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14-year-old Atthaya makes history on Ladies European Tour

14-year-old Atthaya makes history on Ladies European Tour

Posted July. 11, 2017 07:40,   

Updated July. 11, 2017 07:53

A 14-year-old girl from Thailand has written a new chapter in history of golf. Atthaya Thitikul, a 14-year-old amateur golfer from Thailand, clinched a victory on Sunday at the Ladies European Thailand Championship at the Phoenix Country Club, finishing it at five-under 283.

Finishing the game strokes ahead Mexico’s Ana Menendez who is 12 years older than herself, Thitikul became the youngest female golfer to win a major championship, achieving the feat at the age of 14 years, four months, and 19 days. The female golfer from Thailand beat the previous record roughly by five months, which had been held by Brooke Henderson, who won the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada in June 2012, when she was aged 14 years, nine months, and three days. The previous LET record belonged to Lydia Ko, a New Zealander who won the 2013 New Zealand Women’s Open at the age of 15 years and nine months.

Among male golfers, Pachara Khongwatmai of Thailand is the youngest champion as he won the Singha Hua Hin Open on the ASEAN PGA Tour in July 2013, when he was merely 14 years and two months old.

“My goal was to pass the cut. I am so proud of myself, and I am so happy," said the young golfer. "From tomorrow, I will forget about today’s game and further my effort to win more games."

Born in February 2013, Thitikul has been called a prodigy golfer in Thailand. Chosen as a member of the Thai national team, she finished the 2017 Honda LPGA Thailand in the 37th place. Having won the Taiwan amateur open in June, the female genius golfer finished the Queen Sirikit Cup in the 3rd place following Choi Hye-jin, a promising golfer from South Korea.

“None of my families is a golfer. Father suggested that I should learn how to play tennis or golf, and I started golf as I saw them playing it on TV and thought it might be fun,” said Thitikul, who first grabbed a golf club when she was only six.

The Thai media are paying keen attention to the rise of Thitikul, likening her to successor to Ariya Jutanugam, the first Thai golfer to have reached the top of the sport. Bangkok Post, a Thai daily, described that Thitikul showed a near perfect swing despite her young age.

Jong-Seok Kim kjs0123@donga.com