Ariya Jutanugarn Makes History at the LPGA Volvik Championship

What is the common thread that ties Ariya Jutanugarn, Inbee Park, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam? Yes, they are all current or former LPGA members, but they are the last four women to win at least three consecutive events on tour. Jutanugarn joined the group today after a final round 67 to win the the Volvik Championship going away, finishing at -15, five shots ahead of Cristina Kim.

Even more impressive than the list of names she has joined is the fact that Jutanugarn became the first LPGA player to ever record their first three victories in succession. Although the win appeared to come easy, there were some pressure-packed moments along the way.

She was cruising after the first two rounds,  but the drama was moreso on Saturday, as she struggled for much of the round. After pars at the first two, she ran into trouble scoring consecutive bogey’s on three and four. She continued to play uninspired golf, bogeying two more and was four over for the round through 13. What may have propelled her, giving her a shot at the history-making finish, was an eagle on 18 to finish with a one-over par 73, leaving her still on top entering Sunday’s final round.

Sunday featured Jutanugarn paired with Jessica Korda. Starting with five consecutive pars, Jutanugarn appeared poised and focused, although the tournament was far from over at that point. After a birdie on the par-5 sixth,  she cruised to six more pars before putting the petal to the medal, notching birdies on four of the next five holes to put the tournament out of reach. Jutanugarn tied Lexi Thompson for the lowest round on Sunday, five under 67, finishing at -15 for the tournament.

Jutanugarn will look to extend the victory streak to four next week at the ShopRite LPGA Classic, where Anna Nordqvist is the defending champion.

Kerry Kauffman
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