Australia's Minjee Lee plays out of the bunker on the 17th green.
Australia's Minjee Lee plays out of the bunker on the 17th green.

Horror finish costs Aussie Minjee Lee first major

A DISASTROUS final round three-over-par 75 cruelled Australian Minjee Lee's chances of a first major title as Georgia Hall broke her maiden duck on Tour with victory at the Women's British Open.

West Australian Lee was just three behind overnight leader Pornanong Phatlum, but saw any hopes of a charge evaporate with four bogeys on the last day.

Hall, meanwhile, upstaged all to register her very first win since turning professional when she carded a closing five-under-par 67.

She stamped her authority with three birdies in a four-hole stretch to beat Thailand's Phatlum by two strokes at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Cheered on by a large gallery, Hall finished at 17-under 271, becoming the second English player to win the championship after Karen Stupples in 2004.

"I've always joked by saying I haven't really won since turning pro and a major will be my first win and I can't believe it's actually true," the 22-year-old Hall said.

"I told myself just to stay calm the whole way and not think about anything. I thought I'll cry but I think that's going to happen in another couple of hours. Hopefully I'll be alone then."

Lee slumped to a 10th place finish.

Disaster struck with Lee bogeying the seventh, 12th, 15th and 16th to finish 10 behind Hall.

Hall joined Laura Davies (four), Alison Nicholas and Stupples as women's major winners from England.

She became the first English player of either sex to win a major at Royal Lytham since Tony Jacklin won the 1969 British Open.

The final round quickly turned into a head-to-head duel between Hall and overnight lead Phatlum, after South Korean Ryu So-yeon triple-bogeyed the third hole.

Phatlum, seeking to join compatriot Ariya Jutanugarn (US Women's Open) as a major champion this year, hit a series of loose drives down the stretch. But a 70 earned her second place on 15 under, with Ryu (70) another two shots back in third.


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