LPGA Tour
Matthew wins Women's British Open



Lytham St. Annes, England (Sports Network) - Catriona Matthew birdied three straight holes on the back nine Sunday to pull away and win the Women's British Open.

Matthew completed her third tour win and first major championship title at three-under-par 285.

"Unbelievable. I never imagined coming back and playing here after not playing that I would win," said Matthew, who was playing just her second event since giving birth to her second child in May. "It really just hasn't sunk in yet."

Karrie Webb nearly rallied to win the championship for the fourth time. The Australian closed with a four-under 68 at Royal Lytham and St. Annes to finish in second place at even-par 288, three back.

Ai Miyazato used birdies on six and seven to move into a share of the lead at minus-one. However, a bogey and a double-bogey late in her round dropped her into a share of third at one-over-par 289. She was joined there by Paula Creamer (71), Hee-Won Han (70) and Christina Kim (74).

Michelle Wie carded a three-under 69 Sunday to share 11th place at four-over 292 with five other players.

Women's world No. 1 Lorena Ochoa carded four rounds of par or worse. She closed with a 74 to end in a tie for 28th at 10-over 298.

Matthew missed the green at the first and that led to an opening bogey. She tripped to another bogey on the third when she missed the green left.

After six consecutive pars, Matthew hit into a gorse bush and had to take an unplayable lie. She did manage to save bogey, but that dropped her into a share of the lead with Miyazato at minus-one.

"I was definitely nervous this morning," admitted Matthew, who collected $335,000 for the win. "I hit a good shot through the first. It went through the back and I missed the putt. I played six and seven pretty badly. Maybe thought I would get a birdie back there, but just kind of hung in and made a really good bogey on 10."

Creamer and Mika Miyazato both moved within one of the leaders, but Matthew took control in the middle of the back nine.

Matthew sank an 18-foot birdie on the 13th and followed by running home a 40- footer for birdie at 14. Matthew made it three in a row with a two-putt birdie on 15 to move back to minus-four, where she led by three. Ai Miyazato fell two back as she bogeyed the 14th and followed with a birdie on 15.

Matthew, a four-time European Solheim Cup performer, did give a stroke back on 17, but she parred the last to seal her first major championship crown.

"I knew the whole way around where I was," Matthew stated. "I think when I holed the putt on 14, I really thought this was mine for the taking now. I kind of let it slip a little bit, and others were kind of pushing at me a little bit. But I holed that putt, and I thought, 'Right, come on, I'm never going to have a better chance, so let's take it.'"

Ai Miyazato double-bogeyed the 17th to fall out of contention.

Webb closed with a bogey-free round that included just one birdie over her first 14 holes and that came on the par-five sixth. She made eagle on the par- five 15th and came back with a birdie on 16 to take second .

"I knew I needed to get it at least to even today," Webb said. "I played pretty well. I made a couple of really key par putts, but I didn't have much going on until the birdie and the 20-yard chip shot for eagle."

Kristy McPherson closed with a two-under 70 to end alone in seventh place at two-over-par 290.

Jiyai Shin, the 2008 champion, posted a three-over 75 to end in a tie for eighth at plus-three. She finished alongside Cristie Kerr (69) and Na Yeon Choi (70).

08/02 13:56:36 ET