Smith fades, Jutanugarn leads Women's Open

07 June, 2018, 11:16 | Author: Virgil Todd
  • Sarah Jane Smith comes out of nowhere to take big lead at U.S. Women's Open AP

Ariya Jutanugarn saw a seven-shot lead with nine holes to play disappear but recovered to defeat Hyo Joo Kim on the fourth extra hole to win her second career Major Championship. That Jutanugarn steadied herself to emerge victorious from a sudden death play-off with Kim Hyo-joo points towards formidable mental strength.

Ariya then made two superb up-and-down pars from bunkers, firstly to halve the third extra hole before winning at the next.

She made a almost flawless bunker shot to within a foot of the cup on the tournament-clinching hole, beating South Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to force the playoff. Jutanugarn, already a nine-time victor on the LPGA Tour and the 2016 British Open champion, appeared under no pressure whatsoever when beginning her final nine holes.

Carlota Ciganda (69) finished well back in outright third at seven under, four shots ahead of Danielle Kang (69).

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Tiger Woods hit the ball well enough to be up there with them at Muirfield Village, except for missing five putts inside 7 feet.

"Honestly, I didn't really worry too much about it because I just focused on how I was going to play", Kim said through a translator. The second round will be completed Saturday with the low 60 scorers plus ties making the cut. "I don't worry about the outcome". In his day, he said, when players competed for major championships, you would not have seen them applauding a good shot from a competitor. Jutanugarn said she had a 4 a.m. wakeup call and played 28 holes in sweltering heat and humidity.

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" I feel great and really excited", said 22-year-old Ariya, whose maiden Major was at the 2016 Women's British Open.

Ariya was among 78 players who got up at the break of dawn to return to the course early Saturday to complete their rain-hit second rounds.

They have known each other since childhood on the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane in the Australian state of Queensland, and started dating after playing a mixed foursomes event together when they were 18.

After the errant tee shot on No. 10, which soared into the right-side hazard, Jutanugarn said she was "a little bit scared my next shot". Korean-born Su-Hyun Oh shot 68 and is also 6 under.

Sarah Jane Smith is the runaway leader at the tournament, the Australian holding a three shot lead at 10-under par. I was sort of holing a lot of putts. "I felt like I had a last chance to make myself proud".

Jutanugarn made it to Rolex No. 1 in June of previous year, but she only lasted two weeks there. "He's like, 'Come on, do you want to win?' I'm like, 'Yes.' He said, 'Okay".

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