Golf: Ariya Jutanugarn pips Kim Hyo Joo in playoff to become first Thai to win US Women's Open

Ariya Jutanugarn became the first player from Thailand to lift the trophy as she parred all four playoff holes at the Shoal Creek, Alabama course.
Ariya Jutanugarn became the first player from Thailand to lift the trophy as she parred all four playoff holes at the Shoal Creek, Alabama course.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

MIAMI (AFP) - Ariya Jutanugarn parred the fourth playoff hole to beat Kim Hyo Joo for the 73rd US Women's Open title on Sunday (June 3) and become the first player from Thailand to lift the trophy.

The 22-year-old captured her second major championship as she parred all four playoff holes at the Shoal Creek, Alabama course.

She finished with a one-over 73 and a 72-hole total of 11-under 277, making it into the playoff despite a monumental back-nine collapse that saw her seven-stroke lead evaporate.

South Korea's Kim closed with a five-under 67 to force the playoff and had two long putts to win in the extra session but could not get them to fall.

Both parred the third hole and they returned to the par-four 18th, where Ariya's superb bunker shot left her with a tap-in for the win.

She had appeared to be headed to victory hours earlier, after a birdie at the ninth hole moved her to 16 under and a seven-stroke lead.

But her lead dwindled to just one as she headed to the final hole of regulation, where her long putt to win failed to drop.

Ariya's collapse began with a triple-bogey seven on the 10th hole and continued with a bogey at the 12th.

She carried the meltdown through with back-to-back bogeys on the 17th and 18th.

She righted the ship in the playoff, which went to a sudden-death format after the two-hole aggregate start failed to produce a winner.

Not only does Ariya become the first Thai to win a US Women's Open title but she is the first champion from a country other than South Korea or the United States since Sweden's Annika Sorenstam in 2006.

She is also the first multiple winner of the 2018 LPGA Tour season, having already won the Kingsmill Championship.

Kim, chasing a second Major to go with her 2014 Evian Championship, had five birdies in her bogey-free round.

Spain's Carlota Ciganda shot a three-under 69 to finish alone in third place, four strokes back of Kim and Ariya.

American Danielle Kang (69) was four shots back of Ciganda, the only player to finish fourth.