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GOLF: Jiyai Shin Wins ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

GOLF: Jiyai Shin Wins ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open

Jiyai Shin (Photo credit: Ladies European Tour)

[17-Feb-2013]  Canberra – Rolex Rankings No. 8 Jiyai Shin out-dueled Lydia Ko and held off a surging world No. 1 Yani Tseng to capture her 11th LPGA Tour victory at the ISPS Handa Australian Women’s Open at Royal Canberra Golf Club.   Shin carded three birdies and two bogeys for a 1-under 72 to finish 18-under for the 2-stroke victory over No. 1 Yani Tseng.  “Well, finally I win in Australia so I really happy about that.” she said.

Shin stamped her authority on the championship when she hit a perfectly executed lob wedge chip shot into the 14th hole from thick rough. The 24-year-old South Korean had stood on the 14th tee tied with the 15-year-old Ko at 16 under par, but Ko took bogey after finding a fairway bunker and after Shin birdied the 15th, it was effectively over for Ko, the winner of the previous week’s ISPS Handa New Zealand Open, who finished in third place as the leading amateur.

From the looks of the first three holes, it may have appeared that Lydia Ko was giving into the big stage pressure when the third round co-leader double bogeyed and bogeyed the first two holes, making a four shot turnaround after Shin birdied the par 5 No. 1.

But the fifteen-year old posted back-to-back birdies on Nos. 4 and 5 while Shin bogeyed the par 4 5th to close the gap to one. Ko bogeyed No. 10 to drop two shots back but a two shot swing came on No. 12 when she sank an 18-foot birdie putt to tie things up when Shin found trouble in the greenside bunker for a bogey.

But Shin pulled away after back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15 while Ko had bogeys on both the 14th and 17th. Shin was impressed with Ko’s fight throughout the round and assured the young superstar that she’ll have plenty of chances down the road.  “She said after we finish, she ask:  ‘How many times did you win on the LPGA?’  I say:  ‘Oh I had 11 win this time,’ but I said, ‘you are a lot younger than me, so you have more chance to win (laughs).”

(Photos courtesy of Ladies European Tour)

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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