Washington - Ariya Jutanugarn produced a magnificent display
of pressure putting to win the weather-shortened LPGA Kingsmill Championship in
a playoff on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Thai star rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt on
the second playoff hole at the Kingsmill Course in Williamsburg, Virginia, to
pip Japanese teen Nasa Hataoka for the title.
"I didn't feel that much pressure because I did a great
job today," Ariya said. "So whether I'm going to win or lose, I'm
very proud of that."
On the opening sudden death hole, also Kingsmill's 18th,
Ariya had drained a similar-length birdie putt to stay in the hunt, knowing
that a mistake would leave Hataoka with a six-foot putt for the title.
South Korea's Chun In-gee was eliminated in the first hole
of the playoff after she could only par.
The tournament had been reduced to 54 holes after severe
disruption from weather over the opening three days of the event.
Ariya, who had finished the second round two shots off the
lead, produced a blistering final round 66 to earn a spot in the playoff.
The Thai star launched her charge with four birdies over the
Two more birdies on the 10th and 11th holes put her two
clear with seven to play but a bogey on the par-five 15th left her clinging to
a one-shot lead at 14 under.
Hataoka, 19, forced her way into the playoff after a
bogey-free four-under par 67 in her final round, notching a birdie on the 15th
to move to 14 under and into a tie with Ariya.
Chun meanwhile ensured she would have a chance of playing
for the title after a birdie on the penultimate hole of her final round for a
All three women headed to the par-four 18th for the opening
hole of the playoff, and Hataoka appeared to have seized the initiative with a
brilliant second shot to six feet.
But Ariya's long-range birdie left the Japanese needing to
roll in her effort to take it back to the 18th tee, which she duly did. Chun
was ousted after missing her birdie putt.
Ariya fired her second shot to almost the same area of the
18th green, while Hataoka was left with an awkward putt from the fringe.
The teenager's putt rolled past by six feet and Ariya then
took full advantage of the opening to stroke home her winning birdie.
Leading scores after Sunday's final round of the weather-shortened 54-hole LPGA Kingsmill Championship in Williamsburg, Virginia (par-71, USA unless noted, x-wins playoff with birdie on 2nd extra hole):
199 - x-Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) 66-67-66, Nasa Hataoka (JPN) 66-66-67, Chun In-gee (KOR) 65-66-68
200 - Brooke Henderson (CAN) 70-65-65
201 - Megan Khang 67-67-67
203 - Austin Ernst 67-65-71
204 - Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (THA) 70-68-66, Ji Eun-hee (KOR) 68-70-66, Caroline Masson (GER) 68-69-67
205 - Mariajo Uribe (COL) 69-68-68, Anna Nordqvist (SWE) 70-66-69, Ayako Uehara (JPN) 69-67-69, Moriya Jutanugarn (THA) 68-68-69, Katelyn Dambaugh 68-68-69, Catriona Matthew (SCO) 67-68-70, Sandra Gal (GER) 67-68-70
206 - Daniele Kang 69-68-69, Mina Harigae 67-69-70
207 - Amy Olson 70-70-67, Minjee Lee (AUS) 67-72-68, Dani Holmqvist (SWE) 69-69-69, Karrie Webb 68-68-71, Azahara Munoz (ESP) 65-71-71, Jessica Korda 65-69-73