"I felt pretty good, " Jutanugarn said about her mood before the shot. "For the most part she's really cruisey". A long wait to tee off gave her time to collect herself and regain her composure.
"If anyone has the total package right now", said Marina Alex, "that's definitely her".
Jutanugarn certainly looked like it on Saturday, combining long drives with a solid short game and putting. Her 5-over 77, on the heels of a first-round 76, has her at 9 over, now five strokes on the bad side of the projected cut line. "I noticed Ariya lost her trajectory".
Smith carded a second straight five-under 67 to move into 10 under at the Shoal Creek Golf and Country Club in Alabama.
Jutanugarn hit her tee shot into the hazard on the 10th and then had a three-putt for a triple bogey. She was at 12-under-par 204 for the tournament.
Smith started the tournament with back-to-back 67s, but didn't make a birdie in the third round. I just want to go out and be proud of myself every day.
"I find the nerves of playing bad are a lot harder to deal with than the nerves of playing good".
South Korea's Kim Hyo-joo was alone in third after shooting a four-under 68 while another shot behind was Kim Ji-hyun (70) at five-under 211.
Smith, who was among the lucky half of the field to finish on Friday, enjoyed a sleep-in while many of her rivals woke before dawn, including Ariya, who got up at 4 a.m. local time. Whether you agree with Azinger or not (and many on the Internet do not), Jutanugarn added some personal context during a Q&A this Monday morning.
Even though she was in a good mood after the third round, Jutanugarn admitted she was exhausted.
"I started off quite a few strokes behind the leader, so I didn't really think that I was going to come through this much", Kim said.
Smith, 33, is hoping for a breakthrough victory despite lacklustre results so far in a season in which her best finish was a tie for 26th at the Kia Classic.
Ko pulled that shot back at the 16th, but that was the only shot gained during her round as another bogey at the 18th meant she made the turn in one-over par 37.
The victory was Jutanugarn's second in three weeks and her second major championship.
Jutanugarn became the first U.S. Women's Open champion from Thailand while earning her second major title, but it wasn't easy.
"After you have a seven-shot lead and end up having to go to a playoff, I had no expectations", she said.
Another underdog story is brewing on day two of the U.S. Women's Open conducted by the USGA.