Teacher Gary Gilchrist was within the midst of a dialog about what it takes to develop into No. 1 when he seemed up, shifted gears and nodded towards Moriya Jutanugarn. In 2017, Gilchrist coached three totally different gamers who held the highest spot – present No. 1 Shanshan Feng, Lydia Ko and Moriya’s youthful sister, Ariya. However at this specific second in Naples, Fla., it was Moriya who caught his eye.
“This lady right here has develop into like a complete totally different particular person and participant,” he mentioned. “However in case you return and watch, her consistency and self-discipline to stay to the plan and course of has not wavered.”
It’s tough for a participant like Moriya to step exterior the shadow of her long-hitting sister. Ariya, a specimen of energy and finesse, boasts a head-turning recreation that has garnered seven LPGA titles in two years.
Moriya, who at age 23 is one 12 months and 4 months older than Ariya, understands the pure tendency to check the 2 sisters, although little is similar.
“Ariya and Moriya are totally different individuals,” she mentioned. “Completely totally different personalities, totally different kinds.”
Moriya enters the 2018 LPGA season No. 22 within the Rolex Rankings, up 63 spots from this time one 12 months in the past. She posted six top-5 finishes in 2017, together with a powerful run on the Evian Championship. Moriya led the tour in birdies with 428 and ranked fifth in placing. Her scoring common of 69.75 was zero.91 strokes decrease than her sister’s.
It’s time for Moriya to win
The one factor left for Moriya to do is win.
“You by no means know when it’s going to occur,” she mentioned.
The self-described perfectionist made such an all-round enchancment to her recreation final season that she distinguished herself as the very best participant to not have received on the LPGA, an outline which may carry extra weight than ordinary given all that her sister has achieved. Whereas Moriya loved a extra constant season in 2017, Ariya received twice.
After spending the offseason in Thailand, the Jutanugarn sisters headed first to the desert to work with Imaginative and prescient54 coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott in Arizona.
“Greater than something,” mentioned Moriya, “what’s crucial for me this 12 months is – what conjures up me to play golf?”
With a pure tendency to emphasize and overthink, Moriya focuses on setting day by day objectives. 4 instances she completed inside the highest three final 12 months, which implies there’s expertise on which to attract when she will get again into rivalry. It’s necessary, Moriya mentioned, to have an consciousness of what she’s pondering and what’s occurring to her physique.
“I believe individuals know the way to repair it,” she mentioned, “however to catch your self in rigidity or in fear, that’s extra necessary.”
The Jutanugarn sisters will compete within the first 4 tournaments of the LPGA season, all abroad. They start at this week’s Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Basic at Atlantis Resort’s Ocean Membership.
“I really feel that I can by no means put together sufficient,” mentioned Moriya, an announcement her sister would by no means utter. Gilchrist famous that the pair don’t play as many apply rounds collectively at tournaments.
“They’re turning into their very own individuals,” he mentioned.
A path to the winner’s circle.
With their very own path to the winner’s circle.
Additionally on the listing of too gifted to not win:
Angel Yin: Completed 2017 with a victory in Dubai on the Girls European Tour. Lengthy-bomber notched 5 top-10s in her rookie season on the LPGA.
Nelly Korda: An oh-so-close Solheim Cup decide, the 19-year-old has a built-in barometer on what it takes because of older sister Jessica. Shot 63 in first occasion as a rookie.
Jodi Ewart Shadoff: Share of second on the Girls’s British final 12 months and Lorena Ochoa’s occasion the 12 months prior. Trending upward as she enters seventh full 12 months on tour.
Karine Icher: This 38-year-old mother has earned over $5 million on the LPGA with 45 profession top-10s. A winner of 5 LET titles, the Frenchwoman is lengthy overdue.
*Notice: Gerina Piller is just not on the listing as she is pregnant together with her first baby and taking the 12 months off. Gwk