WASHINGTON (AFP) - Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn held off Australia's Su Oh on the back nine Sunday (May 22) to win the LPGA Kingsmill Championship by one stroke and capture her second title in a row.
The 20-year-old from Bangkok became the first Thai player to win an LPGA title two weeks ago at the LPGA Classic in Alabama and made it back-to-back triumphs by shooting a four-under par 67 to finish 72 holes on 14-under 270.
Oh, a South-Korean born Aussie playing on the eve of her 20th birthday, fired a 65 to finish second with South Korea's Kim Sei-Young and American Gerina Piller sharing third on 272 after each shot 66 in the final round at Williamsburg, Virginia.
Oh's only win came in February of last year in only her second pro event when she captured the Ladies Masters in Australia. Piller had been seeking her first LPGA crown while Kim won three tour titles last year and this year's Founders Cup in March.
After stumbling with a bogey at the par-3 second hole, Ariya answered with birdies at the par-5 third and par-4 fourth, added another at the par-5 seventh and closed the front nine with another birdie to reach 13-under.
Oh made an early charge to stay hot on Ariya's heels with a birdie at the third, a three-birdie run ending at the seventh and another at the ninth.
A bogey at the 12th dropped Oh back but she birdied at the par-5 15th to again draw one adrift of Ariya.
Piller made a late bid after birdies on the second and fourth holes and another at nine to answer her lone bogey at the eighth. She also birdied the 11th, 14th and 16th holes to reach 12-under as well.
But Ariya birdied the 15th to reach 14-under. Oh answered with a birdie at 18 to pull within one in the clubhouse while Kim closed with back-to-back birdies to match Piller for third.
Ariya still had to finish the last three holes at par to avoid a playoff and she did just that with three pars to seal the victory.
The clutch stretch run showed just how much better Ariya was handling the late tension after she squandered a two-shot lead by closing with three bogeys in a row to lose in the year's first women's major, the ANA Inspiration.
Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum, South Korean Hur Mi-Jung and American Lexi Thompson shared fifth on 274 with Swede Anna Nordqvist and American Brittany Lincicome level eighth on 275.