Thai teen Atthaya edges Kang for LPGA NW Arkansas trophy




 

Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul rolled in a birdie putt at the second playoff hole on Sunday to edge Danielle Kang and capture her second LPGA title at the NW Arkansas Championship.

Atthaya, 19, started the day with a one-shot lead over Japan's Yuka Saso and had four birdies in a final-round 68 for a 17-under par total of 196 at Pinnacle Country Club.

Meanwhile Kang, playing her third tournament since June after treatment for a tumor on her spine, surged up the leaderboard with a seven-under-par 64, capped by a hole-out eagle at the 18th.

Both parred the opening playoff hole, the par-three 15th.

Atthaya found the fairway at the next, the par-four 16th, while Kang was just right of the fairway. Atthaya landed her second shot some 12 feet from the pin while Kang's approach bounced through the putting surface.

The American's putt from the short greenside rough raced past the hole and Atthaya calmly stepped up to drain the winning putt.

Kang was far from disappointed.

"I'm just really proud that I'm even here," said Kang, who broke down in tears during her post-round television interview. "Obviously I wanted to win, but these are, like, tears of joy.

"I mean, there was part of me that I didn't think I would ever play again or contend, but here I am. I'm not that far off, and I'm happy about that."

Atthaya, who matched a tournament record with a 10-under par 61 on Friday, said playing against Kang ratcheted up the pressure.

"I just feel playing with Danielle was kind of tough, because she's a great player, won a lot on the LPGA tour," she said.

Atthaya, who won the Ladies European Thailand Championship in 2017 as a 14-year-old amateur, is projected to rise from fifth to fourth in the world rankings on Monday.

Since winning her first LPGA title in March she had top-10 finishes in the Women's PGA Championship, the Evian Championship and the Women's British Open.

She's the fourth player with multiple victories in 2022, along with three-time winner Jennifer Kupcho and Minjee Lee and Brooke Henderson who have both won twice.

She's also the fourth player from Thailand to earn multiple wins on the LPGA tour, a list led by Ariya Jutanugarn with 12 titles.

South Korean Chella Choi finished third, following up her second-round 63 with a 65 for 197. Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum was fourth on 199 while Saso faded with a five-over par 76.

bb/rcw

COMMENTS

More Related News

Report: QBE Shootout set to become mixed-team event for LPGA and PGA Tours in 2023
Report: QBE Shootout set to become mixed-team event for LPGA and PGA Tours in 2023

The last mixed-team event sponsored by the LPGA and PGA Tour was held in 1999.

Five players to watch at final stage of LPGA Q-Series with cards on the line
Five players to watch at final stage of LPGA Q-Series with cards on the line

After four days of stroke play, 70 players are left for the final week of LPGA Q-Series. Here are five players to keep on your radar.

QBE Shootout set to become mixed-team event beginning in 2023
QBE Shootout set to become mixed-team event beginning in 2023

The QBE Shootout will become a mixed-team event starting in 2023, returning such a format to the schedule for the first time since the JC Penney Classic in 1999.

Devastated by DQ at Q-Series, Alana Uriell is determined to bounce back
Devastated by DQ at Q-Series, Alana Uriell is determined to bounce back

Alana Uriell was disqualified from Q-Series after signing for an incorrect score. Now, she's hoping to learn from her mistake and fight her way back to the LPGA.

Thailand Says Most Institutional Investors Must Pay Stock Tax
Thailand Says Most Institutional Investors Must Pay Stock Tax

(Bloomberg) -- Most institutional investors in Thailand won't be exempted from a tax levied on stock transactions that will resume next year after more than ...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Golf