Nov 19 (The Sports Xchange) - Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn sank a 25-foot birdie putt on the last hole to capture the CME Group Tour Championship by one shot on Sunday in Naples, Florida.
Ariya started her day with a bogey, but she made birdies on four of her last six holes to finish the fourth round with a five-under 67 and a four-day total of 15-under-par 273 on the Tiburon Golf Club.
“This week, to be honest, I had no expectations at all,” said Ariya. “I really wasn’t thinking about the outcome any more at all. I really thought only about the things I could control. And I have so much fun this week.”
Lexi Thompson and Jessica Korda finished in a tie for second.
Thompson held a one-stroke lead after 17 holes, but she missed a two-foot putt for par on the 72nd hole.
“I wasn’t even thinking about it. I putted great the whole day,” Thompson said, according to Golf World. “I did my routine, I read it. It wasn’t obviously a very long putt. I guess maybe just a little bit of adrenaline. ... I guess it’s just golf. Crazy things happen like that. I’ll move on.”
That dropped her into a tie at the top with Korda and Ariya before the Thai played the final hole and sank the putt that avoided a playoff.
Thompson and Korda both shot 67 Sunday. Korda had five birdies on her final nine holes.
Thompson got a couple nice consolation prizes. She took home the season-long Race to the CME Globe and its $1 million prize.
She also won the 2017 Vare Trophy by finishing the season with the lowest scoring average on Tour at 69.114.
For the first time in history, there are two Players of the Year.
South Korean rookie Park Sung-hyun and Ryu So-yeon finished the season tied at 162 in Player of the Year points.
Park also became the first player since Nancy Lopez in 1978, to win both Rookie and Player of the Year honors in the same season.
Park finished 2017 atop the money list with $2,335,883 earned this season.
Park held a three-shot lead after 72 holes and shot 75-69 in her final two rounds as she and Michelle Wie (70) tied for sixth.
South Korean Ji Eun-hee (67) and Sweden Pernilla Lindberg (68) finished tied for fourth, two strokes off the lead. (Editing by Gene Cherry)