Thailand is making it's mark in the World of Golf.
The residents of Pattaya will know that Thailand has some marvellous facilities for golfers, as evidenced by the numerous top quality courses that are available within a short drive of the city. This pattern is repeated throughout the Kingdom and has led to an upsurge in the popularity of the game with young Thais everywhere.
The Thai presence in the men’s game, led by the pioneering Thongchai Jaidee, has been established for some time now and will be continued through the efforts of Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Jazz Janewattananond and several other younger players trying to climb through the ranks. But the real upturn has been in the world of the women’s game, which is becoming more and more popular through the extensive TV coverage that it currently enjoys.
Headed up by world number twelve Patty Tavatanakit and the Jutanugarn sisters, both of whom are still in the world top fifty, the list is now joined by the remarkable Atthaya Thitikul, who has just secured the European Order of Merit title, making her Europe’s champion lady golfer, with two tournaments to spare!
Aged only 18, she secured her place as champion after finishing second to world number five Lydia Ko in the Aramco Saudi Ladies International tournament in the early part of November. This remarkable young golfer only turned professional in 2020 and this is her first full season on the European Tour. She has had two wins and eleven top ten finishes from the sixteen events she has played in so far, a truly exceptional feat. She has earned well over a half a million Euros in prize money and has twice as many ranking points as her nearest challenger in the Order of Merit.
Her remarkable consistency in all parts of the game seems to be the reason for the success she has had so far and if there is improvement to come it is anybody’s guess what she can achieve in the game of golf in the future. It seems certain that what she has accomplished at such a young age will be noticed in Thailand and will surely lead to an upsurge in popularity in the game amongst youngsters everywhere. Given the opportunities to play on the many excellent courses in the Kingdom and with the right encouragement, I am sure that will be the case.