Ashleigh Buhai won six times worldwide under her maiden name of Simon, but on Thursday at Royal Cape Golf Club she added Buhai to her first piece of silverware.
The 27 year old sank a 25-foot putt for birdie on the first extra trip down the 18th to edge out Lee-Anne Pace after both players finished regulation play at eight under par.
‘I played the hole exactly the same, but this time the putt didn’t miss,’ said the new winner. ‘I am so pleased that I managed to restart and finish with a win. It’s been two years since my last victory, so it’s great to have that mojo back.’
It was sunny and clear in Cape Town on Thursday, but a stiff breeze got the better of Buhai on the stretch and she bogeyed three holes in a row from the 13th onward.
‘I nearly blew it,’ she of her final-round 75. ‘I had a six shot lead through nine holes and then the wheels came off. I had a few bad swings and let a couple of putts slip by.
‘I was on the back foot, but my caddie said: “Let’s start again” and I regrouped. I hit a great three wood at 16 and nearly holed my chip. I made the birdie to go ahead again and I just had to trust myself that what I was doing was right.’