x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Matthew first Scot to lift title

Tony Jacklin was one Briton to win a major at Lytham and, 40 years later, Catriona Matthew was another as she captured the Ricoh British Women's Open by three shots from Australia's Karrie Webb.

Tony Jacklin was one Briton to win a major at Lytham and, 40 years later, Catriona Matthew was another as she captured the Ricoh British Women's Open by three shots from Australia's Karrie Webb. The 39-year-old Scot, who gave birth to a second daughter only 11 weeks ago, finished at three under par with scores of 74,67, 71 and 73. Having started the last afternoon with a three-shot lead over the colourful Christina Kim, Matthew was caught at the 10th by Ai Miyazato before making a magnificent fist of shrugging off the Japanese player and all other would-be champions over the last six holes.

Matthew is normally the least emotional of golfers but, in walking down the 18th with Graeme, her husband-cum-caddie at her side, all that changed. As Kim, her playing companion, led the applause and generally helped to make the most of the moment for the winner-to-be, so Matthew found herself struggling to keep the tears at bay. She pulled herself together for putting purposes and, after tapping in for par, admitted that what had happened was not going to sink in fast. "I can't quite believe it," said the first Scottish winner in the championship's 23-year history.

Matthew's first half 37 had been somewhat shaky but, from the moment she got down in two from short of the green at the par-three 12th, the hole she had aced on Friday, the confidence started to kick in. From some admittedly well-trampled rough at the 340 yards 13th, she dispatched her second on to the green and holed from 15ft for a birdie. At the 14th, there was another visit to the rough and another birdie while, at the par five 15th, there was a yet another as she caught the green safely - and spectacularly - in two.

sports@thenational.ae