KPMG Women’s PGA Championship: Who’s hot and who’s not?

Brooke Henderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Brooke Henderson. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports /
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KPMG WOmen's PGA Championship
Moriya Jutanugarn. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Moriya Jutanugarn: Rolex Rank – 39, CME Globe Rank – 16

Unlike the other players on my Who’s Hot list, Moriya Jutanugarn isn’t coming to Olympia Fields with a major championship on her resume. In fact, she’s coming to the Women’s PGA Championship still on the hunt for her first Tour victory.

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Moriya’s game this season is reaping the benefit of her work with Gary Gilchrist and Vision 54 mental coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott. Here’s the evidence: She’s started at 14 Tour events this year, missed one cut, and recorded five top-10s. But that’s only part of the story of Moriya’s 2017 game. She’s finished outside the top-20 only twice, and her last three finishes have been very impressive, a T6, T7, and T4.

The elder Jutanugarn’s stats, much like So Yeon Ryu’s, depict a down-the-middle game in her tee-to-green play. Once she’s on the green, Jutanugarn can more than hold her own against players with long, distinguished records. She ranks eighth on the Tour in putting, averaging 28.65 putts per round, and eighth in Rounds in the 60s.

If you saw her eagle finish at the WalMart NW Arkansas, you would have no doubt that her game is ready for victory. Wouldn’t it be something for Moriya Jutanugarn to become a Rolex First Time Champion at Olympia Fields. It’s not a far-fetched fantasy. But if not a win, I look for her to finish on the front page of the leaderboard.