It has been quite the last couple of days for Ashleigh Buhai of South Africa. On Friday in the second round of the 2019 Women’s British Open from the Woburn Golf and Country Club in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, Buhai not only maintained her lead after the first round, but extended it from one stroke to three strokes.
Buhai, who is seeking her first LPGA Title, and first top 10 finish of the 2019 LPGA season, shot a second round score of five under par 67, only one day after shooting a first round score of seven under par 65. She currently leads 20 year-old Japanese rookie sensation Hinako Shibuno by three strokes. Shibuno, who was tied for second place with Danielle Kang of San Francisco at -6 after the first round, was very effective on Friday as well as she shot a second round score of -3 to get to -9.
Buhai had five birdies and zero bogeys in the second round. She birdied the second, 11th, 13th, 15th and 16th holes. The fact that Buhai only has one bogey in 36 holes (the 11th hole in round one) is mighty impressive.
South Africa has a rich history in golf, but not in women’s golf. In fact, only one other South African woman has ever won a major in women’s golf. That was Sally Little of Cape Town, who won the 1980 LPGA Championship.
On the men’s side, there have been seven South Africans who have won major titles. Gary Player leads the list with nine major titles (1959, 1968 and 1974 British Open, the 1961, 1974 and 1978 Masters, the 1962 and 1972 PGA Championship and the 1965 U.S. Open). He is followed by Bobby Locke who has won four British Opens (1949, 1950, 1952, and 1957) and Ernie Els, who has won the U.S. Open twice (1994 and 1997) and the British Open twice (2002 and 2012).
The only other South African golfer with multiple major titles is Retief Goosen, who won the 2001 and 2004 U.S. Open. Three other South African men’s golfers have won one major. Trevor Immelman won the 2008 Masters. Louis Oosthuizen won the 2010 British Open and Charl Schwartzel won the 2011 Masters.