Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn could unleash driver at International Crown

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Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn could unleash driver at International Crown

LPGA Tour

Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn could unleash driver at International Crown

INCHEON, South Korea – Ariya Jutanugarn usually takes her driver to LPGA events but only hits it during practice rounds. The UL International Crown, however, offers the opportunity to take more risk, as there are three days of four-ball competition. Fans might be in for a rare treat.

“I have to pray tonight,” she joked.

Jutanugarn rose to No. 1 in the world and won 10 times on the LPGA, including two majors, almost entirely without using a driver, a rather phenomenal feat. When she took driver out of the bag two years ago at the behest of her caddie and added a two-iron, her entire game shifted. (She still ranks 12th on the LPGA in driving distance without using driver.)

This week’s event might spark the next level of Jutanugarn dominance.

“I just need to see a good shot,” she said. “I feel like if I see enough good shot, I’m going to feel really confident to hit in the regular tournament.”

Thailand will face Japan in Thursday’s opening session. The Jutanugarn sisters have paired together four times at the Crown but will spread their talent between two groups this time. Ariya will pair with Crown rookie Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong while older sister Moriya will play alongside Pornanong Phatlum.

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