Wu Pips Wood to Title as Emotional Stanford Wins Maiden Major

By: | Mon 17 Sep 2018 | Comments


Angela Stanford won her first major title at the age of 40 with a dramatic victory at the Evian Championship as fellow American Amy Olson threw away her chance of victory with a horrible double-bogey at the last. Olson was a shot clear of Stanford going down the par-four 18th, but finished with a six. That meant a three-under-par 68 on the final day secured victory for Stanford, who finished on 12 under. Olson, 26, was tied for second in France with Austin Ernst, Mo Martin and Kim Sei-young.

England's Georgia Hall was tied for 16th after a disappointing three-over 74 left the British Open champion six under for the final major of the season.

Stanford is the first American to win a major since Danielle Kang's success at the 2017 Women's PGA Championship. "I did a bunch of stupid stuff, but deep down I'm a fighter, I'm a grinder, and I've always been that," she said. "I'm grateful. And so happy for everybody at home, everybody that's cheered for me and never gave up on me."

Overnight leader Olson, who was seeking her first win as a professional, missed a six-foot putt for bogey on the 18th that would have forced a playoff, and she was devastated to have missed out. "I was aggressive with my putt - a little too aggressive, obviously," said Olson, whose previous best finish in an LPGA event was tied seventh in 2014. "It's disappointing to finish like that, but I had a great week. I have so many positive things to take away from it."

EUROPEAN TOUR

Wu Ashun birdied the 72nd hole to pip England's Chris Wood in a thrilling final day battle and win his third European Tour title at the KLM Open. The Chinese golfer entered round four one shot behind Wood and after briefly edging ahead in the early stages, spent most of the day playing catch up at The Dutch before birdies on the 14th and 15th moved him level at 15 under.

A stunning second into the par five last set up the closing birdie in a 67 and with Wood making a par, Wu claimed his first win since the 2016 Lyoness Open.

"Unbelievable this week,” Wu said. “I am so happy, very happy today and thank you everyone. “It was beautiful weather this week too and a lot of good golf played here and I like this golf course very much.

"We just fixed my swing at the beginning of the year and we still trust that we are going the right way. My coach and I were working very hard and he has flown to the Czech Republic and Denmark to help me so I think we are getting better and better so that's why I think last week was top ten and then this week just win.”

Wood's closing 69 left him one shot clear of Belgian Thomas Detry and Japan's Hideto Tanihara, with three-time major winner Padraig Harrington producing another superb week to finish at 13 under.

Wu's third win makes him the most successful Chinese player in European Tour history and represents an excellent return to form after he needed the Access List to keep his playing privileges last season.

Wood bogeyed the first after finding the sand to make it a four-way tie for the lead but Wu's approach to the second was inside three feet and he took the lead before Wood birdied the second hole after putting his approach to five feet. It set the tone for the day.

Wu had found his range and he hit an excellent tee-shot into the par three fourth and rolled home from 15 feet to get back in front. But back came Wood, who took advantage of the par five to sixth to get back level and when Wu hit his tee-shot right into thick rough on the seventh, Wood led again.

An approach to five feet at the tenth and an an excellent ten-foot right-to-lefter on the next put Wood three ahead but his lead slipped to one when he found the water to double-bogey the 12th. He hit a wonderful approach to tap-in range on the 13th to get back to two ahead but Wu hit an excellent tee-shot into the par three 14th and an approach to four feet on the next to move into a share.

With the tee up 141 yards on the par five last, Wu hit a stunning second into the green for his closing birdie and when Wood three-putted it handed the title to the 33-year-old Chinese player.

Detry had equalled the course record with a 63 on Saturday and he continued his weekend charge, making birdies on the third, sixth, 11th, 15th, 17th and last with a bogey on the ninth.

Tanihara - who also recorded a 63 in round three - dropped a shot on the fourth and while he regained it on the sixth, he then reeled off nine straight pars before birdieing the 16th and 18th.

Harrington bogeyed the second but sandwiched a birdie on the sixth with huge putts on the fourth and seventh before dropping a shot on the ninth. The Irishman then went birdie-bogey on the tenth and 11th before making further gains on the 15th and last.

Soren Kjeldsen, of Denmark, and England's Eddie Pepperell both made a single bogey in rounds of 65 to sit at 12 under alongside Welshman Bradley Dredge who carded a 66 and Scot David Drysdale who recorded a 69.


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