Ariya Jutanugarn became the first Thai player to win the Honda LPGA Thailand in its 13 year history, claiming the title by just one shot from fellow countrywoman, Atthaya Thitikul.
Ariya Jutanugarn Makes History At Honda LPGA Thailand
The Thai star had started the day five shots back of recent Major champion Patty Tavatanakit, with the latter holding a one stroke lead over Caroline Masson and Atthaya Thitikul.
Jutanugarn, who was the first ever golfer, male or female, from Thailand to win a Major championship, started brightly, making three birdies in her first three holes.
Back-to-back birdies followed at the sixth and seventh, with the 25-year-old making yet another birdie at the ninth to reach the turn in six-under-par.
With three Thai players covering the top three places of the leaderboard going into the back nine, Thitikul held a one shot advantage.
The 18-year-old then birdied the 10th hole to move two clear of Jutanugarn. That lead was soon back to one though, with Jutanugarn making a long birdie putt at the 12th.
After a plethora of pars from the pair, Thitikul would hold a one shot lead with two holes to play.
However, with Jutanugarn adding her ninth birdie of the day at the last hole for a final round 63, Thitikul bogeyed the par-4 17th, a crucial two shot swing that now meant the 18-year-old would need to birdie the last to force a playoff.
Yet more drama would follow though! With the last group playing the par-5 18th, inclement weather suspended play for just over an hour.
As the groups returned to the course, Thitikul couldn’t find the desired birdie, meaning that Jutanugarn claimed the title by one shot and her first victory since 2018.
Speaking after her round, Jutanugarn said: “It was pretty tough because they stopped play and with my momentum I just wanted to know the result, so it’s pretty tough.
“But I’m very proud of myself and am always very happy to be here. I’ve been waiting for so long to win this tournament, so finally I got it.”