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Ariya will chase breakthrough win in Pattaya | Bangkok Post

23 กุมภาพันธ์ 2558, 23:00 น.
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Ariya Jutanugarn will get another chance to become the first Thai winner on the women's elite tour at this week's Honda LPGA Thailand in Pattaya.

The 19-year-old came close to achieving the feat over the past few weeks, losing in a three-way play-off in Bahamas earlier this month and finishing third in Melbourne on Sunday.

With her result at the Women's Australian Open, she moved 16 places from 60th to 44th in the world rankings.

Ariya and eventual winner and world No.1 Lydia Ko were joint leaders at Royal Melbourne after three rounds but the Thai ran out of steam on the final day as Ko went on to lift the trophy.

"I struggled with my putting in the final round," said the LPGA Tour rookie, who soared to a 76 in the final round.

After a practice round at Siam Country Club, Ariya said she was satisfied with her performance in Australia and was looking forward to the Honda LPGA Thailand which begins on Thursday.

"This is a great tournament and I will do my best to make fans happy,'' said Ariya.

Ariya finished second in Pattaya two years ago when she blew a two-shot lead at the final hole and lost to South Korea's Park In-Bee.

In her other tournament this year, she was 11th at the season opener in Florida.

She said her consistent performance this year was a result of her hard work with coach Andrew Park of South Africa and former LPGA player Wendy Doolan.

Her mother Narumol said her daughter's failure in Melbourne had nothing to do with the metal side of the game.

She said she was confident that Ariya would win on the LPGA Tour this year as she has been in good form since the Q-school in December.

Pornanong Phatlum, Thailand's highest ranked player at 28th, is seen as a contender at Siam Country Club.

Pornanong, who did not play last week, finished second in Malaysia last year.

The other Thais in Pattaya are LPGA members Moriya Jutanugarn and Thidapa Suwannapura, and amateurs Sherman Santhiwiwatthanaphong, Budsabakorn Sukapan and Paphangkorn Tavatanakit.

Among pre-tournament favourites are 2013 champion Park, Americans Michelle Wie and Paula Creamer and defending champion Anna Nordqvist of Sweden.

Ko was eligible to play in Pattaya but unfortunately she has chosen to play at home in New Zealand.

Her place at the Thai tournament has gone to South Korea's Yoo Sun-Young, the 2012 Kraft Nabisco Championship winner, who finished 61st on the money list last year.

The Honda LPGA Thailand features 70 players — the top 60 money earners at the end of last year and 10 sponsor invites.



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