Australia's Minjee Lee could only watch and admire as Japanese teenager Nasa Hataoka announced herself as a potential LPGA Tour superstar on Sunday.
The 19-year-old Hataoka fired a closing eight-under-par 63 to claim a runaway six-stroke victory in the NW Arkansas Championship with a tournament-record 21-under 192 total.
Lee went into the final round sharing the lead with Hataoka but her 71 left her in a six-way tie for third, a distant eight shots behind her final group partner, who won from American Austin Ernst (65).
Hataoka made four birdies in a near flawless front nine to build a five-stroke lead and then cruised to her first career LPGA Tour win.
Hataoka won twice late last year on the Japan LPGA and has finished in the top 10 in five of her past six LPGA Tour stars, including a playoff loss last month in the Kingsmill Championship.
She will go into this week's Women's PGA Championship, the third major of the year, rated a genuine contender.
Hataoka entered the week 30th in the world ranking, a far change from a disappointing rookie season a year ago in which she made only eight of 19 cuts on the LPGA Tour - including a missed cut in Arkansas.
Much of her success has come in the past three months after she won the tour's qualifying tournament in December to earn her full tour card.
Hataoka missed the cut in two of her first three tournaments, but she's now earned prize money in 10 straight events - including $US300,000 ($A403,000) on Sunday.