Ariya Jutanagarn is having an incredible year. The second ranked player in the Rolex Rankings has three wins, 13 top 10s, she tops the official money list, leads the Rolex Player of the Year and Race to CME Globe standings. She also leads nearly every statistical category.
What’s different than in 2017?
“I think starting the year I feel like I don't want to think about the outcome,” Jutanugarn said Tuesday from the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. “Of course, I want to win. I want to play well. I want to finish top 10 every tournament if I can.
“When I think about that it's never helped me to be a better golfer. One of my goals this year is how I'm going to have fun under the pressure. Because especially when you start to play well, you start to win the tournament, a lot of people going to expect you to play well every week.”
Jutanagarn said she’s excited to be back in Canada. And while she enjoys the Tournament’s rotating venues, she admitted she wished they were playing Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club because she loves that course. It’s where she won in 2016.
“I love everything here. The tournament treats athletes so well,” said Jutanugarn. “I miss this event. Every time I finish, I'm just looking forward to coming back here again.”
Preparing for a different course each year can prove to be challenging, but not for Jutanugarn. She welcomes the challenge with a smile.
“I think it's so much fun because like we get to know more golf course in Canada of course. Like every course different game plan, everything has to change all-time,” explained Jutanugarn. “I come this week, so I play today. Like I play 12 holes. I saw the course, and I'm like, ‘Wow, this one going to be tough.’”
“For me, I think everything. I think the fairway is pretty narrow and the greens pretty small. But the green is like perfect. The green is like rolling really good."
Jutanugarn admits to playing well the past few months but is staying focused on this week and what she needs to work on.
“I just focus on like what I want to work on this week, what I want to get better, what I want to improve, and how the course, like what should I play on this course,” said Jutanugarn.
With the tricky course layout, Jutanugarn confirms she will once again not be hitting her driver this week. Instead, she’s going to focus on her putter. She admits that the last few months she’s not been happy with her putting.
“You know, I been working on my putting, and when I saw the course, and I saw the fairway, I feel like the most important thing is I have to put the ball in the fairway,” said Jutanugarn.
While many of the fans lining those fairways will be there to cheer on one of their own in Brooke Henderson, the world No. 2 will certainly have a following of her own this week.
“You know like I'm on the putting green, and I saw Brooke on the first tee. I'm like, ‘Wow, she got a lot of fans,’” said Jutanugarn. “Like all the Canadians come and support like not even Canadian players, but all the LPGA players. I feel grateful every time I come here.”