Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn successfully converted a 25-yard birdie putt to clinch the Manulife LPGA classic in a triple playoff on Sunday, catapulting her to the world number ranking in LPGA.
Her dramatic win at Whistle Bear Gold Club in Cambridge, Ontario came after rival Lexi Thompson squandered her four-shot lead, the evaporation of which began when she failed with four bogeys on back nine.
On the first playoff hole, Thompson looked like she finally recovered when she smashed a long tee shots 50 yards ahead of Ariya and South Korea’s Chun In-Fee. Ariya, by contrast under hit her tee shot earlier into the fairway rough but picked herself up slamming the second one onto the green.
Both Chun and Thompson failed to drain the long birdie putts which played right into Ariya’s hands who only required a shot at glory which she gleefully obliged by converting it perfectly. The result was a culmination of a topsy-turvy week for the 21-year old from Bangkok, who was informed incorrectly by the LPGA last week that she had already made her ascent to the world number one ranking.
The LPGA later rectified their mistake and revealed that Ariya had not taken yet taken her place at the top of the World Number One rankings from New Zealand’s Lydia Ko because of a rankings miscalculation.