It’s now also Golden Ashleigh


It’s not just Gerda Steyn who is known as Golden Gerda in sports circles after her victory in Sunday’s Comrades Marathon, because Ashleigh Buhai can rightly be called Golden Ashleigh after she won the US LPGA Series’ ShopRite Classic golf tournament in Atlantic City with won by one stroke.

Buhai, who won R4.9 million, completed the third and final round in 65 strokes.

She took the early lead after finishing three strokes behind Sweden’s Daniela Holmqvist in the third and final round. She made four birdies on the first five holes and never relinquished her lead.

She continued and finished with another birdie on the last hole to finish on 199 shots (-14) on the Seaview Bay Course.

It was Buhai’s fourth win worldwide in the last ten months. Last year she won the British Women’s Open in August and then also the South African Open in March. She was also boss in Australia and now in the LPGA series in America.

Before the current tournament, she was ranked 16th in the world, but she will definitely move up.

Buhai finished one stroke ahead of Hyo-Joo Kim of Korea (200, -13) with China’s Yan Liu third followed by Holmqvist and Nanna Koerstz-Madsen of Denmark joint fourth at 203 (-10).

South Africa’s Paula Reto finished 22nd on 208 (-5) with Lee-Anne Pace on 209 (-4).

The 34-year-old Buhai joked just after her round that she is now one of the veterans in the American LPGA series, which is dominated by youngsters.

With her victory, she became the oldest winner in this year’s series.

* In Canada, the bonfires also burned high when the local Nick Taylor won the Canadian Open after a titanic playoff.

Taylor broke a long losing streak of almost 70 years for a Canadian player to win his country’s Open.

The last time this happened was in 1954 when Pat Fletcher won the Canadian Open.

It was a dramatic playoff battle between Taylor and the Englishman Tommy Fleetwood which was only decided on the fourth playoff hole.

Taylor sealed things after he rolled in a very long putt of 72 feet.

Taylor, who shot 66 in the final round, and Fleetwood tied for first on 271 (-17).

Two more English players, Aaron Rai and Tyrrell Hatton, as well as CT Pan from Korea were together third on 272 (-16).

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy finished joint ninth at 276 (-9) after shooting 72 in the final round.

South Africa’s MJ Daffue finished joint 38th on 283 (-5) with Garrick Higgo on 285.

* In Stockholm, England’s Dale Whitnell won the Scandinavian mixed tournament (men’s and women’s) by three shots when he finished on 267 shots (-21).

The American Sean Crocker was second at 270 (-18) with the Netherlands’ Anne van Dam and Yannik Paul of Germany third together at 273 (-15).

South Africa’s Louis de Jager was 12th on 277 (-11) followed by Oliver Bekker (288) and Nicole Garcia (293).