Disastrous final hole robs Ariya of historic LPGA win

Ariya: Heartbreak after promising start

It was heartbreak for Thai teenager Ariya Jutanugarn and her thousands of fans as she missed out on securing a historic win at the Honda LPGA Thailand Sunday.

Ariya gets a supportive hug from big sister Moriya Jutanugarn on the 18th green after her disastrous triple bogey. (AFP Photo)

The 17-year-old blew a two-stroke lead on the final hole with a triple bogey to lose her bid to become the first Thai to win an official LPGA Tour event.

Ariya appeared set to claim the title at Siam Country Club when she made a hole-in-one at the 12th hole for a one-shot lead.

She then took a two-stroke advantage only to suffer a disastrous eight at the par-five 18th to allow South Korea's Park Inbee to win by a shot.

The distraught young Thai struggled to hold back tears, as did the majority of the stunned gallery as she stood on the 18th holding her putter after her collapse on the last hole which saw the title slip from her grasp.

Ariya, who turned professional earlier this month, had begun the day with a three-shot cushion, and although Park had briefly held the lead after a birdie at the 11th, Ariya's ace at the 12th saw the Thai take charge.

Ariya finished with an even-par 72 for a four-day total of 277 while Park struck 67 for 276.

A tearful Ariya admitted she was disappointed at the way things turned out.

"After the hole-in-one, I thought it was going to be my day," she said.

"The hole-in-one made me feel a lot more confident as my driver and irons had not been very good up to that point."

She said she was too aggressive at the final hole and that she had learned a lot from the tournament.

Ariya saved her final words for the thousands of Thai fans who packed the large gallery.

"I have to thank the fans for their fine support. They were great," she said.

Park appeared equally shocked to be lifting the title.

"I didn't expect to win it," she admitted.

"When I missed a birdie opportunity at the 17th, I thought it was all over for me."

Park, who won the LPGA money title last year, said she understood how difficult it must have been for Ariya on the 18th.

"If I had been in Ariya's position, I would have been very nervous.

Ariya had handled the pressure very well for all four days. She is very talented and played some fantastic golf," Park said.

After appearing to be out of it for the first three rounds, defending champion and world No.1 Tseng Yani of Taiwan was back to her supreme best on the final day, shooting a stunning 63 for a total of 278. That score was good for a third-place tie with Spain's Beatriz Recari who shot a 70, South Korea's Ryu So Yeon (68) and American Stacy Lewis (70). Lewis had led the tournament for the first two rounds.

Ariya: Heartbreak after promising start

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