Thailand’s Atthaya now world’s top woman golfer
At just 19 years old, Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand is on top of the world of women’s golf. The sensation from Ratchaburi province became the second Thai woman to be ranked world number one, the second teenager and the second rookie ever to reach the top spot on the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour.
“It means a lot for my team, my family, my supporters and myself. It is such an honor to have my name at the top among the biggest names of the game,” said Atthaya.
The achievement is not the only first in Atthaya’s career. In 2017, she became the youngest woman to win a professional golf tournament when she finished first at the Ladies European Thailand Championship title as an amateur. She was 14 years, four months and 19 days at the time. Atthaya also was the top-ranked amateur for 12 weeks in 2019 when she was 16 years old.
The number one ranking on the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings has changed hands several times in recent years, a testament to the wealth of talent and relative parity among the leading players on the women’s tour. Atthaya’s compatriot Ariya Jutanugarn was number one twice for a total of 23 weeks between June 2017 and March 2019.
“It is very special to get to the top, but it is much harder to retain it. I still have a lot to learn from all the legends and current players both on and off the course. I will continue to work hard for my family, my team, my fans and my country,” Atthaya said.
Atthaya joined Lydia Ko as the second-ever LPGA player to achieve world number one status before age 20. Ko did it when she was 17 years old. Sung Hyun Park of Korea was the other rookie who reached number one in 2017.
Photo courtesy of https://www.golfdigest.com/story/lpga-world-number-1-atthaya-thitikul