On November 16 to 19 at Naples, Florida – Ariya Jutanugarn after a victory at 2017 Manulife LPGA Classic back in June and stayed No.1 for 2 weeks, she’s strolling to the winner circle with fifteen under-par 273 at Tiburón Golf Club.
Who Won the Tournament?
In an ending no one could have predicted – or even imagined – the best players in women’s golf roared across the finish line at Tiburón Golf Club when Ariya Jutanugarn birdied the last hole to win the tournament and Lexi Thompson took home the $1 million bonus for the season-long points race.
And once gain, golf put on full display the emotional roller coaster ride known as tournament play. Performing brilliantly, Thompson was a bogey-free, six-under par on her round when she brilliantly lagged from 60 feet to 2 feet on the final hole for a virtual tap-in that would put her in the clubhouse at 15 under par.
But she missed.
Playing two groups behind her, Jutanugarn hit her approach shot to 20 feet and calmly rolled in the putt to finish birdie-birdie and win the $500,000 first prize. It ended what had been a disappointing year for Jutanugarn, who won five times last year but only twice this season.
“To be honest, I had no expectation at all [this week],”Jutanugarn said. “I really did not think about the outcome. I really focused on the things I can control and I had so much fun this week.”
Despite the fact her caddie told her not to, she sneaked a peek at the leaderboard on the final hole. “I knew I had to make the putt, but I didn’t expect to make it.” But she did, ending the year on an upswing after “a bad last few months in which I learned a lot.”
‘It came down to the 72nd hole to determine the winner of this year’s CME Group Tour Championship. Ariya Jutanugarn, who was one of four players who held the overnight lead, made birdie on four of her last six holes to win by one-stroke and avoid a three-way playoff with Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda.
Much of the afternoon looked to belong to Thompson, who held a one-stroke lead through 71 holes. But Thompson missed a two-footer on the 72nd hole for par and dropped back into a tie at the top with Korda and was left waiting for Jutanugarn to complete her round.
Five months ago, Jutanugarn drained a 30-footer to defeat Thompson and In Gee Chun in a playoff at the Manulife LPGA Classic. Jutanugarn once again dashed Thompson’s hopes by draining a 25-footer for birdie to win by one-stroke at 15-under par. The win is the second of the season for Jutanugarn and her seventh career win on Tour.’
NEW ARIYA, SAME RESULT
The 2017 LPGA season ended in a strikingly similar fashion to the 2016 LPGA season, with Ariya Jutanugarn hoisting a trophy on the 18th green at Tiburón Golf Club. This time, it was the CME Group Tour Championship trophy in Jutanugarn’s hands after what had been a rollercoaster of a year for the 2016 Role Player of the Year.
In June, Jutanugarn captured the Manulife LPGA Classic title and the Rolex Rankings No. 1 moniker along with it. The high of success didn’t last long however, as she missed the next five of eight cuts. Jutanugarn then took a step back and set a goal to have fun on the golf course, a decision that ultimately paid off with the final LPGA title of the season.
“I just set my new goal last few month after I start to play really bad,” said Jutanugarn after birdieing the final two holes to win by one stroke over Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda. “I just told my caddie, You know what? I think like think about the ranking. No. 1 is not going to help me at all. It’s not going to help me to be a better golfer. So I talk to him. Okay, so what I want to be? I want everybody to see me and see, Oh, this girl, she really feeling on the course. She can be really happy on the course and she can do anything she wants to do. That’s my new goal. I’m like, okay I’m just going to go out and have fun and stay with myself and enjoy myself.”
Meanwhile, her sister Moriya Jutanugarn was quite off this week. She ended up at joint thirtieth with five under-par 283.