CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Judging by the record books, Yani Tseng is 10 years ahead of Annika Sorenstam.
The 22-year-old Taiwanese won the Ricoh 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 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.”
Masson dropped four shots in the first three holes of her closing nine. She finished at 9 under with local favorite Catriona Matthew, the 2009 champion, who had a double-bogey 6 on the final hole.
Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist tied for seventh at 280 with South Koreans Sun Young Yoo, Na Yeon Choi and Inbee Pak. American Stacy Lewis had a 68 to rally to a 281.
Sweden’s Maria Hjorth was at 282 after a 68 and Americans Katie Futcher and Cristie Kerr were in a group a stroke further back. Futcher equaled the best round of the week with a 64, including an eagle at the 14th, followed by three birdies. Kerr had four birdies for a 68 to finish at 5 under.
Paula Creamer dropped five strokes in the first five holes to be out in 40, then dropped three more on the back nine for a 79. Brittany Lincicome shot 73 to finish at 287 as did first-round leader Meena Lee, who closed with a 74 after opening with a 65 Thursday.