News about Ariya Jutanugarn
Searching For Confidence
18 July 2017
Since taking over the number one spot in the Rolex Rankings, Ariya has struggled to find consistency. Her struggles following her win at the Manulife LPGA Classic, include missed cuts at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Women’s U.S. Open. Major Championships bring all kinds of pressure and expectations, especially for a player ranked in the top two in the world (So Yeon Ryu has taken over the number one ranking). Jutanugarn’s struggles are rarely traced to her swing or physical playing, her poor play is usually a result of her confidence. When she’s not confident, the number of bogey’s increase, and pars and birdies decrease. Even after her win in Canada she admitted to not being very confident with her swing, and she felt very fortunate to win. This is a testament to her incredible talent.
Maybe the pressure of being number one got to her.
Maybe the expectations of fans, media, and her home country of Thailand got to her.
Or maybe she was already in a funk mentally, and the win and number one ranking came in spite of that.
She’s an extremely gifted player, who occasionally struggles with the mental side of the game. But when confident, there are very few players in the world that can compete with her. Ten consecutive missed cuts in 2015, followed by five wins including three consecutive in 2016 is a great reminder of that.
Watching her play at Olympia Fields Country Club, at the Women’s PGA, I saw a player with the ability to overpower any golf course. I watched her hit a two iron off the tee on a par five, easily hitting the ball as far as her playing partners’ drivers. Television simply does not do justice for how far and straight she hits her two iron and three wood off the tee.
Watch her in person, and stand behind her during a tee shot if possible. Breathtaking is the only way I can describe it. Low wind-cutting ball flight, with a little draw. It’s remarkable. There is no doubt in my mind if/when she decides to use driver again, she could carry the ball 280 yards plus. Ariya is also an outstanding putter. A part of the game that has historically been a hindrance to power hitters. Despite the poor play, she continues to show the signs of a number one player. Hitting great shots, and making long putts.
The last few weeks have been tough to watch. All players have stretches where they struggle, and Jutanugarn is no different. We know how great she is on the course, and how happy and fun-loving she is off the course. We know she has an amazing support system, including her older sister Moriya, who is having the best season of her career. We know Ariya has the game to be the best in the world. We also know she has faced adversity and struggles before. She bounced back strong last year, and she will again this year.
A New Number One
13 June 2017
After an incredible 2016 season which saw Ariya win five times on the LPGA Tour, her play this season has been very consistent. The breakout year, followed by strong play this season, allowed her to make up a lot of ground on Lydia Ko in the world rankings. The great play has paid off.
Ariya won her first tournament of 2017, at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Ontario, Canada, as she defeated Lexi Thompson and In Gee Chun in a playoff. The win has lifted her to the world number one ranking for the first time, surpassing Ko for the top spot. Jutanugarn becomes the first Thai player to reach world number one.
Jutanugarn and So-Yeon Ryu have had a chance to take the top spot from Ko for the last several weeks. With Ryu missing her first cut since 2014, and Ko taking three tournaments off, the door was opened for Jutanugarn, and she took advantage by winning in Canada.
Ariya has gained momentum heading into a busy summer stretch on the LPGA, which includes three major championships. Her game is there, and now her confidence, don’t be surprised by another run of dominant play by the new world number one.
Solid Play Continues
30 May 2017
Ariya has played very well in the month of May. Last year at this time she was wrapping up her third consecutive victory. Although no wins this year, she finished April with a T9 finish at the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout, started May by finishing second at the Citibanamex Lorena Ochoa Match Play, and added another two finishes inside the top 21.
At the LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan, this past weekend, Ariya shot a second round 66 (-6) to put herself into contention heading into the weekend. She followed that up with a 4 under par 68 on Saturday, putting herself in a good position to win the tournament. After the round Saturday Ariya told Amy Rogers of LPGA.com that she was putting really well. This is a great sign for Jutanugarn moving forward, with major championships coming up quickly, starting with the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship at the end of June.
Jutanugarn, along with So-Yeon Ryu, are closing in on Lydia Ko for the top spot in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings. If Jutanugarn would have finished inside the top 3 and Ryu outside the top 4, Ariya would have taken over the number 1 ranking. Neither player finished inside the top 20, as Ko remains world number 1, but Jutanugarn did move up one spot to number 2 in the world rankings.
With her solid play things are looking positive for Ariya. If her confidence with the putter continues to grow, expect her back in the winner’s circle soon.
A Win is Near
25 April 2017
Ariya has played very well in the eight tournaments she has played in this season. In those eight events Jutanugarn has six top tens. She also has a tie for 3rd and two runner up finishes. Her worst finish is a tie for 47th and that was the season’s first tournament. Since then Ariya has been playing at a high level, getting closer and closer to a victory. According to LPGA.com, so far this season she is 9th in scoring average, and 1st in birdies. These statistics show she is playing well enough to win, but also shows the high level the rest of the tour is playing at.
Jutanugarn has also reunited with caddie Les Luark. Luark caddied for Ariya through the very bad, (10 missed cuts in a row in 2015) and the very good, (3 wins in a row in May 2016.) A disagreement caused them to part ways last summer. After the fourth event of this season Jutanugarn decided to give Luark another chance, and the two seem to have found common ground. The familiarity and the level of comfort are surely positives for Ariya moving forward the rest of this season.
Ariya’s game is showing she is ready for a win. Maybe multiple wins. The month of May is right around the corner, and we all know what happened last year. (As I mentioned before, she swept the LPGA tournaments in May 2016.) Her confidence appears to be there, and she is making lots of birdies. I would not be surprised if we saw an Ariya win, and maybe even another winning streak, in the near future.
Ariya had a busy off-season that did not include very much golf. After the CME Group Tour Championship, she spent 2 weeks doing sponsor obligations back home in Thailand, then finally got to rest after a busy 2016. She was able to have a little vacation time with her sister, Moriya Jutanugarn, before returning to the states and getting back to playing golf after the start of the New Year. Henderson and Jutanugarn Enjoy Off-Season, Prep For 2017
Respected golf writer, Amy Rogers, explains why confidence is the key to Ariya’s success CONFIDENCE KEY FOR ARIYA JUTANUGARN IN 2017
About Ariya Jutanugarn
Ariya Jutanugarn (Turning 22 in November 2017) is a professional golfer from Thailand. Ariya had a breakout year in 2016 winning 5 times on the LPGA tour, including all 3 tournaments in May, becoming the first player in LPGA history to win her first 3 tournaments consecutively. She went on to win two more tournaments in 2016 including the Women’s British Open, becoming the first Thai player, male or female, to win a major championship. She is the current No. 2 golfer. Source: Wikipedia
Ariya Jutanugarn in 2016 (Source: LPGA)
28 events, 27 cuts made, $2,550,947
1st on the money list
Five victories, including her first major championship at the Women’s British Open with an additional 11 top-ten finishes and one runner-up. Ariya became the second player to win the Race to the CME Globe, Rolex Player of the Year, and the LPGA Official Money Title in the same season, joining Lydia Ko (2015)
A lifelong golfer and fan, Ben Harpring, from Columbus, Indiana is currently finishing up his Business degree at Indiana University – Purdue University Columbus.
Ben hopes to qualify for the Indiana Amateur this year.
“I enjoy writing about things I’m passionate about, and I hope I can help grow the greatest game in the world!”
Follow Ben online on Instagram