Golf roundup: Jutanugarn shoots 67, climbs into lead at US Women's Open

US Women's Open: Ariya Jutanugarn leads by four shots after three rounds

Jun 3, 2018; Shoal Creek, AL, USA; Ariya Jutanugarn kisses 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.

Kim, world No. 67, was six strokes back of the fifth-ranked Jutanugarn, the overnight leader, to start the final round, and fell back by as many as seven strokes during the final day.

Australian golfer Sarah Jane Smith has seen her lead evaporate at the US Women's Open, with Ariya Jutanugarn turning a three-shot deficit into a four-shot lead. So we had a really good lesson before Kingsmill and then I actually missed the cut in Kingsmill, but felt like I played really well.

However Ariya won't be returning home just yet because she still has plenty of events to come in the USA and Europe. "I didn't hit my tee shots very well, but it was a fun day". Laying up with an 8-iron, she hooked the ball badly in a hard lie in the rough.

Jutanugarn certainly looked like it on Saturday, combining long drives with a solid short game and putting.

Ariya kicked it into high gear on the back nine by draining four birdies in five holes beginning at the par-five 11th hole. But her struggles were not over yet. "But, I'm not nervous or excited anymore when I have playoff", she said.

Former world No.1 Jutanugarn shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday at Shoal Creek, with Smith failing to make a birdie and carding a 74 in the third round. Her confidence shaken, she had another bogey on 12 and the tournament was suddenly much closer than anyone expected. "I want to inspire all the kids in Thailand", said Jutanugarn.

South Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim quietly went about her business and found herself in a playoff against Ariya Jutanugarn.

The South Korean was unable to take advantage of the par-five 17th, which was playing as the second-easiest hole, but Jutanugarn fared even worse after pulling her lay-up into the rough, missing the green with her third and then chunking her chip.

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Perth native Lee finished with a six-over total.

Ariya, who has won eight LPGA events in the past two years, was far from ideal early on but kept her card clean with a 6-foot par-saving putt at the par-3 fifth, where barely 100 spectators had made the long trek out to the furthest point from the clubhouse on a hot and steamy day.

In the end, Jutanugarn's slow-motion collapse set up an emotional victory and her second major win.

"I think I'm going to sleep well tonight". But Kim made bogey - her first of the day - on 18 while Jutanugarn made par again to send the format to sudden death. 8 and 9 dropped her one shot behind Jutanugarn.

She is also the first multiple victor of the 2018 LPGA Tour season, having already won the Kingsmill Championship.

"After you have a seven-shot lead and have to go to a playoff, you kind of have no expectation".

The Stunner at Shoal Creek will go down as one of the most memorable Sundays in U.S. Women's Open history.

Two-time victor Inbee Park has an outside chance at getting back in contention. The USGA statement says she left to be with her family in Ottawa, but didn't elaborate. She knows it's important to have that mindset, because you're always going to have good weeks.

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