Jutanugarn takes No. 1 spot; Creamer, Kim lead in New Jersey

Anna Nordqvist

However, the South Korean, who won her second LPGA major at the ANA Inspiration in April, bowed out early in New Jersey, thereby ensuring Ariya would become number one when the rankings are released on Sunday.

Sweden's Anna Nordqvist got off to a hot start in her bid for a third straight LPGA ShopRite Classic crown on Friday with a seven-under-par 64. She almost won this tournament as an amateur in 2004 but missed a putt on the final green and wound up tying for second behind Cristie Kerr.

"I feel good. I feel prepared".

The 29-year-old was vying to become the first two-time victor on the LPGA Tour in 2017 - she won the Bank of Hope Founders Cup earlier this year - but it was not to be, as her 2-under-par 69 Sunday wasn't enough. Creamer had a disappointing final round, dropping five shots with a 74 that saw her slump to a tie for seventh at 6-under par.

"We just couldn't get a rhythm, especially with some of these pins and the wind and everything", she said.

Creamer said being on the clock was distracting.

"Just having the honor to back-to-back defend is quite awesome", she said.

While Kim took home the trophy, Ariya Jutanugarn claimed the No. 1 ranking without hitting a shot. "I just stuck it in there close".

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Kim enjoyed a two-shot swing at the 10th with her birdie and Creamer's bogey.

Tied with American Paula Creamer for the second-round lead, South Korea's Kim closed with a two-under 69 for the victory at Stockton Seaview.

But the other Indian in the field, Sharmila Nicollet had a tough time in the afternoon as she scored five-over 77 and will need to go low to make the 36-hole cut. "It was really tricky out there, but I gave my best".

"I want to be myself on the golf course and just keep having fun".

"It's hang in there today, and then tomorrow [this morning, Thai time] if I have a solid day it would be good for me".

However, she missed the cut on Saturday, leaving the top spot to be claimed by Jutanugarn, whose five career LPGA titles and one major were all won a year ago. Nordqvist, two-time defending champion, also carded a two-under 69.

Kim, 28, was making her sixth start since returning from an injury sustained falling down stairs and the victory was her fifth on tour. But for four holes, that's a long time.

Stacy Lewis followed an opening 67 with a 72 to drop into a tie for 19th at 3 under.

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