Ariya Jutanugarn fired a final-round 66 and then beat In Gee Chun and Nasa Hataoka in a playoff to win the 2018 Kingsmill Championship.
Shortened to 54 holes due to torrential rainstorms, Jutanugaran entered Sunday two back of Chun and one behind Hataoka, but a final day card comprised of six birdies against one bogey saw the 22-year old Thai sign for a 5-under par, good enough to join Chun (68) and Hataoka (67) at 14-under par.
In the playoff, on the first extra hole (No. 18), Jutanugarn and Hataoka both advanced with birdies while Chun was eliminated with a par.
On the second go-round of 18, only Jutanugarn carded birdie to capture her the eighth career LPGA title.
“Actually, I feel it,” said Jutanugarn, when asked how she dealt with the pressure.
“I was just really excited about that. I did not feel that much pressure because I did a great job today. So whatever, I’m going to win or lose, I’m very proud of that.”
The eight wins have come in a span of just 24 months. She won five times in 2016, including the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and twice last year, highlighted by the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Jutanugarn earned $195,000 and 500 points, which moves her to No. 1 in both money ($771,390) and Race to CME Globe points (1,735).
She joins Brooke Henderson as the only two players with wins in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
FINAL TOP 10
1 Ariya Jutanugarn -14
2 Nasa Hataoka -14
2 In Gee Chun -14
4 Brooke Henderson -13
5 Megan Khang -12
6 Austin Ernst -10
7 Eun-Hee Ji -9
7 Sher Phong -9
7 Caroline Masson -9
10 Mariajo Uribe -8
10 Katelyn Dambaugh -8
10 Moriya Jutanugarn -8
10 Ayako Uehara -8
10 Anna Nordqvist -8
10 Sandra Gal -8
10 Catriona Matthew -8
Fairways: 31/42 (74%)
Greens: 46 /54 (85%)
Putting GIR: 1.61
Scores: 66, 67, 66
“When I’m thinking about winning I never win. So like last few month I play good and I told my caddie all the time, When I’m going to win? When I’m going to win? I never win and never play that great. I never talk about win at all and now I won the tournament, so I think I should keep doing the same thing.”
– Ariya Jutanugarn
Credit: LPGA Tour Communications, Getty Images