Fairytale ending for Cinderella at Woburn
Japan’s Hinako Shibuno has won the Women’s open on her first outing at a major championship.
The 20-year-old, nicknamed “smiling Cinderella”, finished her final round of 68 with a fairytale birdie on the 18th. She won the hearts of the fans at Woburn with her infectious smile, sweet munching and high fiving of fans on her way round the course.
Despite a two shot lead overnight, Shinubo had been caught by America’s Lizette Salas who shot the lowest round of the week with her 65, but Shibuno’s birdie on the last clinched the title and helped her avoid the dreaded play-off.
British hopes were dashed as both Charley Hull and Bronte Law slipped down the leaderboard with cards of 76 and 78 respectively for the day. Last year’s champion, Georgia Hall could not defend her title after a disappointing weekend saw her finish back in 35th position.
This is the first tournament Shibuno has played outside Japan but the young champion did not let her nerves get the better of her despite saying after the final hole:
“I still feel like I'm going to vomit. I felt like I was going to cry on the 18th but the tears didn't come out."
Relatively unknown last week, Shibuno and her eccentric fancy dress wearing coach have won the tournament but also the popularity contest.