Jutanugarn sisters aim high
The Jutanugarn sisters have set their sights on winning on the LPGA Tour this year when they play together for the first time as members of the elite circuit.
Moriya, 19, retained her card for this season after finishing 56th on the money list in her debut season last year.
This year, she will be joined on the LPGA Tour by her 18-year-old sister Ariya who recieved a tour card thanks to her third place at the Q-school last month.
The two received a boost yesterday when SCG announced that it would continue support for the sisters.
"Finally, we will play on the same tour. I am very happy. It was one of my dreams to play on the LPGA Tour," said Ariya.
Ariya previously played on the Ladies European Tour where she won the Lalla Meryem Cup in Morocco in 2013.
Ariya came close to becoming the first Thai to win on the LPGA Tour at the 2013 Honda LPGA Thailand.
She entered the final hole with a two-stroke advantage but lost to Park In-Bee of South Korea by one shot following a meltdown.
Ariya injured her shoulder during a practice round for the 2013 US Women's Open, and it took her almost six months to recover.
She said she was ready mentally and physically for the new season, which begins in Florida in two weeks' time.
"The next target is to win an LPGA title and reach the top 10 in the world,'' said Ariya, who is currently ranked 108th.
Moriya said it would be nice if she could be the first Thai to win on the LPGA Tour and reach the top five in the world.
"I may need five or six years to reach the top five,'' said Moriya, who won US$295,473 after playing 30 tournaments last year.
The joint leader at the 2013 Q-school, Moriya struggled with her form last year but bounced back strongly in the second half of the year.
"I have been working hard to improve my physical strength,'' she said.
Meanwhile, the new season of the Thai LPGA Tour will start tomorrow with the Singha-SAT Thai LPGA Championship getting underway at Bangkok's Panya Indra Golf Club.
The 800,000 baht tournament, the first of 10 events this season, will feature 78 players with the winner taking home 120,000 baht.
Eight of the 10 tournaments are supported by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).
The biggest events will be the one million baht Bangchak Thai LPGA Open and the three million baht season-ending Thailand LPGA Masters.
Sarinee Leksuwan, manager of the Thailand Ladies Professional Golf Association, said that the tour had made progress since its establishment in 2008.
"In addition to the SAT, Singha and Toyota, we have got a new sponsor in Bangchak,'' she said.