Ariya wins US Womens Open

Not only does Ariya become the first Thai to win a US Women's Open title but she is the first champion from a country other than South Korea or the United States since Sweden's Annika Sorenstam in 2006. Returning to the 18th, Jutanugarn went over the green while Kim found a bunker.

The 22-year-old from Thailand carried a four-stroke lead into the final round, but needed a play-off to overcome Kim Hyo-joo.

Hamilton's Alena Sharp was tied for 60th at 4-over par through seven holes when play was suspended.

There is an admirable, broader ambition.

"I feel like I want to inspire the kids", she said. The five-under-par 67 matched her opening round.

Pre-tournament fears that a sodden Shoal Creek may deliver a substandard major proved misguided. She won the Women's British Open in 2016 and is coming off a victory at the Kingsmill Championship in May. Her 5-over 77, on the heels of a first-round 76, has her at 9 over, now five strokes on the bad side of the projected cut line. She took the lead after Smith stumbled with back-to-back bogeys and then surged ahead with three consecutive birdies on the back nine.

But while Woods always seemed impervious to pressure, Ariya has sometimes struggled to close the deal.

She still had a two-shot lead with two holes remaining, but closed with back-to-back bogeys to fall into the playoff. Instead, Jutanugarn prevailed at the fourth extra hole.

Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand poses with the trophy after winning the 2018 US Women's Open at Shoal Creek on June 3, 2018 in Shoal Creek, Alabama.

She cited victory in her last two play-offs as cause for confidence. "He just kind of set me straight". "I'm like, 'Yes.' He said, 'OK, then we have to do it.' OK, so I hit". I feel comfortable on the greens which has been something that has been a little bit off. "Keep hitting two-iron'". Bogeys on Nos. 12, 17 and 18 were too much to be offset by a gorgeous tee shot to four feet on the par-3 16th.

Not only that, Smith, who is winless in 222 starts on the LPGA Tour, got to sleep in on Saturday while many of her rivals were up before dawn.

There's a charm in the childlike pranks she enjoys playing on her older sister, Moriya.

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

Kim had represented formidable opposition for Jutanugarn. The Korean had been a prolific victor in her homeland before taking seamlessly to the LPGA Tour.

"I knew from the start it was going to be tight, " said Olesen, who entered the final round tied with Molinari one stroke behind Lee Slattery.

"I haven't been in the position before, I but I hope to show up like it's another day", Smith said. My scoring has been improving, especially it's gotten better with the majors lately.

"I find the nerves of playing bad are a lot harder to deal with than the nerves of playing good. I'm also very happy that I did pretty good in this tournament". It was that sense of objective that allowed her to push through her disastrous finish and end the playoff strong.

  • Rosalie Stanley