Ariya vaults into lead at US Women's Open

Sarah Jane Smith of Australia looks over the 16th green during the second round of the 2018 U.S. Women's Open at Shoal Creek

The Kingdom's most successful golfer squandered a seven-shot lead with nine holes remaining before edging out South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo on the fourth playoff hole to become the first Thai to claim the richest prize in women's golf.

But it wasn't over. The two went to sudden death, and Jutanugarn beat Kim with a par on the second sudden death hole. At the 2016 ANA Inspiration she lost a two-shot lead with three holes to play. Returning to the 18th, Jutanugarn went over the green while Kim found a bunker. Still, there was candid reflection of events from the 10th after which she was "scared" to hit tee shots. She might have smiled in disbelief.

The mind tricks weren't working, but she wasn't going to stop trying.

"Honestly I tried to smile", she said.

The 22-year-old made the turn at 16 under par, while South Korean Kim Hyo-joo made it into second place on nine-under after picking up three shots on the outward half.

Going back out to No. 14, Kim barely missed a 20-foot birdie try that would have won it and then Jutanugarn rolled in a 4-footer after a brilliant bunker shot.

Mo adores her baby sister, even when she makes Mo clean up after her, but there was something special watching her sister clean up her own mess at Shoal Creek.

"I felt really good and kept my nerves under control, but I think the nerves showed up in my putting", she said.

Smith began the day alongside Ariya Jutanugarn and Jeongeun6 Lee at the top of the leaderboard. Pacing in front of the television. "I'm also very happy that I did pretty good in this tournament".

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"The one thing with May, and equally with Mo", said Nilsson, "they have a tremendous amount of grit and never giving up".

Ariya kicked it into high gear on the back nine by draining four birdies in five holes beginning at the par-five 11th hole.

Kim wasted no time taking the lead in the playoff. "I have the last chance to make myself proud".

When Jutanugarn rose to No. 1 in the world for the first time last summer, she admittedly wasn't ready for it. She was in the rough in three, on the green in four, in the cup in seven. Jutanugarn admitted after the round she didn't felt completely comfortable on the tee box.

Jutanugarn made it to Rolex No. 1 in June of past year, but she only lasted two weeks there.

And she likes digging through Mo's dresser and messing up the clothes after Mo folds them.

That's the why part for Jutanugarn. Money and trophies weren't enough. Then at the 15th she holed a putt from off the green for another birdie to cut the lead to just one. She'd go on to win the CME.

Oh said her effort included "nothing outstanding" although she putted well and dealt calmly with the challenges of the soggy course.

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