Women’s British Open golf: Catriona Matthew happy to make top ten

NORTH BERWICK’S Catriona Matthew finished tied for tenth and the top British player after rounds of 71 and 75 on a final day battered by wind and rain at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Hoylake.

Despite the awful weather, South Korea’s Jiyai Shin shot rounds of 71 and 73 to win the £250,000 prize by a runaway margin.

On nine under par, the 24-year-old Shin, a winner at Sunningdale four years ago, finished nine shots ahead of second-placed Inbee Park, who birdied the last for a final round of 76.

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American Paula Creamer finished four under for the last four holes for a 72 and was outright third on one over par.

Matthew, the champion three years ago at Royal Lytham and St Annes, admitted she had never played in worse conditions. “I’ve played in heavy rain and bad winds, but never when both were so bad at the same time,” said the 43-year-old. “At the start of the back nine in the final round it was awful, just crazy. But it was a great day. I just made the cut and so to make the top ten was really good.”

Her only really blight on the final day was a double-bogey seven at the start of her final round. But she finished with 13 straight pars, most of them made in the worst of the weather.

Graeme, her husband and caddie, admitted he was soaked through by the end, but was delighted with his wife’s gritty effort.

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“It was just brutal out there and I even broke my glasses,” he said. “I took them off to dry them but twisted them in the towel and they snapped.”

Shin earned £266,000 – she also won £130,000 for winning the Kingsmill Championship after a nine-hole play-off against Creamer in the United States last Monday.

Matthew picked up around £40,000, and was the only Scot in the final stages. Comrie’s Carly Booth, the only other Scot in the field, missed the cut by five shots.