|Yani Tseng acknowledges the crowd following her shot into the sixth green during the final round of the Women's British Open at Carnoustie, Scotland, on Sunday, July 31, 2011. (REUTERS/Russell Cheyne)
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland -- Yani Tseng, 22, collected her fifth major championship on Sunday when she successfully defended her title at the Women's British Open.
Tseng became the youngest player in history, male or female, to win that many major titles. When she captured her fourth major this year at the LPGA Championship, she became the youngest female golfer to accomplish the feat.
Now, in the long, storied history of this game, no one has accomplished more at such a young age as Tseng.
Even the great Tiger Woods only won his fifth major title at 24.
"It feels really good," said Tseng in her televised trophy presentation. "It's my honor to win the British Open again."
This was Tseng's seventh worldwide win of 2011 and her fourth on the LPGA Tour. The No. 1 player in the world picked up her ninth career title on tour.
As historic the victory was on Sunday, Tseng worked very hard to get it. She shot a final-round, three-under 69 to win the title by four over Brittany Lang, who carded an impressive five-under 67 Sunday at Carnoustie.
Sophie Gustafson took third at 11-under 277 after a final-round 68. Amy Yang posted a five-under 67 for fourth place at minus-10.
Tseng certainly got some help from third-round leader Caroline Masson. The unheralded German, also 22, playing in only her second major championship, squandered her two-shot lead to Tseng by the sixth hole and finished with a six-over 78 on Sunday. She tied for fifth place at minus-nine with 2009 Women's British Open champion Catriona Matthew, whose double-bogey at the last gave her an even-par 72.
"It was a great week for me," Masson said in a televised interview. "I expected her (Tseng) to play really well. I was just trying to play my game. It just didn't work out today. That's just how it is sometimes. You have to accept it."
Masson actually extended her lead early after a Tseng bogey at the first. Masson bogeyed the second and third and Tseng rolled in a short birdie putt at the third for a tie atop the leaderboard.
Tseng sank a five-foot birdie putt at the par-five sixth, and with that birdie, she took the lead and never relinquished it. Masson bogeyed seven and fell apart. She bogeyed 10 and 11 and when Tseng converted a tiny birdie putt at 11, she was four shots clear.
Despite the margin of victory, things tightened up after the birdie at 11.
Tseng bogeyed the 12th and 13th and the bogey at 13 was a tough one to take. Her tee ball hit the stick and rolled off the green. Tseng's advantage was cut to two over Matthew.
But the 2009 champion blew a huge opportunity at the 14th. Matthew had seven feet for birdie to cut the gap to one, but missed and never threatened again.
That was due to Tseng's play after the back-to-back hiccups.
Tseng reached the par-five 14th in two and two-putted for a birdie. Her cushion was back to three and with no one making any late charge, Tseng seemed to have an easy path to the winner's circle.
Lang got it to two shots, but Tseng birdied the par-five 17th to make the margin three. Tseng birdied the last to finish off the historic victory in style.
"I played so consistently today," Tseng said on television. "I feel more comfortable this year. My mental game matured. I think I've got a great attitude and I'm really happy."
Anna Nordqvist (70), Sun Young Yoo (70), Na Yeon Choi (72) and Inbee Park (73) shared seventh place at eight-under 280.
NOTES: Tseng joined Debbie Massey and Sherri Steinhauer as the only players to win this title two years in a row...She also became the first golfer to win two majors in consecutive years on the LPGA Tour since Karrie Webb finished her run off in 2001...Tseng pocketed $392,133 for the victory...Royal Liverpool will host the Women's British Open next year...The LPGA moves back to North America in three weeks for the Safeway Classic in Oregon, where Ai Miyazato will defend her title.