Final-hole par gives Tseng one-shot win in Women's British Open

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Yani Tseng of Taiwan captured the Women’s British Open trophy after making a nerve-jangling six-foot must-have putt.
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Associated Press

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Yani Tseng of Taiwan made a 6-foot putt at the last hole Sunday to win the Ricoh Women's British Open by one stroke after holding off Katherine Hull of Australia.

Hull had reduced her overnight deficit to Tseng from four strokes to one coming down the 18th. But she missed a 20-foot birdie attempt and had to settle for a 70, and Tseng holed her par putt to shoot 73 and total 11-under 277 at Royal Birkdale.

It was the 21-year-old's third major title and she won $408,000 in prize money.

Tseng drove into a bunker on the last hole and was just off the green in three. Hull chipped poorly before her birdie attempt went three foot past the hole and Tseng coolly stepped up to hole the winning putt.

"I was nervous and tired with all the pressure and attention out there today," Tseng said. "Katherine played really well and put me under a lot of pressure. It was the toughest win I've had to date. I usually come from behind to win. I've never won from the front before."

Tseng said multi-major winner Annika Sorenstam sent her a message overnight.

"She said, 'I’m very happy to see you on top, that's where you belong,' and wished me good luck for today."

Within three holes at the start of the final round, Hull had trimmed three strokes off Tseng’s lead -- with birdies at the second and third -- while Tseng dropped a stroke at the third. Hull hit a 5-wood to 12 feet at the second and holed it, then an 8-iron to 40 feet at the fourth and holed that as well.

Tseng restored her lead to three shots at the short fourth when Hull found a greenside bunker off the tee. Tseng went four ahead again with a birdie at the long sixth, holing from three feet.

They both dropped a stroke at the eighth and both parred the ninth to be out in 35.

The deficit was cut in half on the next two holes. Tseng, who had only one bogey in her three previous rounds of 68, got her third one of the final round at the 10th when she three-putted from 30 feet. Hull cut the deficit to two when she sank a 30-footer at the 11th after hitting a 9-iron into the green.

Two holes later Tseng’s lead was only one when Hull put her 5-iron second to three feet and sank it. The players parred the three par 5s at 15, 17 and 18, which had yielded so many birdies and eagles throughout the week.

Hull, whose putt for birdie at the 17th had lipped out, was understandably disappointed but still upbeat at the end.

"I'll probably be working on my short game after that finish," Hull said with a smile. "I couldn't believe when that putt on 17 stayed out, but never mind I did the best I could. I felt pretty good coming into the week, so there are lots of positives I can take from my performance."

Koreans Na Yeon Choi and In kyung Kim shared third on 7-under 281 after closing with 68 and 71 respectively and American Cristie Kerr shared fifth on 6-under with two other Koreans, Heekyung Seo and Amy Yangon.

Sweden's Caroline Hedwall won the Smyth Salver, awarded to the leading amateur, for her 3-over 291. The 21-year-old student at Oklahoma State University closed with a 70 which included five birdies and a triple-bogey 6 at the short 12th when she got in trouble at the back of the green, took two to get out and then three-putted.

Hedwall, who qualified by winning the European Individual Championship, shot 74-75-72 in the first three rounds.