Ashleigh Buhai wins Australian Open womens crown

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Ashleigh Buhai survived an afternoon of carnage and won the Australian Open, a feat that Cameron Smith cannot claim.

After Grace Kim, a Sydney prodigy, collapsed, the South African won. This was to end local hopes for another year.

Buhai finished with a one over-par 73 at Victorian Golf Club, to post a nerve-wracking victory over Korean Jayai Shin (75)

Buhai won her 12-under 72-hole final with a total of 277. She also won at Muirfield to win her maiden major championship.

Smith arrived at the worlds first dual gender Open as a warm favourite to be added to the Claret Jug that he won at St Andrews.

The world No.3 did not make it to the Saturday cut of mens Open. He was a share of 47th.

Buhai has the spoils.

Buhai, an emotional Buhai, said Its just the cherry on top about her triumphant season before breaking down in tears.

Sorry, it just hit me.

Kim, 21, was just half an hour earlier and had taken the lead on the 18th Tee. She looked every bit the potential champion.

After making a mess on the par-5 18th, the LPGA Tour graduate had no choice but to settle for fourth at nine under. He also had to accept a double bogey.

Hannah Green (74) a celebrated compatriot, was the last to beat Kim at 10 under.

Greens hopes were already dashed on the front nine.

After starting the day with two shots lead, she scored two doubles and a par to spiral from 12 under to eight under. She was out of contention and six strokes behind Buhai heading to nine.

Minjee Lee (71) was a fellow heavyweight, finishing fifth at eight under. But, one must wonder what could have been.

She had a terrible double-bogey seven at eighth. This ruined a great start to her round of three birdies in six holes, which had propelled the world No.4 into contention.

After falling seven strokes behind Buhai at Turn 7, the US Open champion was not a factor.

Since Karrie Webb reigned at Victoria in 2014, no Australian woman has won Open.

Webb came out of semi-retirement in order to participate in this weeks special event. He rose to the occasion to make it to the top-30 and finish joint 26th.

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