Rising star golfer Atthaya wins her second LPGA tournament
Sinking a playoff birdie putt, Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul soared to third place in the world rankings for women professional golfers as the 19-year-old captured the NW Arkansas Championship, her second win on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.
It was the second time this year that Atthaya won a tournament in a playoff after the regulation 72 holes. She bested major champion Danielle Kang of the U.S., 10 years her senior, by birdying the second sudden death hole.
Atthaya said that she was unaware of how close the competition was in the final round as she focused solely on her own performance. Fifteen players were within five shots of the lead throughout the day.
“I did not see a leaderboard until 18,” the teenager from the Thailand’s central province of Ratchaburi said. “I thought a par would be good enough (for the win).”
It was not. Kang surged through the final round with five birdies and fought her way to a tie with Atthaya at the end of regulation. Both finished tied at 17-under par. They would battle it out in a sudden-death playoff starting on the 15th hole.
Both would par the 15th, but on the next hole Atthaya nailed her birdie putt and sealed her second win.
“On the second hole of the playoff, I had a chance to make a birdie, because it was not that far. Then, in my mind, I just told myself, ‘Do your best, even if it is not going in. Just do the best you can,’” she added.
Her best was more than enough. She said that her second win meant a lot to her because it proved her first victory was not a fluke.
“With second LPGA Tour win, Atthaya Thitikul solidifies herself as Thailand’s next great golfer,” said the Golf Digest website.
Photo courtesy of https://www.golfdigest.com/