Moriya Jutanugarn has been on the leaderboard so many times in the past year, it’s easy to be confused whether or not she’s actually won on the LPGA. Combine her many top-10 finishes – three runner-ups and two T-3 finishes in the past 10 months alone – with the fact that her younger sister, Ariya, has won seven times on tour, and casual fans are likely to think Moriya has already had her breakthrough victory. But until today at the HUGEL-JTBC LA Open, the 23-year-old from Thailand had been nothing but painfully close to a win.
With a final-round 68 at Wilshire Country Club for a 12-under 272 total, that all changed for Jutanugarn, who held off Inbee Park and Jin Young Ko by two strokes.
Jutanugarn, the 2013 LPGA rookie of the year, was steady in the final round. She missed just four greens and made a lone bogey en route to victory in her 156th LPGA start.
Cool, calm and collected the whole day.
— LPGA (@LPGA) April 23, 2018
When Jutanugarn talks about what it’s been like waiting for this win, she talks about staying patient and trusting in the work that she’s been doing. “I just, like, keep doing what I’m doing,” said Jutanugarn, who lost to Danielle Kang in the final of the 2010 US Women’s Amateur, “and finally it worked out pretty good.”
When Moriya finished, her mother and sister were there to wrap their arms around her in celebration. Ariya actually cried more than Moriya did.
With the win, the Jutanugarns join Annika and Charlotta Sorenstam as the only two pairs of sisters to win on the LPGA Tour.
Best of the Australians in Los Angeles was Minjee Lee, who shared seventh place, seven shots behind the winner.