Juli Inkster: Ariya Jutanugarn’s confidence is helping her put pressure on her competitors

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Juli Inkster notes that Ariya Jutanugarn's confidence has allowed her to put pressure on her competitors.

- Now the story with Ariya was she didn't get her clubs here until Monday. She barely saw this golf course really playing the full 18 because of all the rain and the starting and stopping and practice rounds being canceled. And here she is. And she really seems, guys, to be hitting her stride right now, while we've seen the leader at the start of the day, Sarah Jane Smith, stumble a bit here at eight and nine.

- Well, and Ariya's the only player, well, there's four players on the course right now that haven't made a bogey, and she's one of them. And she's played the most holes today, which probably is really something that she's appreciating. Being able to get out there, get on the golf course early this morning may have helped her. Sarah Jane made back to back bogeys in round one. It's not like it's a hurdle she can overcome. And as Julie said, she's 10 under par on the back nine. So we'll see how she does.

- Yeah, I mean, she actually hit the ball very well on that front side for the first seven holes. She had a lot of opportunity, just didn't cash in. And you're thinking, you know, you need to make one or two just to put a little pressure on Ariya. But Ariya, you know, I feel this year she's walking around with different confidence.

You know, she's still young, she's still learning, but she's not afraid anymore to win. And she's just doing her job right, now hitting fairways and green and putting the pressure on the other ladies. No one's tearing this golf course up. But you know, when you got the leader in birdies, you know, when she makes a bogey, she has the confidence that hey, I'm going to come back and make a birdie.

- She's got, she had the look in her eyes right from the very beginning, didn't she? That she was the most confident player. She's coming off a win just a few weeks ago. And she's the most powerful player on that leaderboard and you know, that makes a big difference when the golf course is soaking wet and you're throwing darts.

- You look at the second nine scoring this week at this 2018 US Women's Open, Sarah Jane Smith, as Julie talked about, and Paul echoed, 10 under par. Su Oh five under and then our leader, Ariya Jutanugarn at four under par.