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The one thing that Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn cannot be faulted with is a failure to evoke emotion. The Thai star continues to amaze each time with her spectacular performance. This time, Ariya not only grabbed the Ladies Scottish Open title but also regained her World Number 1 Spot with élan.
(Image: Getty Images)
A final-round 5-under 66 at Gullane earned Jutanugarn a one-shot victory – her third win of the year – at the Ladies Scottish Open, and the triumph boosted her back to No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings.
The 22-year-old began the round tied for the lead, but staying complacent wasn’t going to do. After a birdie and a bogey in her first six holes, Jutanugarn finished her front nine birdie-birdie-birdie to go out in 3-under 32.
That set up a back-nine battle with Minjee Lee. Jutanugarn would birdie both the par 5s on the back (Nos. 11 and 16) to reach 13 under. Lee put up a great fight with a flawless 66 and back-nine birdies at Nos. 10, 11 and 16.
The Australian actually tied Jutanugarn at 11 under with her birdie on 11, but Jutanugarn’s own birdie at 11 would quickly give her back the solo lead. The same scenario unfolded at No. 16. Lee came to the last at 12 under but could only manage par, eventually leaving her one short.
Jutanugarn’s star power continues to rise. The Thai player burst onto the scene in 2016 when she won five times (including her first major at the Ricoh Women’s British Open) and captured LPGA Player of the Year honours as well as the money list title and the Race to the CME Globe.
Her 2017 wasn’t quite as grand, “only” winning twice, but Jutanugarn first moved to No. 1 in the world that June. At 21 years, 6 months and 20 days old, she became the second-youngest player in LPGA history to reach World No. 1.
Inbee Park had since snatched the top spot, but Jutanugarn has come on strong of late to grab it back. There was a win in May at the Kingsmill Championship, an incredible victory after near-collapse the following month at the U.S. Women’s Open and now this title. The win in Scotland is already Jutanugarn’s 10th LPGA title.