Jutanugarn survives collapses, wins US Women's Open

Sarah Jane Smith

There's a charm in the childlike pranks she enjoys playing on her older sister, Moriya. "Sisters can be like that".

Did she even want this? "It's fun for her, but not for us".

This wild day was a flawless microcosm of Ariya's roller-coaster career.

Sarah Jane Smith extended her lead at the U.S. Women's Open to four strokes after a second straight 5-under 67 Friday at Shoal Creek. "But I wouldn't work for anyone else".

"Actually, I wasn't keeping up with the score at the time so I didn't really know about it". She says she was not surprised the scoring was low because players could attack the layout, softened by a rolling series of deluges during the past few days.

Jutanugarn was at 6 under overall after four holes when play was halted.

But ahead on the green, Molinari sunk a 30-foot putt for birdie to slice the lead to one stroke and prompt roars from the crowd.

So does their mother, Apple. Time and again on Sunday she made long putts, and she wasn't about to stop making them now.

"Ariya is unique, very different from Annika Sorenstam and other players we've worked with, but she shares something all the champions have", Nilsson said. Returning to the 18th, Jutanugarn went over the green while Kim found a bunker.

But those errant shots did little to hint at what was to come as Ariya improved to 16-under-par at the turn, matching Juli Inkster's 1999 record as the most under par at any point of a US Women's Open.

But she came with a lot of scars, too.

Ariya Jutanugarn holds the championship trophy after defeating Hyo-Joo Kim in a sudden death playoff in the U.S. Women's Open Championship golf tournament at Shoal Creek.

Ariya was among 78 players who got up at the break of dawn to return to the course early Saturday to complete their rain-hit second rounds.

World number five Jutanugarn birdied five of the first nine but four shots went in three holes in a one-over 73.

The two coaches told the Jutanugarn sisters at the start of the week that attitude would be their 15th club.

"Coming off the back of 77 and 79 at Wentworth last week I never really expected this", Slattery said. "I want to inspire all the kids in Thailand", said Jutanugarn. "Maybe years ago when she won the last event on the Futures Tour to get a card at the end of 2008". I said 'May, talk to me.

"I felt really good and kept my nerves under control, but I think the nerves showed up in my putting", Smith said.

Jutanugarn keeps learning more about herself with every bounce-back from adversity.

"I'm pretty sure tomorrow is going to be a pretty good day". You're always going to have bad weeks. They say, 'You can do it.

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