ROGERS -- Moriya and Ariya Jutanugarn are known for their success on the golf course and for good reason.
Moriya, the older sister, is a former LPGA Rookie of the Year, while Ariya is the reigning player of the rear and currently ranked No. 1 in the Rolex World Golf rankings.
The sisters have enjoyed a great string of successes this season, and Moriya kept the momentum going after she tied for second at the Northwest Arkansas Championship this week at Pinnacle Country Club.
She birdied and recorded an eagle on her final two holes to pull even with Amy Yang at 16-under 197 for the tournament.
"I think I played really solid," Moriya said. "A lot of good chances out there I gave myself, but I'm still happy with how I played this week."
Moriya has placed in the top 10 in her past four LPGA events, with her second-place finish Sunday being the best of the bunch. Ariya, who unexpectedly backed out of the tournament a few days before it began, already has nine top-10 finishes this season, including a victory at the Manulife LPGA Classic.
They are both in the top 10 of the Race to the CME Globe award, which is given to the golfer who accumulates the most points based off events at the end of the LPGA season.
The recent accomplishments of the two are a testament to the years of work they put into honing their craft back in Thailand. Moriya began playing golf when she was 7 years old, and Ariya started when she was around 5 years old. Moriya said she enjoys playing on the Tour with her sister.
"We're really close," Moriya said. "You know we're only like 16 months apart, so we're good friends."
She even had a proud big sister moment when Ariya recently moved to the top of the Rolex World Golf rankings after dethroning Lydia Ko, who'd held the top spot for 85 consecutive weeks.
"It's great," Moriya said. "It was a big goal for her to become the world No. 1, and she reached her goal. I'm really happy."
Lopez posts best finish
Gaby Lopez walked away from the No. 18 hole to the sound of fans calling the Hogs after she posted her lowest score ever at the Northwest Arkansas Championship.
"It was great," Lopez said. "It's always good to play at home, and I'm just proud of how I started the year and the way I've come up to this point."
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville graduate had six birdies in the final round to finish tied for 10th at 10-under 203 for the tournament. Her previous best was in 2015 as an amateur when she tied for 29th with a score of 207.
"Representing Arkansas and Mexico at the same time is such a blessing," Lopez said. "I couldn't be more proud of myself and this team because I didn't get here by myself. I got here with teamwork.
"I'm just really, really grateful to be where I am today."
Lopez's day got off to a rough start after recording bogeys on the first and fourth holes to put her two strokes over par for the day, but she battled back. She said she stuck with her strategy of attacking the ball.
"I wanted to be a little more aggressive because I knew I was hitting the ball well and trusting my lines into the green," Lopez said.
Lopez said she's already looking forward to next week's KPMG Women's PGA Championship, especially after her strong performance in Northwest Arkansas.
"My game is in great shape," Lopez said. "I just have to keep working hard and believe in what I am doing."
Tournament good to go for 2018
The Northwest Arkansas Championship will be coming back to Pinnacle Country Club after its title sponsor Walmart signed a contract for 2018, tournament director Harry Hardy said.
The tournament will take place June 18-24.
"It's great when we get the two-year extensions because we can plan ahead a couple of years," Hardy said. "Beyond that, the event is really healthy, and the crowds we saw Saturday and the support we have in the community show that the tournament has never been healthier.
"We got through the last 11 years, and we hope to be here for another 11."
Hardy said the tournament usually is under contract with Walmart and the rest of its sponsors for two-year cycles. He also said tournament officials and representatives at Walmart are already in discussion to renew the contract for 2019-2020.
Tournament officials reported record crowds for this year's event with large galleries packing the fairways all three days.
Sports on 06/26/2017
Print Headline: Jutanugarn sisters all in this season