Cape Town - Atthaya Thitikul snatched the Thailand Tour Championship title at Phoenix Golf & Country Club in Thailand last Sunday.
At 14 years, four months and 19 days old, the Thai teenager’s breathtaking showing saw her become the youngest known winner of a professional golf tournament on the Ladies European Tour.
Her victory enabled her to supersede Canadian Brooke Henderson, who clinched the 2012 Canadian Women’s Tour at Club de golf Beloeil in Quebec at the age of 14 years, nine months and three days.
New Zealander Lydia Ko held the previous record as the youngest victor on the tour after lifting the 2013 New Zealand Open trophy at 15 years, nine months and 17 days. She went on to become the world number one, but was deposed last month by Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn.
But new kid on the block Thitikul, who closed the contest with an even-par 72 to finish five under-283 to surge ahead of Ana Menendez of Mexico, seems to have an extremely bright future on the course and is one of being golf’s youngest powerhouses.
Thitikul’s win has enabled her to gain a slot into the Women’s British Open, which will be held at Kingsbarns Golf Links in Scotland from August 3 to 6.
“I didn’t expect to win this tournament as I just came here to learn techniques from the pro players on the Ladies European,” Thitikul said this week.
She added that her caddie had kept her calm during the final round.
“My family does not play golf. When I was younger, aged six, my father told me to play sport and he offered tennis or golf; and I watched golf on TV and I liked it,” she said.
Her accomplishment has added firepower to women’s golf.
With her talent on the fairways, the question being asked is whether Thitikul will maintain her consistency on the course and win a major tournament.
Can she be the Tiger Woods of women’s golf? Before his career hit the skids, Woods was the youngest player to win the Masters tournament – he was 21 years, three months and 14 days old.