Ariya Jutanugarn Wins the Tour
WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (AP) — For the second straight tournament, bad weather caused havoc for the LPGA Tour. After shortening the Volunteers of America LPGA Classic to 36 holes, officials faced a similar dilemma in Virginia at the Kingsmill Championship, eventually cutting the tournament 72 holes to 54 because of the rains. But to get a champion on Sunday night, it actually took 56 holes, Ariya Jutanugarn needing two playoff holes to win the title for the second time in three years.
Jutanugarn, who shot a closing 66, outlasted Japan's Nasa Hataoka (67) and South Korea's In Gee Chun (68), the trio finishing at 14-under 202. Jutanugarn and Hataoka advanced past the first playoff hole with birdies on the 18th hole at Kingsmill's River Course. Jutanugarn then knocked out Hataoka with another birdie on their second playoff trip on 18. The win is Jutanugarn's eighth victory on the LPGA Tour. Coming just two weeks before the U.S. Women’s Open, it leaves the obvious question: Is the 22-year-old Thai native a favorite to win at Shoal Creek?
Jutanugarn closed with a 5-under 66 to match Nasa Hataoka (67) and In Gee Chun (68) at 14-under 199.
Jutanugarn and Hataoka both birdied the first extra hole, with Chun dropping out. Hataoka putted first on the second extra hole and missed badly before Jutanugarn rolled in a 15-footer for her eighth career victory. The 22-year-old Thai star’s older sister, Moriya, won the HUGEL-JTBC Championship in Los Angeles in April for her first LPGA Tour victory.
Jutanugarn started the day two shots behind Chun and had a two-shot lead before making bogey at the par-5 15th. Hataoka, playing with Chun in the final threesome, birdied No. 15 to join Jutanugarn at 14 under, and Chun made a long birdie putt on the par-3 17th to also get to 14 under.
The tournament was cut from 72 holes to 54 when rain washed out play Saturday