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Hinako Shibuno Wins Women’s British Open

MILTON KEYNES, England — Hinako Shibuno of Japan wrapped up a stunning major championship debut on Sunday by rolling in a birdie putt on the 18th hole and winning the Women’s British Open by one shot over Lizette Salas.

Shibuno, 20, a Japan tour rookie who was playing for the first time outside her country, birdied five of the final nine holes for a four-under-par 68 and an 18-under 270 over all.

“I was also thinking about if I were to make this putt, how I was going to celebrate,” Shibuno said of approaching the 18th, adding: “Eat a lot of sweets.”

Largely unknown before the championship, Shibuno — nicknamed Smiling Cinderella — started Sunday with a two-stroke lead but lost it with a double bogey on the par-4 third hole. She bounced back with birdies on Nos. 5 and 7 before a bogey on No. 8 at Woburn Golf Club.

But in three of four rounds, Shibuno shone on the back nine. She did it in 31 on Sunday — and in just 30 on Thursday and Saturday.

“Now that I’ve won, I think a lot of the Japanese people will know me, but in actuality, I just wanted to live a quiet life,” Shibuno said.

Salas, who started the day tied for fourth place, quickly played herself into contention with three birdies in the first four holes, and she added five more in a seven-under 65.

But Salas, an American, will regret not taking another birdie chance on the 18th when she shared the lead with Shibuno. It was Salas’s best finish at a major.

“I’ll take away a lot of positives,” said Salas, whose only L.P.G.A. Tour victory came at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship. “We had a game plan at the beginning of the week, and we stuck with it. We fought every single day, and to play the way I did, I’m really happy.

“Obviously I could have finished a little better, and it stings a little bit, but I’ve just been working so hard this entire year and I’m so proud of my team.”

Jin Young Ko, seeking her third major title of the year after winning the Evian Championship last week and the ANA Inspiration in April, finished third, two shots back after a bogey-free 66.

“I had a little pressure, but I like that pressure,” Ko said.

Morgan Pressel (67) finished fourth at 15 under, just ahead of the early tournament leader Ashleigh Buhai (70), whose hopes were dented Saturday when she let a five-shot lead slip. Buhai, a 30-year-old South African, finished fifth at 14 under.

“If you had given me a top five at the beginning of the week, I most certainly would have taken it,” Buhai said.

Celine Boutier shot a 66 to finish the tournament at 12 under, followed by Carlota Ciganda (70) at 11 under and second-ranked Sung Hyun Park (73) at 10 under.

The American Nelly Korda (68) tied for ninth with Jeongeun Lee6 (71) at nine under, two shots ahead of Lexi Thompson (67). The defending champion, Georgia Hall (73), tied for 35th.


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