Teenager Atthaya Thitikul became the youngest ever winner on the Ladies European Tour by claiming victory in the Ladies European Thailand Championship aged 14 years, four months and 19 days.
With rounds of 70, 71, 70 and 72, the Thai schoolgirl won by two strokes with a total of 283 but, due to her amateur status, the top prize of €45,000 went to second-placed Ana Menendez.
Afterwards, Thitikul, who only reached a scratch handicap last year, said: “I’m so happy and proud of myself. I did not look nervous, but of course I felt nerves on the first tee and on the first hole. I did not think about the score. I committed to every shot I hit and stayed relaxed. My caddie helped me a lot, not to think too much, to focus on my game plan and to plan the tee shots and second shots.
“My family do 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.”
Thitikul had previously demonstrated her enormous potential when she finished tied for 37th in the recent Honda LPGA Thailand event, which she played in just a few days after her 14th birthday, on February 20.
She then received an invitation to play in the inaugural LET event at Phoenix Golf and Country Club in Pattaya from the tournament sponsor, the Sports Authority of Thailand. Her aim was to make the cut, gain experience and have fun – and she most certainly did all of that.
The previous record for the youngest player to win on the LET was held by Lydia Ko, who won the 2013 New Zealand Open as an amateur aged 15 years, nine months and 17 days.