By Andrew Both
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Illinois (Reuters) – Moriya Jutanugarn beat her little sister at the Women’s PGA Championship but left still searching for her first LPGA victory.
The Thai, who stands 5-foot, 1-inch tall (1.55 metres), lives in the shadow of sibling Ariya, who has racked up six LPGA victories over the past 14 months and briefly snatched the world number one ranking.
Moriya has been making strong progress of her own recently, however, with four straight top-10 finishes entering the Women’s PGA, including a tie for second last week.
Only two strokes from the halfway lead here, Moriya’s weekend challenge never really left the launch pad, a closing 73 on Sunday leaving her tied for 20th at three-under 281, 10 strokes behind winner Danielle Kang.
“It’s been a pretty tough week,” the 22-year-old told Reuters, a broad smile on her face despite her mediocre finish.
“I don’t hit the ball good, and it was really not my day today. It was just something missing by an inch.
“I didn’t quite play my game this week, and yet I still hang in there. It’s not like a really bad place I finish but I know it’s not my day, so if I can tighten everything up, everything should be good.”
Ariya missed the cut and took the chance on Saturday to head into downtown Chicago.
She was back at Olympia Fields to support her sister on Sunday, however, and the pair embraced warmly outside the clubhouse, their affection for each other clear.
At 5-foot, 7-inches tall (1.7m), Ariya towers over her older sister physically, but how long her dominance of her sibling on the course continues remains to be seen.
(Reporting by Andrew Both, editing by Nick Mulvenney)