Rising superstar Patty Tavatanakit jumps out to three-shot lead at Honda Thailand LPGA
No Thai player has ever won the Honda Thailand LPGA event. Thailand’s newest superstar, Patty Tavatanakit, looks to become the (...)
No Thai player has ever won the Honda Thailand LPGA event. Thailand’s newest superstar, Patty Tavatanakit, looks to become the first as she leads by three after a second consecutive 8-under 64. But she’s hardly alone in the quest. Atthaya Thitikul, an 18-year-old Thai pro who has won twice on the Ladies European Tour, sits alone in second after a 5-under 67.
Tavatanakit’s 16-under total ties the event’s 36-hole scoring record, last achieved by Jessica Korda in her 2018 victory at Siam Country Club. The powerful Thai player reached the closing 471-yard par-5 in two and drained a 12-foot putt for eagle.
“Didn’t really hit a good drive off 18 and then just kind of forgot about it, don’t let it bother me and move on to the second shot,” said Tavatanakit, “which was pretty good, actually. It was 246 to the hole and probably like 210 to the front, so I was just trying to hit the front number … just the perfect shot.”
What. A. Finish. @Patty_MPT eagles the 18th hole to take a three shot lead into the weekend in Thailand! @hondalpgath | @GolfChannel pic.twitter.com/mNkSfBRCrD
— LPGA (@LPGA) May 7, 2021
Germany’s Caroline Masson sits alone in third at 12 under after a second consecutive 66. Gaby Lopez, Lydia Ko and Nanna Koerstz Madsen are tied for fourth at 11 under.
Thitikul, who is playing on a sponsor invite, recorded her third eagle of the week on the par-5 seventh.
“I’m really surprised with that eagle,” said Thitikul. “When I was going to putt I feel like … two days with three eagles. Can I or not?”
Playing alongside Thitikul feels deeply familiar for Tavatanakit given how often they played together on the Thai national team, especially at Siam Country Club.
“She is an amazing player,” asid Tavatanakit. “Like just watching her play just makes me so proud of like younger Thai players that they’re building themselves, their game, to reach the highest level they can be.”
Ariya Jutanugarn, the first Thai player to ever win on the LPGA and reach No. 1 in the world, sits six shots back in a share of seventh. After last week’s tie for third in Singapore, Tavatanki moved to No. 12 in the world and is the highest-ranked Thai player. The former UCLA Bruin said she’s feeling pretty light mentally heading into the weekend.
“You know, yesterday was probably a perfect day of ball-striking,” she said, “but today wasn’t. Just goes to show that no matter how not perfect you are, you can still manage to get yourself together around the course to shoot low scores.”