Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Ko gets reprieve at US Open

Sarah Jane Smith US Women's Open: Ariya Jutanugarn leads by four shots after three rounds
Domingo Copeland | 07 June, 2018, 11:14

But after appearing to have steadied the ship, Ariya made a mess of the par-five 17th and was lucky to escape with a bogey, then missed a 10-foot par putt at the last to win it, signing off with a 73 and limping into a cumulative-score two-hole playoff with Kim, who shot a bogey-free 67.

Despite shooting 41 on the final nine, despite an opponent who gave no quarter until the fourth playoff hole when her putter finally ran out of magic, despite looking as if all her mojo was already gone to Mobile, Jutanugarn had a gold medal around her neck and a sliver trophy by her side Sunday evening. He missed a 3-foot birdie putt on the ninth hole, and then missed a birdie putt from 4 feet on the par-5 15th.

Smith - winless in 222 LPGA Tour stars - ended Friday's weather-delayed round four strokes clear but the Australian's 74 saw her lead vanish on day three.

Smith carded her second straight five-under round for a 10-under total of 134 at Shoal Creek, where thunderstorms led to extensive delays on a course that had been soaked earlier in the week.

Ariya began the round three shots behind Smith and needed just three holes to close the gap to one as she gathered two early birdies.

"I was definitely nervous but not like I've been in the past. I want to be No 1 to inspire all the kids in Thailand", said Ariya, who earned US$900,000 from the win to take her career earnings past the $6 million mark. The lie was not that good in the bunker, but I feel I can do it.

It was not an easy up-and-down for Jutanugarn, who said she didn't have a particularly good lie in the sand. The second round will be completed Saturday with the low 60 scorers plus ties making the cut.

"It was weird (building a big lead)". "So it's just hard to guess and it swirls a lot within the trees so it's just really difficult clubbing".

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Seven shots in front, nine holes left.

"I never had that final putt to win".

Smith, 33, hopes to make it consecutive major winners by Australians (and Queenslanders) at Shoal Creek, following Wayne Grady's victory there at the 1990 PGA Championship.

"I think they could have been really good if I had taken the time to do it in the offseason. I felt like I had a last chance to make myself proud". "It's pretty tough, but I don't put too much expectation on me".

"After that, I kind of played a little bit scared", she said, benching both her 3-wood and aggressive play. "Hopefully that keeps going". Lincicome said Friday at the U.S. Women's Open that she was asked to play in the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky July 19-22.

"We were looking at the leaderboard saying Sarah is very greedy, just taking all the birdies", Oh said.

Gillman stood at even par for her round through six holes, still at 2-under for the championship and in a tie for 11th.

"I had a rough second nine, and then didn't play great in the playoff", Jutanugarn said after the win.

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