BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Ariya Jutanugarn had a huge lead, completely lost it and then prevailed on the fourth hole of a playoff to win a dramatic U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday at Shoal Creek.
Jutanugarn, a 22-year-old from Thailand, made a clutch bunker shot to within a foot of the hole to save par, beating South Korea’s Hyo-Joo Kim, who shot a 5-under 67 in the final round to force the playoff.
Jutanugarn started the day with a four-shot lead over Australia’s Sarah Jane Smith and looked like she might win easily after opening with a 4-under on the front nine to stretch her lead to seven shots.
But a triple bogey on No. 10 cut the lead to four and seemed to shake her confidence. She still had a two-shot lead with two holes remaining, but closed with back-to-back bogeys to fall into a playoff after shooting 73.