Shin Jiyai Wins the Women's British Open
Image Credit: Wikicommons

Shin Jiyai Wins the Women's British Open


It has been an amazing week for Asian women in golf as Shin Jiyai won the Women’s British Open title on Sunday.

Shin’s triumph meant that all four majors in the women’s game in 2012 were won by Asian women –a clean sweep.

Not only that, it marks the seventh consecutive Asian major win, a truly remarkable record especially when you consider that Seri Pak's first win for the continent came only in 1998.

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It was as comfortable as it is possible to get for the South Korean who won her second British crown by a massive nine-shot margin.

She started the final day five shots clear and extended that lead with a masterful performance. Fellow Korean Park In-bee took second.

The weather was terrible at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England’s northwest and the wind and rain forced the players to go round temporarily stop play twice on Sunday. But over the 36 holes, Shin showed her class as well as her stamina.

"It was a really, really tough and long day, because I played 36 holes with rain and wind. I tried to keep focusing on each shot. So I feel a little tired now."

It was especially sweet for the former number one in the world as she has battled injuries. In 2011, Shin’s changes to her swing caused back pains and she ended the year without a win. Just four months ago, she had surgery on her left wrist.

None of that was evident amid the swirling rain and wind on the weekend.

This seventh consecutive Asian major win is a reflection of the ever-stronger stranglehold that the continent’s women have on golf.

This season has seen Koreans Yoo Sun-young and Choi Na-yeon take two majors with Shanshan Feng of China grabbing the other.

There is no sign of a let-up from Asia: Lydia Ko is the rising star of the game. The Korean-born 15 year-old now represents New Zealand and is making headlines around the world.

She was the highest-paid amateur at the British Open and last month won the Canadian Women’s Open to become the youngest-ever winner of an LPGA Tour event.

Seven-time major winner Juli Inkster has told Ko to take her time in turning professional.

"Everyone's going to be throwing money at her, and it's going to be hard to turn down. So I just think golf's always going to be there, and there's a lot of things you can't do when you're this age, that you're going to regret."

Rae-Vadee Suwan, chairwoman of the Ladies Asian Golf Tour agreed and cited the example of Michelle Wie, a young golfer who quickly became a star but has struggled to perform consistently.

"I think Lydia Ko of course has great potential because she's still young and she's still keen to stay amateur, and I think it's good not to rush into a professional events when you're still young," explained Rae.

"You remember Michelle Wie? She turned pro too soon, she wasn't ready for it mentally, that's why she didn't do well. You have to be ready, and not only physically or in terms of skill, but mentally as well

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