Don't let Koepka's snub take away from Jutanugarn's achievement

The Scoop

Ariya Jutanugarn was, quite rightly, on a list of 2018's top athletes. But her inclusion was overshadowed by Brooks Koepka being left out, writes Alex Perry

You might not have seen, but Ariya Jutanugarn was included in ESPN’s The Dominant 20 – their rundown of the most dominant athletes of 2018.

In fact, she came 4th. She was only beaten by gymnast Simone Biles, runner Eliud Kipchoge, and MMA fighter Daniel Cormer.

Jutanugarn won three times in 2018, including her second major at the US Women’s Open.

The 23-year-old World No. 1 also won EVERY individual achievement for which she was eligible:

  • LPGA Tour money winner ($2,667,983)
  • Race to the CME Globe winner (and its $1,000,000 bonus)
  • LPGA Tour Player of the Year
  • Rolex Annika Major Award (best overall performance in the majors)
  • Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average over the season with 69.415)

She also set season records for most rounds in the 60s, with 57, and most birdies, with 470.

470! Trying to work how long I’d have to play golf for before I holed 470 birdies, but when you start having to round up to the nearest thousand years then there’s not really any point…

Unfortunately, Jutanugarn’s inclusion has been completely overshadowed, particularly in golf circles, by Brooks Koepka’s snub from the list, which is a tremendous shame.

For the record, I think Koepka being left out is utterly ridiculous, and because we’re all one big golf family, I’ve written about that as well.

But the most frustrating factor to come out of this is how many column inches have been given to Koepka, and how few have been given to Jutanugarn.

It’s OK to be happy about one and annoyed about the other. But one should certainly not cancel the other out, as seems to have been the case here.

So a huge shout out to Ariya, because to be recognised for her achievements on that sort of level is tremendous for not only women’s golf, but golf as a whole.

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