Biography of LPGA Golfer Ariya Jutanugarn

Ariya Jutanugarn plays a shot during the 2018 CME Group Tour Championship.
Ariya Jutanugarn plays a shot during the 2018 CME Group Tour Championship.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Ariya Jutanugarn is one of the top players in women's golf, a multiple-major championship winner on the LPGA Tour and the first golfer from Thailand, male or female, to win a major.

Jutanugarn and her sister, Moriya, were born in Bangkok and learned golf together as children. Moriya Jutanugarn is also an LPGA Tour member. They typically travel together, and the sisters co-own a golf shop at a Thailand golf course.

Fast Facts: Ariya Jutanugarn

  • Known For: Professional golfer with many wins on the LPGA Tour
  • Nickname: May
  • Born: November 23, 1995 in Bangkok, Thailand
  • Parents: Somboon (father) and Narumon (mother) Jutanugarn
  • Key Accomplishments: Victories in the U.S. Women's Open and Women's British Open, winning multiple LPGA Player of the Year awards
  • Fun Fact: Ariya's sister Moriya is also an LPGA Tour player. They were the second pair of sisters in tour history, after the Sorenstams.

Amateur Career to LPGA Rookie

Jutanugarn was only 11 years old when she first made waves on the international golf scene. In 2007 she played her way, via a qualifying tournament, into the Honda LPGA Thailand tournament. That made her the youngest golfer ever to successfully qualify for an LPGA event.

In her early teens, Jutanugarn (with her sister and family) began summering in the United States and playing the American Junior Golf Association circuit. In 2012, she won the AJGA Player of the Year Award, then turned professional shortly after.

Her rookie year as a pro was 2013. She led going to the final hole of the Honda LPGA Thailand that year before settling for second place. In 2013, Jutanugarn was a member of the Ladies European Tour. Her first victory as a pro golfer happened at the LET's 2013 Lalla Meryem Cup.

However, late in the year she suffered a shoulder injury (only 17 at the time, she fell while chasing her sister down a hill) that required surgery. For much of 2014, she didn't experience the same level of success as in the previous year.

But at the end of the year, at the LPGA Qualifying Tournament, Jutanugarn finished third to earn LPGA membership for 2015.

In her LPGA rookie year of 2015, she played in 29 tournaments, had four Top 10 finishes and placed 35th on the money list. It was a solid rookie experience for Jutanugarn, but she finished only sixth in the Rookie of the Year points race.

Breakout Season and First Major Championship Win

In year two of her LPGA career, Jutanugarn broke into the spotlight and began fulfilling all the early predictions of greatness that followed her teen (and even pre-teen) exploits.

On the LPGA Tour in 2016, Jutanugarn recorded 16 Top 10 finishes, including five victories. She led the tour with 469 birdies, setting an LPGA record for most birdies in a season. She led the money list. She became the second-youngest winner in tour history of the Player of the Year Award, and the second-youngest to win all three of the Player of the Year Award, Race to the CME Globe points title, and LPGA money title in the same year.

Jutanugarn earned her first victory in an LPGA major by winning the 2016 Women's British Open. In doing so, she became the first major championship winner, male or female, from Thailand.

Continuing LPGA Success and Reaching No. 1

The wins kept coming for Jutanugarn in 2017 (with two more) and in 2018 (with three more). She first reached No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, the women's world golf rankings, on June 12, 2017, and spent much time there over the next several seasons.

In 2018, Jutanugarn added her second major title, the U.S. Women's Open. That victory was achieved in a playoff against Hyo-joo Kim on the fourth hole of sudden death.

She set single-season records for birdies and for rounds in the 60s. When the season was over, Jutanugarn became the first golfer ever to sweep all five major LPGA awards: Player of the Year, Vare Trophy (for lowest scoring average), the money title, the Race to the CME Globe points race, and the Rolex Annika Award for performance in the five majors.

Jutanugarn's Pro Tournament Wins

Jutanugarn is currently credited with 10 wins on the LPGA Tour:

Her Women's British Open and Ladies Scottish Open wins also count as victories on the Ladies European Tour. With another win in the 2013 Lalla Meryem Cup, Jutanugarn is credited with three LET wins.