GOLF: Clyburn clinches ninth in the World Championships

Holly Clyburn
Holly Clyburn
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Woodhall Spa professional Holly Clyburn is celebrating after clinching a top 10 finish in the star-studded World Ladies Championship in China at the weekend.

Clyburn recorded rounds of a 74,65,74 and 75 to finish in ninth place - well ahead of many of the world’s top players.

It was an impressive performance from the Woodhall Spa ace, coming just a week after she captured the New South Wales Women’s Open in Sydney.

Now, Clyburn will be hoping she can continue her red-hot form for the rest of the year as she looks to confirm her reputation as one of Europe’s top players.

The China event was won by So Yeon Ryu, who came from a stroke behind fellow South Korean Inbee Park.

Clyburn had looked set to challenge for the title herself, especially after that second round 65, which included nine birdies at the Mission Hills course in Hainan.

However, she could not match the leaders over the closing two rounds, but her top 10 finish was still an amazing performance.

Reflecting on that 65, Clyburn said: “I got a fast start with two birdies on the first two and then settled in and made a nice birdie on four and then played nicely for the last six holes on the front nine.

“I birdied the par fives when I needed to and played nicely on that back nine. My short game was fantastic, my pitching especially.

“I just need to keep things going.”

Clyburn won almost 11,000 Euros and her bank balance received another welcome boost with that victory in Sydney.

She had to hold her nerve and sink a three foot par putt to win title at Oatlands Golf Club.

With rounds of 69, 66 and 70, she finished on top of the leaderboard at 11-under-par and just one clear of NSW’s Rebecca Artis, Austrian Christine Wolf, Scotland’s Vikki Laing and Switzerland’s Fabienne In-Albon.

Clyburn’s name had been on the leaderboards in a number of the major Australian and New Zealand tournaments over the past month.

She finished in a tie for second at the Oates Victorian Open early February, before being in contention at the RACV Ladies Masters, were she eventually finished in a share of 16th position.

Unfortunately, she had to withdraw after the first round of the New Zealand Open because of a hip injury, but bounced back in the best possible style.

It was the 24-year-old’s third professional victory after wins on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Access Series and LET.

She said: “It means a lot, I have been knocking on the door for a few months now. I have been working hard.

“The win has been great and a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I am very happy, I can’t wait to see my parents and celebrate with them.”

The next Ladies European Tour event is the Lalla Meryem Cup, which takes place on March 26-29 in Agadir, Morocco.