Korea’s Jiyai Shin shot a superb final round of four-under-par 69 at RACV Royal Pines Resort to capture the 2016 RACV Ladies Masters title by three strokes over Holly Clyburn from England in Queensland.
Shin had held the overnight lead by two shots from Clyburn and Sweden’s Camilla Lennarth and the talented European pair piled on the early pressure but it wasn’t enough to unseat the former world number one.
Lennarth made early birdies at the first and third holes to join Shin in the lead at 10-under-par while Clyburn picked up shots at the third and sixth holes to make it a three way tie at the top of the leader board.
Shin broke away with a birdie at the sixth to edge clear again. Two more birdies at the eighth and 10th holes saw her establish a two stroke lead. However, just when she seemed completely in charge, she faltered with bogeys on the 11th and 13th, where she drove into the water, to fall back into a tie with Lennarth.
After the Swede bogeyed the 14th, the experienced Shin, with two Ricoh Women’s British Open titles to her credit, bounced back with birdies at 15 and 16, where she holed from three metres.
A three stroke margin proved too large for the chasing pack to overcome, and Shin signed off her final round in style with a birdie on the last hole.
Winner of the 2013 Women’s Australian Open in Canberra, Shin was delighted to win in Australia for the second time. She said: “I really wanted to win this tournament because previously I came second. I really want my photo up with the past champions. I got a lot of motivation from each. I feel really good. I want to stay here. I love coming to Australia, it really feels like home. I would love to stay here! I love the pies and some beer but please keep this a secret from my trainer! It is great to win, that means I get to come back next year.”
Shin said that she had really enjoyed the newly re-designed RACV Royal Pines layout. “When I first played the course earlier in the week it gave me a really good feel. I love playing links style golf and in the wind and this course gave me a similar feel so I came into the tournament really confident. You really have to concentrate around the greens, it really has changed a lot.”
Clyburn birdied the last to finish alone in second place at 11-under-par, while a stroke back Lennarth tied for third with Nicole Broch Larsen from Denmark.
A 16-year-old Korean, Hye Jin Choi, finished as the leading amateur at eight-under-par in a tie for fifth place with Ssu Chia Cheng from Chinese Taipei and Katie Burnett of the United States. Canadian Brooke Henderson had a final round of two-over 75 to slip back into a share of eighth with Thailand’s Nontaya Srisawang and Pamela Pretswell from Scotland. Another amateur, Hannah Green, was the leading Australian in a tie for 12th place.