INCHEON, South Korea – The Jutanugarn sisters decided to pair up just in time.
Ariya Jutanugarn chipped in from 60 feet for eagle to help Thailand win the UL International Crown’s wild-card playoff Sunday morning and advance to singles play as the fifth and final team.
Jutanugarn’s clutch play eliminated Japan and Australia from the playoff.
With Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn split up over the first two rounds of fourballs, Thailand struggled and found itself needing a late rally to join Korea, the United States, England and Sweden in singles play.
The Jutanugarns delivered with the team’s back to the wall.
In third-round fourballs, they teamed to defeat Sweden’s formidable partnership of Anna Nordqvist and Caroline Hedwall, 2 and 1. It was just the second loss Nordqvist/Hedwall have endured as partners in 10 matches together in Solheim Cup and International Crown play.
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Standings through three rounds
“I’m really happy,” Ariya said. “It’s the first time we played together this week, and we have so much fun.”
The victory got the Thais into the three-way sudden-death, wild-card playoff, with fourballs the format.
Jutanugarn used an iron to tee off at the 236-yard 14th in the playoff, a short par 4 with water in play right of the green. Her shot ran up over the left edge of the green and settled just off the green. Ariya hit her tee shot after watching sister Mo successfully drive the green, leaving Mo a 25-foot putt for eagle.
“I felt like I could be more aggressive, because she hit the perfect shot,” Ariya said.