Ariya Jutanugarn claims US Open in play-off after back nine collapse

Hope Soto
June 7, 2018

South Korea's Hyo Joo Kim fired a closing 68 to match Jutanugarn, who squandered a seven-shot lead on the back nine for a 73.

Ariya Jutanugarn holds the championship trophy after defeating Hyo-Joo Kim in a sudden death playoff in the U.S. Women's Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek.

Both players made par on the third play-off hole, before 2016 Women's British Open victor Jutanugarn saved par to win the title after a deft bunker shot on the 18th.

Kim only needed to match Jutanugarn's score at the 18th but committed a bogey after finding a bunker with her second shot, while Jutanugarn made par to extend the playoff.

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

The former world number one from Thailand was among half the field who returned at the crack of dawn following Friday's long lightning delay. When the second round is completed the cut will be made to the low 60 players and ties.

Second round action will resume early tomorrow before the third round is also scheduled to take place. "Obviously that wasn't going to happen because I was thinking about the outcome too much". Kim's shot out of the bunker was decent, but Jutanugarn's was phenomenal, rolling right next to cup and setting up an easy par putt.

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"I felt really good and kept my nerves under control, but I think the nerves showed up in my putting", Smith said.

It took four holes more than she would have wanted, but Jutanugarn was still able to celebrate her victory with sister Moriya, who finished in 41st.

Inbee Park, who now tops the world rankings, was the ninth player to finish under par, with England's Charley Hull and 2014 US Open champion Michelle Wie closing on level par for the week. I feel comfortable on the greens, which has been something that has been a little bit off lately.

The only player who didn't make on a bogey in the final round, Kim sank some monster putts for birdies, including a 30-footer on No. 6, a 45-footer on No. 12 and a hard-breaking 50-footer from off the green on No. 15 that got her within one.

Smith now sits four shorts clear of fellow Australian Oh Su-Hyun.

"I've kind of been playing a little bit better since San Francisco so it's just been like gradually a little bit getting better", said Oh who finished 4th at her last start in MI.

And when she finally fought back from that, she endured yet another collapse, this one with a chance to win her first major. We send videos and that, but there's something about in person that he seems to get a pretty good gist of what's going on even on the golf course.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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