Smith increases US Women's Open lead
- Author: Stacy Allen Jun 07, 2018,
Jun 07, 2018, 1:34
What might have been the most hard day of the 22-year-old's career ended with her winning Sunday's playoff against Hyo-Joo Kim and walking away $900,000 richer with a second major title.
But Jutanugarn regrouped to claim her second major championship title with a par save from a bunker at the fourth hole of their playoff.
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.
Early on Sunday, Ariya looked as if she were going to smash Juli Inkster's U.S. Women's Open scoring record, making five birdies and a bogey on the front nine to make the turn in 16 under, equaling Inkster's mark for most strokes under par any player has ever reached in this championship. Half the field completed the second round Saturday morning.
Her cushion had been whittled down to two shots when she bogeyed the 12th, minutes after Kim had holed a 40-footer putt, and when the Korean sank an even longer putt, 50 feet from off the green at the 15th, Ariya's lead was down to one. She was up by two shots on the final hole with so many Thai fans there bursting with pride, but she tripled bogeyed the last hole and lost to Inbee Park.
"I think they could have been really good if I had taken the time to do it in the offseason".
"I just felt really easy", said Smith, who is seeking a first win since joining the tour in 2006.
Jutanugarn took the lead after Smith stumbled with back-to-back bogeys and then surged ahead with three straight birdies on the back nine. "Maybe years ago when she won the last event on the Futures Tour to get a card at the end of 2008".
"I told myself to just go out and have fun and be really committed, and I did", Ariya said.
Ariya Jutanugarn stormed up the leaderboard, shooting a five-under 67 to vault into a four-stroke lead after the third round Saturday (Sunday in Manila) at the US Women's Open. In his day, he said, when players competed for major championships, you would not have seen them applauding a good shot from a competitor.
"I hit a couple squirrelly shots (late in the round), but made some nice up-and-downs".
She carried the meltdown through with back-to-back bogeys on 17 and 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".
Fellow Korean and defending champion Sung Hyun Park, on the other hand, won't be around for the weekend.