Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sports | By Brandy Patterson

Ariya edges Kim in play-off to win US Women’s Open

Ariya edges Kim in play-off to win US Women’s Open

Ariya Jutanugarn saw a seven-shot lead evaporate on the back nine but beat Hyo Joo Kim at the fourth extra hole to win the US Women's Open in Alabama.

Ariya Jutanugarn will take a commanding four-stroke lead into the final round of the U.S. Women's Open after a gruelling outing on Saturday. Backtracking to the 14th hole, Jutanugarn hit into the bunker while Kim hit solidly onto the green; Kim missed her putt by inches, though, and the pair tied again to move to the 18th hole.

Jutanugarn had gone into her final round at 12-under 204 with her South Korean rival sitting in third place, six shots adrift. She also won the Women's British Open in 2016.

Carlota Ciganda (69) finished well back in outright third at seven under, four shots ahead of Danielle Kang (69). A birdie at the first extra hole, the 14th, gave her a quick advantage.

"I normally do that", Jutanugarn said. The second round will be completed Saturday with the low 60 scorers plus ties making the cut.

And then after a stunning mistake at the 10th tee, she looked as if she were going to join Arnold Palmer in the annals of historic collapses. "I didn't feel too bad, but I think when you are not getting the ball to the hole it probably proves that you are not letting it go".

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South Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim was in third, six shots back, after shooting 68.

"I know everything's going to be the same and they're going to love me the same, " Jutanugarn said.

"I was definitely nervous but not like I've been in the past, I was actually kind of happy with how I handled it a bit more today", the leader said afterwards.

Play finally resumed just after 6 p.m. local time but was halted for the day barely an hour later amid fading light and nearby storm clouds that a few minutes later dumped more rain on an already soggy layout. Kim was on the green in two, while Jutanugarn pulled her second shot into a bunker, and both walked away with a par.

Vision54 coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott were exhausted by the time they got off the Jutanugarn rollercoaster.

"It was really tough for because I played my front nine so good and my back nine not very good", Jutanugarn told CNN, after a triple bogey on the 10th kick started an nearly terminal collapse.

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Fellow Korean and defending champion Sung Hyun Park, on the other hand, won't be around for the weekend.

"That back (nine) got me a lot", said Jutanugarn, who is set to rise to No.2 in the world.

"I never had that final putt to win".

"I hit a couple squirrelly shots (late in the round), but made some nice up-and-downs".

Jutanugarn made it to Rolex No. 1 in June of past year, but she only lasted two weeks there.

Kim says she wasn't thinking about the huge deficit she faced.

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