Ariya Jutanugarn shot a final-round 67 to claim her second consecutive LPGA Tour victory at the Kingsmill Championship Presented by JTBC.
Jutanugarn shot all four rounds in the 60s at the River Course at Kingsmill Resort and finished at 14-under par and one shot clear of rookie Su Oh of Australia. American Gerina Piller and Sei Young Kim of South Korea finished tied for third at 12-under par.
Jutanugarn won her first career title at the Tour’s last stop at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic when she became the first Thai player to win on Tour. This week, the 20-year old from Bangkok became the second player this season to win back-to-back events, joining world No. 1 Lydia Ko (Kia Classic & ANA Inspiration).
She said closing out win No. 2 turned out to be a lot easier than trying to get her first.
“Yeah, a lot easier,” said Jutanugarn. “I didn’t get nervous. I didn’t get excited until the last putt. My hands were shaking, but it’s just a little bit, not like last tournament. Last tournament was so bad.”
Jutanugarn bogeyed the par 3 second hole but birdied four of her next seven holes to make the turn at 13-under par.
She received some pressure on the back nine from Gerina Piller and Su Oh after going five consecutive holes without a birdie. But a birdie on the par 5 15th hole gave her a two-shot lead with three holes to play. She said she was aware of what the other players were doing but it didn’t phase her.
“I didn’t feel pressure,” said Jutanugarn. “Today I just feel like whatever it is is fine because I just really want to have fun. I’m not really care -- actually I know they play good, but I’m not really care about them. I really worry about like what I want to do more.”
Oh sank a long birdie putt from the fringe on the 18th to get to 13-under and within one shot of the lead. Oh’s runner-up finish is the best of her career and first top 10 in her rookie season. She gave herself an early birthday present as she turns 20 years old tomorrow.
“You can always be a little more pleased, but yeah, I’m very happy with how it went today,” said Oh. “I got off to a really good start, which was nice, and just kept it going until the end.”
Jutanugarn walked to the 18th tee needing a par to close out the win and didn’t make things easy on herself. After a great tee shot, she landed her approach on the far right fringe, setting her up for a difficult third shot with the pin position in the far left location. She hit her chip shot to six feet and confidentially made her par putt for the win.
“I mean, last win was like breakthrough everything, so after I won one tournament, because I really want to win one tournament this year,” said Jutanugarn. “And after I do that, I just feel like whatever it is, I’m just going to take it and have fun, so that’s the only thing…I expect more wins, but I don’t know about next week.”
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