ashleigh Buhai is pleased with her performance at this year's Women's British Open at Royal Troon Golf Club.

Buhai was one of the three South African golfers taking part in golf's first women's major of the year.

The 31-year-old Buhai carded a 3-under 68 in the final round to finish 3-over par for the tournament.

This was the only British Open of the year with the men's major cancelled for the first time since World War II due to the coronavirus pandemic.

READ | Popov becomes first German to win women's major at British Open

Buhai said the conditions were as tough as she'd ever seen as she finished as the highest placed South African at T11.

"Very happy with my showing this week," Buhai told Sport24 on Sunday following her final round.

"Experienced some of the toughest conditions I've ever played in on Thursday and Friday it was just about hanging in there and surviving. The weekend conditions were friendlier. I hit the ball great on Saturday but had a cold putter. I knew if I got my putter going on Sunday I had a low round in me."

The top 10 finishers get an automatic qualification to next year's Women's Open, which is scheduled to be held at Carnoustie Golf Links.

Buhai missed the mark by a shot but won't be too disappointed as she received €70 226 (R1.4m) for her efforts this weekend.

"Very proud of how I played today but also a little disappointed as a top 10 gets you into the event automatically next year. Nevertheless another strong showing in a major," said Buhai.

South Africa's Lee-Anne Pace joined Buhai after making the weekend cut and finished on 8-over par in a tie for 32nd. Pace, who has won nine Ladies European Tour wins and an LPGA title, took home €24 742 (R500 375).

Meanwhile, the third and final golfer representing South Africa this week Monique Smit failed to make the weekend on her Women's British Open debut as she finished T75.

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