Australian Golf Digest
[PHOTO: Yoshimasa Nakano]
The youngest player to ever win a professional golf tournament is now the LPGA’s newest Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year. With two events remaining on the LPGA calendar, Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul, who goes by Jeeno, has already accrued enough points to clinch the honour. When second-place Hye-Jin Choi withdrew from this week’s Pelican Women’s Championship, her chances of catching Thitikul disappeared, making Thitikul the rookie of the year.
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Thitikul, 19, is currently ranked No.1 in the world and has won twice on tour this year – the JTBC Classic and the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. Both of her victories came in playoffs, the first against Nanna Koerstz Madsen and then against Danielle Kang. She also collected 15 top-10 finishes during the year.
The road to the LPGA for Thitikul came via Q-School, after earning rookie of the year honours last year on the Ladies European Tour. She won twice on the LET as an amateur, and then twice again as a professional.
This is the second consecutive year that a player from Thailand has won the rookie award. Patty Tavatanakit won last year.
“It is such an honour to win the rookie of the year award, especially being the second consecutive player from Thailand to win this honour,” Thitikul said. “I’m happy to have made my home country proud. My rookie year has been really fun and memorable, but we still have a long way to go.”
Thitikul won the LET’s Thailand Championship when she was 14 years old, making her the youngest to ever win a professional event. She won the 2018 Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific Championship, which gave her opportunities to play on the LPGA Tour.
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