Korean veteran golfer Jiyai Shin’s love affair with Australia continued as she came from three strokes behind Minjee Lee to claim the ActewAGL Canberra Classic by six strokes for her 50th career win and her second at Royal Canberra Golf Club.
The 29-year-old from South Korea with rounds of 65 and 68, followed by an eight-under-par 64 when it most mattered, highlighted by an eagle at the 15th, seven birdies and one bogey, to end on a three-round total of 19-under-par.
She had previously won the 2013 Women’s Australian Open at Royal Canberra and said: “I’m so excited I can’t tell you. Royal Canberra is my favourite golf course in the world.
“I have great memories from that final round battle with Lydia Ko and now this time with Minjee Lee: two great young ladies. I also learned from them. Royal Canberra is very nice to play. People came out to watch and the last few days we had beautiful weather, so I really enjoyed it.”
In her prize giving speech, Shin delighted the galleries by telling them that she was hitting the ball longer than ever because of the protein in the local Aussie meat pies.
Western Australian Lee, who had won the previous week’s Oates Vic Open, had been highly favoured to win after carding a nine-under-par 63 in the second round, but she ended with a disappointing one-over-par 73. Although she birdied the opening hole, her challenge faltered when she bogeyed the fourth and the fifth holes.
“From the start, I wasn’t hitting it that solid, so I don’t think I hit it that well or putted that well and I had one-over, but it is what it is,” Lee said. “Jiyai played well and I guess you can’t win everything. I was never going to win with those last couple of holes. After Jiyai’s eagle I think it was pretty set, so I just played my game.”