Golf has a new superstar, and her name is Ariya Jutanugarn.
Actually, Jutanugarn has been a superstar since the start of May, but she capped off an incredible month on Sunday at the inaugural LPGA Volvik Championship by winning her third consecutive event, by five shots over Christina Kim at 15-under 273.
No player in LPGA history -- which dates back to 1950 -- has done what the 20-year-old Thai has accomplished in winning her first three titles in consecutive fashion.
Each of her first two wins, coming at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic in Alabama and the Kingsmill Championship in Virginia, were by one-stroke margins. Jutanugarn didn't have to sweat the final several holes this time around, making birdie on four of the last five holes to wrap up the win with a closing 67 at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Jutanugarn's streak began after letting the LPGA's first major of the year, the ANA Inspiration, slip through her grasp in April. She had the tournament in hand with three holes to play, ultimately fading before Lydia Ko took her second consecutive major title. Jutanugarn finished inside the top 20 in the three starts immediately after that loss before her current run. Now, she has an opportunity to avenge that major meltdown in her next start, which will be the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, starting in 10 days at Sahalee C.C. in Washington.
If Jutanugarn can win her first major, then she'll have an opportunity to tie the LPGA record for the most wins in a row. Both Nancy Lopez (1978) and Annika Sorenstam (2004-05) have won five straight LPGA starts.
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