Smiling Cinderella wins Women’s British Open

UK-Japan News August 2019

Hinako Shibuno, the 20-year-old golfer who had only been outside Japan once before competing in this year’s Women’s British Open at Woburn Golf and Country Club near Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire, captured not only the title but also the hearts of the UK crowd. As The Guardian reported on 4 August, Shibuno’s bright attitude, high-fiving of spectators and penchant for snacking her way around the links earned her the nickname Smiling Cinderella. And as in the story, it was a last-minute turn of events that brought on a fairy-tale ending as Shibuno sank a putt from 18ft to edge out American Lizette Salas by one stroke in her major championship debut. She is the first Japanese golfer to win the Women’s British Open.