14 year old Atthaya Thitikul Makes History on Ladies European Tour
You know what they say about policemen looking younger all the time? Well, check this out - Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul has written herself into the history books by replacing Lydia Ko as the youngest ever winner on the Ladies European Tour - at the age of 14!
What's more, she did it in her home country, with all the pressure that brings. The LET is enduring a miserable time just now, with a series of tournaments cancelled as the tour struggles to find sponsors.
But Thitikul ensured that nobody who saw it will ever forget the 2017 version of the Thailand Championship at the Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club in Pattaya. Because she is an amatuer, her cheque for £40,000 instead went to Mexican Ana Menendez, who finished two shots back in second. Not that Thitikul will be too concerned as she clearly has a stellar career ahead of her.
“I’m so happy and proud of myself,” Thitikul said. “This trophy, I give to Thailand and the Thai people. I did not look nervous, but of course I felt nerves on the first tee and on the first hole. I did not think about the score.”
Thitikul opened the tournament with rounds of 70, 71 and 70, but began the final round a shot behind Menendez. She was two shots clear at the turn after her opponent struggled on the front nine.
Menendez got back within one at 11, but Thitikul holed a 10-foot birdie putt at 15 to regain her two-shot lead and that’s how it stayed after closing out with a level-par 72.
“I committed to every shot I hit and stayed relaxed,” she added. “My caddie helped me a lot, not to think too much, to focus on my game plan and to plan the tee shots and second shots.”
Incredible. Record was held by Lydia Ko, who had won the New Zealand Open in 2013 aged 15 years, nine months and 17 days. Astonishing. https://t.co/e6GyIx2pwM— Kieran Clark (@KieranClarkGolf) July 9, 2017
Thitikul, at 14 years, four months and 19 days, has bettered Brooke Henderson’s previous record by almost six months. Henderson won a 36-hole event on the Canadian Women’s Tour in June 2012 aged 14 years, nine months and three days.
Lydia Ko had held the previous Ladies European Tour record, having won the 2013 New Zealand Open at the ripe old age of 15 years, nine months and 17 days.
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