Yani Tseng wins Women’s British Open for 5th major

Posted July 31, 2011, at 9:08 p.m.

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland — Judging by the record books, Yani Tseng is 10 years ahead of Annika Sorenstam.

The 22-year-old Taiwanese won the Women’s British Open for the second straight year Sunday, beating Brittany Lang by four strokes and becoming the youngest player — male or female — to capture a fifth major title.

Sorenstam was 32 when she won the 2003 LPGA Championship for her fifth major. Tiger Woods was 24 when he won his fifth at the 2000 PGA Championship.

“It’s so great making history on this golf course, and I feel wonderful right now,” said Tseng, who is ranked No. 1 and won the LPGA Championship last month. “I hope to keep winning. Next year there are another four majors and I will try and organize and keep working hard.”

Tseng became only the third player to win consecutive British titles, joining Sherri Steinhaurer (1998, 1999) and Debbie Massey (1980, 1981).

Tseng shot a 3-under 69 to finish at 16-under 272. She trailed third-round leader Caroline Masson of Germany by two strokes entering the final round. Masson closed with a 78 and tied for fifth.

“I wish to win more, but I am really happy,” Tseng said. “I think in my mind I say, wow, five-times major. I never think about that. It just feels really very special.”

Lang shot a 67 to finish at 276, one ahead of Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson (68). South Korea’s Amy Yang (67) was fourth.

Lang was tied for sixth entering the final day, eight behind Masson. She picked up one stroke by the turn but the American bagged four birdies at Nos. 11, 12, 14 and 17.

“I made some really big par putts early on, and from then on played fairly flawless golf,” Lang said.

Tseng dropped a shot at the first hole with three putts, missing a 3-footer for par. She birdied the third with a pitching wedge to 2 feet and the long sixth with a chip to 5 feet.

By the turn, she was in command. She was just short of the green off the tee at the par-4 11th and took two putts for a birdie, then dropped a shot at two straight holes. She hit an 8-iron over the back of the green at 12 and then hit the pin off the tee on the short 13th but her ball stopped at the edge of a bunker. She stood in the sand to play her second shot.

Tseng birdied the long 14th and finished with two birdies, holing from 20 feet on the 17th and hitting a majestic 9-iron to 3 feet at the last.

“I was a little nervous before the start, but then I hit a good tee shot and I felt good,” Tseng said. “I feel that, having been in this position in a major a few times before, I am getting more mature and can handle the pressure better.”

Champions Tour

TOLEDO, Ohio — After a stoic week, Olin Browne finally let loose.

Browne showed little emotion until rolling in a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to clinch a three-shot victory over Mark O’Meara in the U.S. Senior Open.

After Browne’s last putt dropped and a large gallery around the final green at Inverness Club roared its approval as he raised his arms in triumph. It was the biggest victory of the journeyman’s 27 years as a professional.

Browne’s closing even-par 71 followed rounds of 64, 69 and 65 and left him at 15-under 269.

Making few mistakes, he parred the first seven holes. After a bogey dropped him into a tie with O’Meara (72), he played the last 10 holes in 1 under, while O’Meara made two costly bogeys.

Mark Calcavecchia shot a 69 and was alone in third at 273. Ageless Hale Irwin had a 68 was another shot back along with Joey Sindelar (70).

PGA Tour

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. — PGA Tour rookie Scott Stallings won the Greenbrier Classic, sinking a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat Bob Estes and Bill Haas.

After watching Estes and Haas miss their birdie attempts on the 168-yard 18th hole, Stallings curled in a 7-footer for his first tour victory. He flipped his putter, then hugged and high-fived his caddie.

Stallings made six birdies on the back nine to make the playoff, where he earned a winner’s check of $1.08 million and a spot in the Bridgestone Invitational.

Estes shot 6-under 64 and was the clubhouse leader at 10 under, then watched as Haas birdied the par-5 17th six groups later to join him after a 67.

Stallings, who shot 69, bogeyed the par-5 17th after his drive went out of bounds and he needed a birdie at No. 18 to make the playoff. He sank a 5-footer to do it.

Jimmy Walker (68), Andres Romero (65), Brendon de Jonge (66), Cameron Tringale (67) and Gary Woodland (69) finished at 9 under.

European Tour

KILLARNEY, Ireland — Simon Dyson of England won the Irish Open by a stroke, capitalizing on a poor approach shot by Richard Green of Australia on the final hole.

Dyson was trailing by a shot when he birdied the 17th to draw even. His round of 4-under 67 left him 15-under 269 for the tournament. Dyson finished ninth at the British Open two weeks ago and called his play in the Irish Open “probably the best golf I’ve ever played.”

Green all but handed Dyson the victory when his approach on the 18th led to a three-putt bogey, only his second of the day. He finished at 68 for a 14 under total.

Scotland’s Stephen Gallacher was third after a 68 left him at 12 under.

Nationwide Tour

SANDY, Utah — J.J. Killeen earned his first Nationwide Tour victory at the Utah Championship on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 to beat Jeff Gove by four strokes.

Killeen opened the tournament with a course record 62 at Willow Creek Country Club and shared at least a tie of the lead in every round, finishing at 22-under 262 to tie the tournament record set by Brendon Todd in 2008.

Gove closed with a 69 and Casey Wittenberg shot a 65 to finish alone in third another two strokes back.

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