PITTSFORD, N.Y. – Ariya Jutanugarn wanted to wait until Thursday morning to see if she could play through a shoulder injury in this week’s Wegmans LPGA Championship.
With her right arm in a sling, Jutanugarn stood near the swimming pool behind the Locust Hill clubhouse Wednesday afternoon and talked about how much she wanted to play in this major and how much she wanted to play with Michelle Wie for the first time in Thursday's pairing, but a couple hours later the reality of the challenge hit her.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Jutanugarn officially withdrew.
Jutanugarn, 17, injured her right shoulder when she fell jogging off an incline at the 12th tee in a practice round Monday. She saw an orthopedic specialist Tuesday. She said X-rays showed “my bone moved” in the joint. She said the specialist advised taking off and resting the shoulder for two to four weeks.
Jutanugarn was scheduled to play in one of the championship’s marquee pairings with fellow teen phenom Lydia Ko and Wie in a 12:37 p.m. tee time in the first round. Mitsuki Katahira will move up as alternate to take Jutanugarn’s place.
“Yesterday, it hurt a lot, but today it’s a little better,” Jutanugarn said when she thought she might be able to wait until Thursday morning to decide whether to play.
Jutanugarn said she was excited when the pairings showed she would play with Wie.
“I’ve never played with Michelle Wie,” Jutanugarn said before withdrawing. “I’m so sad, it’s my chance to play with her.”
Jutanugarn said she did not want to risk also missing the U.S. Women’s Open in three weeks and yet she really wanted to play this week.
“It’s tough,” Jutanugarn said. “My world ranking came up to the top 20, and it makes me real confident.”
Jutanugarn has soared to No. 15 in the Rolex World Rankings. She isn’t an LPGA member, but she is making a big name for herself playing on sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifying. In five LPGA starts this year, she hasn’t finished worse than a tie for fourth place. She has collected $447,772 in money winnings. If she were a tour member, she would be sixth on the LPGA money list. She is a Ladies European Tour rookie who won her first event on that tour in March.