Injured teen Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn has withdrawn from next month’s Evian Championship, but she is working to be ready for the final stage of LPGA Q-School in December.
Jutanugarn, 17, underwent laparascopic surgery to repair a torn labrum in her right shoulder on July 15 at Bangkok Hospital. She hurt herself in a practice round at the Wegmans LPGA Championship while stumbling down a steep incline off a tee box.
Jutanugarn, whose older sister, Moriya, leads the LPGA Rolex Rookie of the Year points race, is just returning to practice this week, according to Varuth Pholwannabha, the management team's player assistant. Ariya began with just some putting on Tuesday. Whether Ariya will play a tournament before LPGA Q-School is still uncertain.
Ariya took the professional ranks by storm as a rookie earlier this year, nearly winning the Honda LPGA while playing on a sponsor exemption in February. She lost a three-shot lead at the final hole to Inbee Park in heart-breaking fashion in the only LPGA event that is staged in her native Thailand. It was a notable run given Jutanugarn wanted to play LPGA Q-School last year but was denied a waiver of the tour’s rule requiring that members be at least 18 years old. A month after that difficult loss, Jutanugarn won the Ladies European Tour’s Meryem Cup.
In five LPGA starts via sponsor exemptions and Monday qualifying this season, Jutanugarn hasn’t finished worse than a tie for fourth. She won $447,772 in those five starts.
Jutanugarn is exempt into the final stage of LPGA Q-School this year based on her top-25 Rolex world ranking. She’s No. 22. Q-School’s final stage is Dec. 4-8 at LPGA International. Jutanugarn turns 18 on Nov. 23.