Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit held off a late charge from Lydia Ko at Mission Hills Country Club as she claimed her maiden LPGA title at the ANA Inspiration.
The 21-year-old, who becomes the first rookie to win the tournament since Juli Inkster in 1984, carded a final round of 68 to win by two shots despite a late charge from New Zealander Lydia Ko who posted a 10-under 62 - matching the course record.
Ko’s late surge still wasn’t enough to overcome a young rookie who said that she wasn’t aware of the pressure mounting.
“No, not even at 18,” said Patty Tavatanakit when asked if she had any idea about Ko’s late charge for the title. “I didn't really look at the leaderboard, I didn't really care who did anything. I just wanted to focus on myself because I know that will lead me somewhere I want to be.”
Tavatanakit averaged a staggering 323 yards off the tee during her four rounds and reveals it was an inner calmness that allowed her to succeed.
“It's amazing I'm still calm, there is some calmness in me,” said the rookie winner. “I didn't get a lot of sleep last night but I meditated twice this morning. I knew it was going to be hard out here and I had to be really strong mentally.”
Tavatanakit, who took the traditional leap into Poppie's Pond before receiving the trophy, insisted afterwards she now already has her mind focused on future targets.
“Hopefully I’ve got more wins ahead of me,” added Tavatanakit. “It means the world to actually win an LPGA Tour event to begin with, and on top of it, doing it at a major, it's been surreal. I always wanted to win a major and my goal for my career is to get a grand slam obviously, and I got one checked out.”