Until she got to the seventeenth hole, seventeen year-old Ariya Jutanugarn had gotten it to -8 under par at The Kingsmill Championship on Thursday afternoon. What had been a walk in the park, or rather a walk at The River Course in Williamsburg, Virginia, turned into her only bogey of the day. In fact it was a double bogey, but the youngster from Thailand would birdie the 18th hole and card a -7 under 64 for her round.
Jutanugarn got off to a great start, making three birdies at the first three holes, and after par at four, made three more in a row. She made the turn at -6 under 30 and cooled a bit coming down the stretch before the par three 17th hole got to her for a five. Ariya is a rookie on the Ladies European Tour(LET) and is currently ranked 23rd on the Rolex LPGA World Rankings.
She picked up her first win in Morocco back in March, and leads the LET in 2013 earnings. She finished second to Inbee Park at the Honda LPGA Thailand earlier in the year after making a triple bogey at the 18th hole in front of a home crowd and giving the world’s number one player her first win of the season. Jutanugarn also picked up two LPGA top five finishes at The HSBC Women’s Championship, and The LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii two weeks ago.
The scoring at The Kingsmill saw a lot of players going low on day one as the temperature eased into the 70′s for the first time, but the wind became a factor. American Cristie Kerr got in the clubhouse at -5 under par, and the 12th ranked player is two shots back alone in second place. South Korean, So Yeon Ryu is joined by Dutch player, Dewi Claire Schreefel in a tie for third place at -4 under par.
A log jam of 14 players got it to -3 under par on Thursday, and enjoy a huge tie for fifth place at -3 under par. Lurking in that pack, four strokes back are some pretty heavy hitters on the LPGA Tour including North Texas Shootout champion and the number one player, Inbee Park, the Rolex number two player, Stacy Lewis, LOTTE Champion, and world number five, Suzann Pettersen.
In my first attempt at playing LPGA Fantasy Golf at Ladies Dream Golf I did pretty good with my Group One pick, Suzann Pettersen, but my other three pick aren’t doing so well. My Group Two pick, Lizette Salas went one over on the day, and is in a tie at the 73rd position. My Group Three pick, Michelle Wie has done even worse, and ended her day at +2 over par. I have Moira Dunn for my Group four pick, and at +3, will have trouble making the cut. Oh well…There’s always next week.
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