All of just 21-years-old Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand shot rounds of 66-69-67-68 (18-under 270) to claim her maiden career major by two strokes over a charging Lydia Ko at Mission Hills Country Club in California.
Patty entered the final round with a commanding five-shot lead and remained unreachable until the end to add US$ 465,000 in winnings for her title triumph. A day after matching the tournament 54-hole record of 14 under set by Pernilla Lindberg in her 2018 victory, Tavatanakit finished a stroke off Dottie Pepper’s 72-hole mark of 19 under set in 1999.
UCLA alum and two-time All American turned pro after the 2019 season following seven collegiate victories as a Bruin, won three times on the Symetra Tour in ’19 to win Rookie of the Year honours to earn LPGA Tour status for the 2020 season.
Patty currently ranks 13th on the Rolex Rankings and second with her driving average of 283.79 yards for the season.
Patty has even finished tied-5th as the low-amateur at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open after shooting 70-73-72-71 (2-under 286) at Shoal Creek Club in Alabama.
Patty attended Keerapat International School, which did not have a golf team, in Bangkok, Thailand.
Later in 2016, she was named 2016 AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year and Rolex Junior First Team All-American. She won a pair of AJGA Tournaments in 2016 (Rolex Tournament of Champions and Ping Invitational) while tying for fifth at the Yani Tseng Invitational.
In 2016, she reached the round of 16 in both the 2016 U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship and the U.S. Women’s Amateur; before that, she even finished fifth at the Queen Sirikit Cup.
In 2015, she won the 2015 Los Angeles Junior Open at Hillcrest Country Club and was runner-up at the IMG Junior World Golf Championship. In 2014, she won the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship, breaking its 54-hole record (-23, 193).
With a stellar overall career like hers, she indeed looks set for greatness. What’s exciting to watch is that she has achieved it by being born in Thailand, travelled half-way across the world for education and golf and is showing the world how Thailand is producing world-beaters.