Golf: World No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn rues 'bad day' as she lets slip overnight lead to finish joint-eighth

Ariya Jutanugarn hitting a shot during the final round of the HSBC Women's World Championship on March 3, 2019.
Ariya Jutanugarn hitting a shot during the final round of the HSBC Women's World Championship on March 3, 2019.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The wait for an elusive first LPGA Tour title in Asia continues for world No. 1 Ariya Jutanugarn.

Entering the final round of the HSBC Women's World Championship as the overnight leader, the Thai golfer faltered with a three-over 75 at Sentosa Golf Club's New Tanjong Course on Sunday (March 3) as she settled for a joint-eighth finish on an eight-under 280 total alongside England's Jodi Ewart Shadoff.

Double-bogeys at the par-three fourth hole and par-five 13th, which sandwiched three birdies, wiped out the one-shot lead she built over the first three rounds.

"I hit a pretty good shot at the fourth, but it went in the water so I can't really do anything. At the 13th, my second shot went right under the tree so I had to take a one-stroke penalty for an unplayable lie," lamented Ariya.

"It was not the finish I wanted, but still a good week. I had just one bad day but, overall, I did a good job for the week and this is my first top-10 finish for the year and I will build on this."

It was a surprising result considering her reputation as a clinical finisher - nine of her 11 professional victories came after she held the 54-hole lead.

She admitted that she struggled with the windy conditions and tough greens while also paying tribute to South Korea's Park Sung-hyun who was in a class of her own with a sizzling final-round 64.

 

Ariya said: "It was tough and windy... and the greens were really firm. Other than the double-bogeys, I was also not making any putts, so it was a pretty tough day for me today.

"Sung-hyun is such a great golfer... I'm not surprised she shot eight under because she's the best to me, so just congratulations to her. She's great."

Ariya will have to wait till the Buick LPGA Shanghai in China in October to take another crack at winning an LPGA Tour event in Asia.

She said: "You know, I'm not really paying attention on only one tournament. I know I have so many things to improve, and I will go back to see my coach to work on many things after this week."