Meet the Girls: Ariya Jutanugarn
Ariya Jutanugarn Fact File:
Name: Ariya Jutanugarn
Date of birth: 23/11/1995
Turned professional: 2012
About Ariya Jutanugarn:
Golf is definitely in the family when it comes the Jutanugarn clan. With her parents owning a pro shop and her younger sister playing it was inevitable the older Jutanugarn would do something special in the game.
The stage was set very early in her amateur career when she qualified at age 11 for an LPGA event that was being held in Thailand. By the start of 2013 Ariya had played in 3 LPGA events and 4 Ladies European Tour events, this is when she started playing as a professional on the LET.
A shoulder injury in 2013 threatened to derail her career after slipping at the Wegmans Championship. After surgery and recuperation Jutanugarn finished 3rd in the LPGA’s Q-School and earned her tour card for the 2015 season.
2016, the year of Ariya:
After her rookie year in 2015 it was in 2016 that Jutanugarn made her mark on the LPGA with 5 wins including one major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open. This major win meant she became the first Thai golfer on any tour to win a major title.
Following Lydia Ko’s lead in 2015 Jutanugarn became the second player on the LPGA to win 3 end of year titles in the same year. This included becoming the Rolex Player of the Year, the Race to the CME Globe and topping the LPGA Official Money List.
With all of these achievements in 2016 one incredible feat was that in the 28 events Ariya playing in she only missed one cut.
Order of the Direkgunabhorn:
The Olympic dream:
Even with the amazing year Ariya was having the Olympics was once event she wanted to compete in and finish all four rounds, but it was’t meant to be. A niggling knee injury crept in during the second round but it wasn’t until during the third round when she felt like she had to withdrawn and take care of the injury with her long-term career in mind.
No rivalry here as Ariya’s younger sister Moriya is also a professional golfer and was the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. Moriya is currently ranked at 84th in the world and notched up 7 top 10’s. Will she be the next Thai golfer to win a major?