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Ko eclipsed again by red-hot Thai golfer

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/05/2016

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn has enhanced her status as the form player on the LPGA Tour by winning a third successive tournament.

Jutanugarn dominated the field at the Volvik Championship in Michigan, winning by five shots and finishing 11 strokes clear of 16th-placed New Zealand world No.1 Lydia Ko.

The 20-year-old closed with a five-under 67 to improve to 15-under, ensuring she became the first player to land an LPGA hat-trick since Korean Inbee Park in 2013.

She won three weeks ago in Alabama to become the first Thai winner in tour history and followed with a victory last week in Virginia to climb to 13th in the world.

Ko has been modest by her standards since returning from a three-week break.

She placed 18th at Virginia, having never featured among the front-runners, and it was the same story this week in Ann Arbor.

The 19-year-old closed on Sunday with her best round of 70 to improve nine places.

Ko remains on top of the Tour's points ranking ahead of Jutanugarn, mainly due to her victory at the first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration in California two months ago.

She owed victory at that tournament to Jutanugarn's late meltdown, when the Thai bogeyed each of the last three holes to lose the lead.

The tour moves to New Jersey next week ahead of the second major of the year, the women's PGA Championship in Sammamish, Washington.

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