Moriya Jutanugarn shot a 3-under 68 in the final round of the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open to capture her first LPGA title.
Starting her final day at Wilshire Country Club with a share of the lead, Jutanugarn mixed eight pars with one birdie to turn in 34. Three gains on hole Nos. 12, 13, 15 pushed the 23-year old to the top the leaderboard in L.A., and despite a lone blemish on No. 16, the Thai star finished two clear of the field at 12-under par 272.
“Just a lot of patience out there,” said Jutanugarn, who joins her sister Ariya as the only native Thais to win on the LPGA Tour.
“I just kept doing what I’m doing and it finally happened. My sister cried more than me. I can’t tell you how I feel right now.”
Inbee Park, who reclaimed world No. 1 status, and Jin Young Ko, tied for second at 10-under par 274, one clear of So Yeon Ryu, who finished fourth at 9 under.
Emma Talley and Eun-Hee Ji were T5 at 8-under par 278.
The victory earned Jutanugarn $225,000 and 500 points, which is projected to move her into the top 5 in the Race to CME Globe.
TOP 10 LEADERS
1 Moriya Jutanugarn -12
2 Inbee Park -10
2 Jin Young Ko -10
4 So Yeon Ryu -7
5 Emma Talley -6
5 Eun-Hee Ji -6
7 Morgan Pressel -5
7 Minjee Lee -5
9 Sher. Santiwiwatthanaphong -4
10 Pernilla Lindberg -3
10 Caroline Inglis -3
Driving: 262.3 yards
Fairways: 73.2% (41/56)
Greens: 77.8% (56/72)
Scoring: 1 Eagle, 15 Birdies, 52 Pars, 3 Bogeys, 1 Double Bogey
VIDEO: FINAL-ROUND HIGHLIGHTS
“Well, you know, I been really close for a lot of times, and of course that build confident as well. To win, it’s just like I kind of break through a lot of things that I been kind of get stuck, and it just feel great.”
– Moriya Jutanugarn
Credit: LPGA Communications, Getty Images