Woods, 23, shot a 69 in the final round of the Ladies' Australian -Masters to win by two strokes on 16 under. When she tapped in her birdie putt on the 18th she was covered in champagne by her fellow pros. And the tears began to flow soon after.
Her nearest pursuer was the -Australian 17-year-old Minjee Lee. Yet with the likes of former world No?1 Yani Tseng, Charley Hull - the much-vaunted English teenager who -finished 11th - Laura Davies and -Jessica Korda in behind, nobody could doubt the validity of this -victory. Having joined the paid ranks in 2012, Woods's only win previously had been on a minor tour. "This is a huge accomplishment," she said. "I've been pro for two years and, for the majority of it, people just think of me as Tiger Woods's niece. But now I have a game of my own and a title. It will be nice to say to people that I can play and I'm not just a name. Growing up with the last name of Woods, there's a lot of expectations and pressure and spotlight on you. But I always knew I was able to win."
Woods's father, Earl Jnr, is a half-brother to Tiger. Her grandfather, Earl, who was Tiger's father, encouraged her to play and when he died, the 14-time major champion assumed the role of golfing mentor. He advised her to take the opportunity to play in Ladies' European Tour events and helped her through the disappointment of missing out on her American card in December. "The European Tour has been great to be able to play this past year," she said. "I've been able to see all of these great players, play with Solheim Cup players... to be able to come out here and compete with them and come out on top is huge for me."
Woods earned approximately pounds 30,000 in prize money as well as a two-year exemption on the Ladies European Tour. She plays this week in the LPGA Tour-sanctioned Women's Australian Open in Victoria.
On the men's European Tour, George Coetzee produced a closing 66 to claim the Joburg Open by three shots. The South African beat -England's Tyrrell Hatton, the Korean Jeong Jin and his countryman Justin Walters by two shots after a 66 for an 19-under total at the Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club.
Hatton's delight at his best finish since earning his Tour card was tempered by missing out on a spot in the Open Championship. The top three qualified for Hoylake, but Hatton lost due to his 276th position in the world rankings being lower than that of Walters and Jeong.