WITH A WIN...
Ariya Jutanugarn would become the first U.S. Women’s Open champion from Thailand
Jutanugarn would earn her second major title, joining her win at the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open
Jutanugarn would become the first multiple winner of the 2018 LPGA Tour season, joining her win at the Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO
Sarah Jane Smith would become the second consecutive player to become a Rolex First-Time Winner at a major championship, joining Pernilla Lindberg at the 2018 ANA Inspiration
Smith would join Jan Stephenson (1983) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) as U.S. Women’s Open champions from Australia
Smith would become the fourth Rolex First-Time Winner of the 2018 LPGA Tour season, joining Jin Young Ko (ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open), Pernilla Lindberg (ANA Inspiration) and Moriya Jutanugarn (HUGEL-JTBC LA Open)
Jutanugarn or Smith would become the first U.S. Women’s Open winner from a country other than the Republic of Korea or the United States of America since Sweden’s Annika Sorenstam won in 2006
Hyo Joo Kim, Republic of Korea (210), on what this championship means to players from the Republic of Korea:
“Se Ri Pak kind of opened up the gate for all of us. It’s very inspiring for all of us who want to become like her. I think this tournament means probably more to Korean players.”
Inbee Park, Republic of Korea (210), on what she needs to do in the final round:
“Three rounds under par is a good score. In the final round I just got to hit the iron shots a little bit more closer because I was busy making pars out there today. I have to give myself more opportunities at birdie and see because I feel quite good about the putter. I just haven’t been putting for many birdies.”
Madelene Sagstrom, Sweden (212), on playing under pressure:
“I think confidence always goes up and down. I started the year struggling a bit and trying to put some good scores down. Now I’m getting comfortable being in situations. Today I just got that. I’m really nervous and it’s awesome. This is the position I want to be in. I want to sit here and feel that pressure. That’s what everybody wants. If you want to be up top, that is what you are going to feel. I was trying to compose myself well. I mean, I’m doing my best. If it doesn’t go my way, it doesn’t go my way. I’m just going to enjoy it. I had a really fun shot on 18 and I pulled it off. And I was like I want to do it again. It’s kind of that feeling all day.”
Ariya Jutanugarn is playing in her sixth U.S. Women’s Open
This is the second time Jutanugarn has made the cut in her six U.S. Women’s Open starts; she started 70-75-69 in 2016 and finished T17
Jutanugarn has held the 54-hole lead in seven of her eight LPGA Tour victories – 2016 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic, 2016 Kingsmill Championship presented by JTBC, 2016 LPGA Volvik Championship, 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open, 2016 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, 2017 CME Group Tour Championship and 2018 Kingsmill Championship presented by GEICO (NOTE: this was a 54-hole event)
Jutanugarn is trying to become the first U.S. Women’s Open champion from Thailand; she is already the only major champion (male or female) from Thailand, having won the 2016 Ricoh Women’s British Open
Sarah Jane Smith is playing in her seventh U.S. Women’s Open
This is the second time Smith has made the cut in her seven U.S. Women’s Open starts; she started 71-76-76 in 2013 and finished T46
Smith hails from Australia; two Australians are U.S. Women’s Open champions – Jan Stephenson (1983) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001)
Hyo Joo Kim is playing in her fourth U.S. Women’s Open; her best finish is T38 in 2016, the only previous year she made the cut
Hyo Joo Kim is a three-time LPGA winner, including the 2014 Evian Championship; she also has nine wins on the KLPGA
Jihyun Kim, a member of the Korean LPGA, is playing in her first U.S. Women’s Open
Jihyun Kim has competed in three 2018 LPGA events, – Kia Classic (missed the cut), ANA Inspiration (missed the cut) and LOTTE Championship presented by Hershey (T11)
Korean players have won seven of the last 10 U.S. Women’s Opens – Na Yeon Choi (2012), In Gee Chun (2015) Eun Hee Ji (2009), Inbee Park(2008, 2013) and Sung Hyun Park (2017)
UL INTERNATIONAL CROWN COUNTDOWN
It’s down to the wire for countries to qualify for the UL International Crown, to be held Oct. 4-7 at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea in Incheon, Republic of Korea. The eight qualifying countries will be determined when the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings are released on June 4, while players will be determined following the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship on July 2.
Team Thailand is currently seeded sixth, with top-ranked Thai player and U.S. Women’s Open leader No. 5 Ariya Jutanugarn and her sister Rolex Rankings No. 9 Moriya Jutanugarn locked in to compete in their third UL International Crown. The other two members of Team Thailand may come down to the wire.
18-year old Thai player Saranporn Langkulgasettrin earned a spot in this week’s U.S. Women’s Open field by being in the top three of the China LPGA Tour’s 2017 money list and has made the most of her chance so far. Langkulgasettrin entered the week as the fourth-highest Thai player at No. 158 in the Rolex Rankings, and by making the cut this week she could solidify her spot on Team Thailand.
No. 83 Pornanong Phatlum and No. 162 Supamas Sangchan missed the cut, while No. 184 Thidapa Suwannapura did not qualify.
As of the May 28 rankings, the top eight countries are: Republic of Korea (18), United States of America (43), Japan (172), England (185), Australia (242), Thailand (255), Sweden (285) and Chinese Taipei (317).