Ariya and Kim in US Women's Open playoff

Sarah Jane Smith

Sarah Jane Smith

He's pretty - he always has a good thing to say to keep you on track. "I didn't hit my tee shots very well, but it was a fun day".

Ariya Jutanugarn won the 2018 U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek in a dramatic, back-and-forth sudden death playoff Sunday afternoon over Korea's Hyo-Joo Kim.

She led the field in driving accuracy, hitting 91.7 percent of the fairways and missing only one on Sunday, and was second in total putts, using only 25 in the final 18 holes and averaging 26.63 for the 72 holes of regulation.

Garber, who played golf at Georgia, started the final round at the TPC Wakefield three shots behind Michael Johnson, who ran into trouble on the front nine and closed out that side with a double bogey.

The Australian shot a five-under 67 on Friday, finishing her second round before more thunderstorms soaked an already wet Shoal Creek course.

"I'm not really thinking about my position but I'm really happy about my game right now", she said.

"I have nothing to lose", said Smith.

"I've kind of been playing a little bit better since San Francisco so it's just been like gradually a little bit getting better", said Oh who finished 4th at her last start in MI.

Carlota Ciganda (69) finished well back in outright third at seven under, four shots ahead of Danielle Kang (69).

Certainly, this U.S. Women's Open was dramatic and memorable, and continues what has been a stunning year to date for Ariya Jutanugarn. She is four shots behind Smith, who is at 10 under 134 for the tournament.

Jutanugarn then flew the green with her approach to 18 while Kim's came up short and found the front-left bunker, from where she was unable to get her escape close to the hole and two-putted for bogey while her Thai opponent played a delightful pitch and converted from four feet to force sudden death.

"I think I'm going to sleep well tonight". I feel comfortable on the greens, which has been something that has been a little bit off lately.

"I'm really exhausted. I just want to go out and be proud of myself every day". The lie was not that good in the bunker, but I feel I can do it.

Second round action will resume early tomorrow before the third round is also scheduled to take place. A bogey on the 17th - only Molinari's second of the entire tournament - ended up being decisive.

Faxon said that Ariya, at her best, evoked comparisons with a young Tiger Woods, and with nine LPGA victories, including two majors, the 22-year-old seems capable of dominating the women's tour.

Fellow Korean and defending champion Sung Hyun Park, on the other hand, won't be around for the weekend.

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