Ariya Jutanugarn has rediscovered her mojo in a major way.
When Jutanugarn tees it up in Thursday’s start of the LPGA Volvik Championship in Ann Arbor, Mich., she will be seeking to become the first player to win three consecutive LPGA tournaments since Inbee Park pulled the trifecta in the summer of 2013. Jutanugarn is coming off back-to-back victories at the Yokohama Tire Classic and Kingsmill Championship.
Jutanugarn, 20, climbed as high as No. 15 in the Rolex Women’s World Rankings before shoulder surgery in 2013 sidelined her for eight months. She plummeted to No. 124 in the world while struggling to return but has now climbed back to No. 13.
“I have more confidence right now,” Jutanugarn said Wednesday in her pretournament news conference.
Jutanugarn takes a lot of momentum into a 13-week stretch that includes three majors, the Olympics and the UL International Crown. The LPGA will play 10 consecutive weeks before getting two weeks off before the Olympic women’s golf competition begins.
Jutanugarn leads a strong field this week at Travis Pointe Country Club, with 12 of the top 14 players in the world rankings scheduled to play. Jutanugarn will be in a featured grouping Thursday and Friday with Rolex world No. 1 Lydia Ko and Cristie Kerr. They’re off at 8:10 a.m. in the first round. The event will be televised on Golf Channel with the broadcast tape delayed from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday and broadcast live from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.