Thai Teen Ariya Experiences Highs And Lows In LPGA Loss
Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn experienced the ecstasy and the agony of professional golf as she fired a hole-in-one at the Honda LPGA Thailand event before blowing the tournament with a triple-bogey at the last.
The 17-year-old Ladies European Tour rookie knows the Siam Country Club in Chonburi better than most pros having first played this event on a sponsor exemption in 2007 at the age of 11. That course knowledge came into it’s own when standing on the 12th tee, she fired her approach to the par three and gasped with joy as the ball had just enough pace to trickle into the cup and take her back in front on 14 under for the tournament.
Ariya followed her ace on 12 with a birdie on 13 to move to 15 under par at which point she had a three shot lead over Park.
On the verge of becoming the first Thai to win an LPGA event, Jutanugarn had a knightmare 72nd hole finding a greenside bunker, taking an unplayable, then blasting her shot over the green. Her chip back came up short and the card wrecker was complete when she lipped out on her third putt for a triple-bogey 8 to lose to Park by one shot.
For Jutanugarn it would be her second runner-up finish in her last three starts having also finished tied for second behind Karrie Webb at the Volvik Ladies Masters on the Gold Coast.
The teenager was left in tears on the final green but regained her composure to say “It was a great experience,”
“It’s not like I just played not very good, she played very good today, and I just say congrats to Inbee. She’s a very nice player.”