Lindsey Wright sinks birdie on 18th hole to take Women’s Open


CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — Australia’s Lindsey Wright birdied the par-5 18th for a 4-under 68 and a one-stroke victory Sunday in the New Zealand Women’s Open. Wright finished at 10-under 206 at Pegasus Golf Club in the event sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and Australian Ladies Professional Golf. Wright clinched her first win on either tour with seven birdies, including three in a row on holes No. 7, 8 and 9. She also had one double bogey on the par-4 13th. “It’s unbelievable. It’s still sinking in,” Wright said. “I putted really well all day and the last six holes I was really nervous.” American Alison Walshe and Australia’s Jessica Speechley finished in a share of second place. Walshe closed with a 69, and Speechley had a 65, the lowest round of the tournament. Canada’s Lorie Kane and Australia’s Stephanie Na shot 69 to finish equal fourth at 8 under. Fourteen-year-old Lydia Ko, who had a share of the second-round lead with five other golfers, fell to 17th place after shooting a 74. The South Korean-born New Zealander, the world’s top-ranked amateur, became the youngest winner of a professional tour event last month in the Women’s New South Wales Open. The 32-year-old Wright was formerly the world No. 12, but took time away from golf after a loss of form. She sank a 4-meter (13-foot) putt for birdie on the final hole to seal the win and avoid a three-way playoff with Walshe and Speechley. “I looked at the leaderboard and saw Alison Walshe up there and Speechley at 9 under and thought, ‘No I can make this putt. Just keep your head down, just hit a great putt,’” she said. “My caddy was more shocked that I was I think.”