In a season characterized by depth in talent, the dominant performance by Ariya Jutanugarn is even more remarkable. The 23-year-old from Bangkok, Thailand, clinched Rolex Player of the Year honors with three events left in the season and won the $1 million bonus that comes with winning the Race to the CME Globe. Jutanugarn is currently No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings, a position she has held since Oct. 29.
Other awards lining her shelf include the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award, which she earned with the season’s best overall major performance, and the LEADERS Top 10s competition, which she captured with 17 top-10 finishes. Jutanugarn also earned the Vare Trophy, which is given to the player with the season’s lowest scoring average; her 69.415 is the 10th lowest scoring average in LPGA history.
Jutanugarn earned her second major victory at the U.S. Women’s Open, joining wins at the Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO and the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open. She led the LPGA in earnings ($2,743,949, nearly $1.2 million more than second-place Minjee Lee) and set single-season records in birdies (470, 56 more than Lee) and rounds in the 60s (57 of 106, six more than Lee).
Jutanugarn is the first player to sweep the Rolex Player of the Year, the Vare Trophy, the Money Title, the Race to the CME Globe and the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award since the latter two were introduced in 2014.
Yet in true Ariya fashion, her favorite moment of 2018 was not any of her personal accolades or history-breaking moments. When asked the highlight of her year, she pointed to the breakthrough first win her sister Moriya Jutanugarn earned at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open.