Patty Tavatanakit wins first golf major of 2021

Women’s golf has a new star and she comes from Thailand. Patty Tavatanakit, 21 years old, won the first major of this year’s LPGA tour at Mission Hills last weekend, becoming only the second Thai woman golfer to achieve that feat.

Tavatanakit finished two strokes ahead of Lydia Ko, shooting a 4-under 68. That score gave her an 18-under 270 total at the ANA Inspiration Tournament at Mission Hills Country Club in California. It was all the more impressive as this year is her first or rookie season on the tour.

Her 270 was one shot shy of the event’s scoring record of 19-under set in 1999 by Dottie Pepper. Tavatanakit led from the opening round through all four days of the tournament. “While Ko’s round made the tournament interesting Sunday afternoon, the truth is Tavatanakit was in control of the tournament all the way,” the Golfweek website wrote.

Tavatanakit is the first rookie to win at Mission Hills in 30 years, and she followed in the footsteps of Areeya Jutanugarn as the second Thai golfer to win a major on the LPGA tour.

“It still hasn’t really sunk in yet the fact that I just turned 21 six months ago, and now I’m a major champion in my rookie year,” Tavatanakit said. “It’s a dream come true,” Tavatanakit told Golf Channel. “Every time I play here, I remember exactly I was on this green receiving my low amateur award, and I saw they were jumping, and I took a Snapchat, and the caption was, ‘One day.’”

After watching a tournament won by Tiger Woods in 2008, an 8-year-old Tavatanakit knew she wanted to be a golfer. She said she dreamed of the day she would become a major champion.

Her talent has paved the way and that day arrived sooner than anyone expected.