USGA CHAMPIONS
Ariya, DJ On Top of Golf World After Claiming National Titles July 30, 2018 | Liberty Corner, N.J. By David Shefter, USGA

Reigning U.S. Women's Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn regained the top spot in the world by winning the Ladies Scottish Open. (USGA/Jeff Haynes)

Reigning U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn did more than win a golf tournament on the eve of the fourth major championship of the season.

By claiming the Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open at Gullane Golf Club on Sunday, the 22-year-old from Thailand is expected to overtake two-time U.S. Women’s Open champion Inbee Park in the Rolex Rankings as the No. 1 player in the world on Monday.

Jutanugarn became the third U.S. Women’s Open champion to win the Ladies Scottish Open, joining Alison Nicholas and Laura Davies. She is the only one of the trio to win both titles in the same year.

Jutanugarn also held the No. 1 spot for a two-week period in June 2017, but she struggled in that role the last time, missing the cut in the season’s four remaining major championships, including the U.S. Women’s Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J.

Jutanugarn has bounced back to earn three victories in 2018, including her four-hole playoff win in June at Shoal Creek over Hyo-Joo Kim of the Republic of Korea.

On Sunday, Jutanugarn carded a final-round, 5-under 66 on the windy links of Gullane to defeat 2012 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion Minjee Lee by one stroke. This week, she heads to Royal Lytham & St. Annes to try for her second Ricoh Women’s British Open title and third major championship victory. Jutanugarn's 2016 Women's British Open title came at Woburn Golf & Country Club, a parkland layout 50 miles northwest of central London.

“It means a lot to me to win the tournament," Jutanugarn said after her win. "I told the caddie this week, you know, what I really want is to win on a links course, even one time in my life will be good, so right now this is my dream come true.”

I.K. Kim, the 2005 U.S. Girls’ Junior champion, finished seventh, while two-time U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion Tiffany Joh tied for eighth.

Johnson Joins Canadian Club

Six weeks after his disappointing weekend finish at Shinnecock Hills, and a week removed from missing the cut at The Open Championship at Carnoustie, 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson reaffirmed why he’s the No. 1 player in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Johnson, 34, who carded weekend rounds of 77-70 to finish two strokes behind good friend Brooks Koepka in the 118th U.S. Open Championship, fired a final-round, 6-under-par 66 to win the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club outside of Toronto by three strokes over Whee Kim and 2009 U.S. Amateur champion Byeong-Hun An.

Johnson becomes the 15th player to win both the U.S. Open and Canadian Open, a list that includes the likes of Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer, Billy Casper and Byron Nelson. Woods (2000), Jerry Pate (1976), Trevino (1971) and Tommy Armour (1927) are the only players to win both titles in the same year.

It was Johnson’s third PGA Tour victory of 2018, and his 19th overall. Johnson also became the first player since Woods (2005-09) to post three or more victories on the PGA Tour in at least three consecutive years.

“It means a lot,” said Johnson. “It's the last time that the RBC [Canadian Open] is going to be at Glen Abbey. It's a golf course I really like.”

If Johnson defends his title in 2019, it will be at Hamilton Golf and Country Club, June 6-9, the week before the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links, a change that is part of the PGA Tour’s revamped schedule for its 2018-19 season.

Noh Doubt About It

Yealimi Noh thought about withdrawing from this past week’s Canadian Women’s Amateur in Vancouver, British Columbia, due to fatigue. Who could blame her? The Concord, Calif., resident, who turned 17 on Thursday, was coming off a torrid stretch in which she won the Girls Junior PGA Championship with a record score of 24-under 264, and then the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Poppy Hills in Pebble Beach, Calif., playing 49 holes of golf on the final day due to weather delays.

But Noh decided to try to keep her momentum going by playing at Marine Drive Golf Club in Vancouver, and she made it a hat trick with a one-stroke victory over University of Arkansas standout Dylan Kim, of Sachse, Texas. Kim and Noh came to the 72nd hole tied at 11 under par, but Kim made bogey and Noh two-putted for par to seal the victory.

“This month has been a whirlwind,” Noh told sportsnet.ca. “The biggest goal of mine was to win, well, all of them, but I didn’t think I would win all of them. I would have been really happy to just win one out of three. Winning three in a row is just crazy.”

Noh gets a week off before heading to Nashville, Tenn., for the 118th U.S. Women’s Amateur, where she will look to join Pearl Sinn, Jennifer Song and Eun Jeong Seong as the only females to win multiple USGA championships in the same year. In 2016, Seong became the only player to claim the U.S. Girls’ Junior and U.S. Women’s Amateur in the same year.

David Shefter is a senior staff writer for the USGA. Email him at dshefter@usga.org.