Dreams Do Come True!
The Honda LPGA Thailand tournament certainly lived up to the sponsor’s slogan – The Power Of Dreams!
Not only did this popular professional tournament deliver on one dream but it delivered on a multitude of dreams. First of all, history was created at the tournament when a Thai golfer, former world number one, Ariya Jutanugarn won the tournament for the first time. Not only did she win but, it was a dream come true for the Thai teenage protégé, Atthaya Thitikul who came in second on a sponsor’s invitation. Thitikul not even a member of the LPGA and to beat the best players on tour and finish as runner up in her first outing on an LPGA event was an incredible achievement.
The win for Jutanugarn was highly emotional as she has not had a win on the LPGA since 2018. She is on record as the best female professional golfer from Thailand and it is hoped that this long over due win on home-soil will kick start her successful career again on the LPGA Tour.
Jutanugarn’s winning score was 22-under par, one stroke ahead of Thitikul and her share of the purse was US$240,000.
The 18-year old Thitikul had a fantastic tournament and if things had not go awry for her in the finishing holes of the final round, she should have won the tournament. Regardless, the former world number one amateur player and reigning Order of Merit leader on the Women’s Thai Professional Tour, she has shown the world that she is on her way to a terrific career as a world class golfer.
And then there was the best round of the tournament which was scored by Thailand’s19 year old Pajaree Anannarukarn who had a flawless 9-under par for the final round.
The other Thai star who was rated highly to win was the reigning ANA Inspiration major winner, Patty Tavatanakit. She showed promise right up to the final round when she lost her control. The 21-year old nevertheless finished tied for third place at 20-under par together with the defending champion, South Korea’s Amy Yang, American Angel Yin and former world number one, South Korea’s So Yeon Ryu.
This was the 14th edition of the Honda LPGA Thailand.