Monday, August 13, 2018

Ariya Jutanugarn wins LPGA player of year, Charley Hull takes season finale

NAPLES — Ariya Jutanugarn couldn't accept the CME Globe trophy when it was first being presented to her, needing both hands to hold a plastic cube stuffed with $1 million in cash. That's a great way to end a season.

Jutanugarn's breakout year ended with a haul of prizes Sunday at the season-ending LPGA Tour Championship: the player of the year award, the money title and the season points title, which comes with a $1 million bonus.

A winner of five tournaments in a year that started slowly for her and turned around with three consecutive wins in May, Jutanugarn held off Lydia Ko for all three of those trophies.

"I never expected, like, that much," Jutanugarn said. "I just really wanted to win my first tournament this year."

In Gee Chun made a 10-footer for birdie on the final hole to win the scoring title by a stroke, making her the first player since Nancy Lopez in 1978 to win the Vare Trophy for scoring and rookie of the year in the same season. If Chun's final putt had not fallen, Ko would have won the Vare for the first time.

Charley Hull won the event, shooting 6-under 66 in the final round to finish two shots ahead of So Yeon Ryu (67) at 19-under 269. Jennifer Song (68) was third at 15 under and Jutanugarn (69) fourth at 14 under. Seminole's Brittany Lincicome, tied for second after the third round, shot 73 to finish tied for 10th at 11 under.

PGA: Third-round leader Mackenzie Hughes, Blayne Barber, former Gator Camilo Villegas and Henrik Norlander couldn't finish their playoff in the RSM Classic before darkness caused play to be suspended at Sea Island, Ga. The four and former Gator Billy Horschel were tied at 17-under 268 after the last round. Horschel was eliminated after missing a birdie putt at No. 18 on the first playoff hole. Play was to resume this morning. It was the largest tour playoff since Alex Cejka won a five-man playoff in Puerto Rico in 2015.

PGA EUROPE: Henrik Stenson won the season title for the second time in four years, and Matthew Fitzpatrick won the season-ending Tour Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Stenson, who also won the title in 2013, shot 7-under 65 to finish at 12-under 276 in a four-way tie for ninth that included Rory McIlroy (65). He earned a bonus of $1.25 million as the tour's top player. Fitzpatrick (67) totaled 17-under 271, one stroke better than Tyrrell Hatton (68). Third-round leader Victor Dubuisson (72) tied for fourth at 275.