With a seven-shot lead on the back nine at the final round of the US Women’s Open, Ariya Jutanugarn appeared to have her second major title sewn up, but in a twist of events eventually clinched victory after a four-hole play-off.
After shooting 32 on the front nine on Sunday afternoon at Shoal Creek, Ariya Jutanugarn took a 7-shot lead at the US Women’s Open, leaving us all thinking that we’d be in for a relatively undramatic final few holes. Oh, how wrong we were.
With a triple bogey to start her closing nine holes and back-to-back bogeys to end it, Jutanugarn’s lead quickly diminished. She eventually finished the day with a one-over par 73 and 11-under par for the tournament, forcing her into a play-off with Hyo-Joo Kim who had kept her nerve to shoot 5-under par 67- her lowest round of the week.
At the first play-off hole, the 14th, Kim took command by canning a long birdie putt whilst Jutanugarn made par. On to the 18th, Kim found a bunker but was unable to save par, her only bogey of the day, and Jutanugarn made a solid up and down from the back of green to keep the scores level after the two-hole aggregate playoff.
Back to the 14th and this time in a sudden-death match, both players made par, forcing the play-off to continue down the 18th again. Both players found the bunker this time, with Kim’s shot finishing 12 feet from the hole whilst Jutanugarn left herself a tap in. Kim failed to hole the putt, leaving Jutanugarn with just her short putt to seal the win.
Her victory at the US Women’s Open is Jutanugarn’s second major having won the Women’s British Open two years ago.
Closing with a 69, Carlota Ciganda from Spain had her best finish in a major claiming third place, whilst Women’s PGA champion Danielle Kang finished in fourth. Day one leader, Aussie Sarah Jane Smith finished tied for fifth after a closing round of 78.
Watch the final round highlights of the US Women's Open here
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