BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – Nasa Hataoka finished in 10th place at an even-par 288 after Sunday’s fourth round of the U.S. Women’s Open, won by Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn after besting South Korea’s Kim Hyo-joo in a four-hole playoff.
Hataoka cancelled out five birdies with five bogeys for an even 72 at Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club, while Jutanugarn became the first Thai player to win the tournament and earned her second LGPA major victory despite struggling on the back nine.
The 22-year-old Thai, who started the round with a four stroke lead, shot a 1-over 73 and finished at 11-under, allowing Kim to force the playoff after she tied on a 67, the day’s best score. But Jutanugarn remained focused and earned her second major crown when Kim faltered a return to No. 18.
“It was pretty tough for me because I didn’t finish well on the last two holes, but I wasn’t nervous or excited anymore during the playoff,” said Jutanugarn, who won the Women’s British Open in 2016. “I feel great, and I feel really honored to join the list of winners before me.”
Hataoka, who narrowly missed out on her first Tour win after finishing runner-up at last month’s Kingsmill Championship, said she was glad to reach the top 10 in her first U.S. Women’s Open appearance but wished for a better result.
“I was able to start out aggressively with a birdie, but it’s disappointing that I finished at even-par,” the 19-year-old said.
“It was a tough four days. The weather was pretty rough and it was hard to stay focused. But I think I’m gradually getting closer to a (LPGA Tour) victory.”
Rumi Yoshiba finished 40th at 7-over, while Ayako Uehara failed to make the cut.