Thai Golfer Jutanugarn Omnipresent in 2016
Do we all remember movies like Jaws, and the frightening music associated with the beast around which the story is centered? It’s iconic now. Whenever you hear those bass fiddles thump thump thumping away down there, you know that someone at the surface is in big trouble. It’s the same with all of those old vintage horror movies from decades gone by. If you heard the basses play, someone was being stalked, and worst of the worst, if you heard the bass clarinet, someone would meet their doom within seconds. Â Now, I have nothing to fear from Ariya Jutanugarn. I don’t have to compete against her, but after seeing her take so many events in this one year of golf, I’m actually starting to hear the bass clarinet every time her name is mentioned. From my safe distance, I have begun to wonder what the other players hear or feel when her name suddenly surges up the leaderboard. To further the analogy, most of the field seems like the hapless swimmer on top, waiting for the beast to strike. Even Lydia Ko, a bit of a beast herself, has to get out of the water when Jutanugarn gets hot. Yes, she’s so good that she has her own music now, at least inwardly.
I was looking forward to writing about something new, a neat and tidy story about the evolution of a golfer such as Marina Alex, who led the Manulife LPGA Classic through two rounds. Her story was perfect, not a piece of the puzzle out of place. Brilliant kid who actually found her way into TWO National Honor Societies – the one we know about in this country, (and hated every classmate who whore that banner or pin), and the Italian Honor Society. I don’t know she did that. Then suddenly, there were two South Korean golfers in her place ending the third round, Mi Hyang Lee and Hyo Joo Kim. Inbee Park, another player developing her own sinister music, must have taken the week off. But there was Jutanugarn, making a strong case for her sixth win in one year, now perfectly positioned for the final day.
A lot of LPGA stars have managed the flute or clarinet in their wins overs the years. Brooke Henderson brings the horn so far, Lydia Ko is accompanied by the basses – but it is Ariya Jutanaguran alone who wields the scariest horror movie track of all – the bass clarinet. Five times this season, and threatening a sixth, golf’s own answer to Jaws. I’m so glad I don’t have to face the music.