Thai rookie sensation Atthaya Thitikul claims first LPGA title in playoff at JTBC Classic

Nanna Koerstz Madsen picked the complete worst time to report her to start with a few-putt of the 7 days at the JTBC Common.

Needing to two-putt the 72nd gap to accumulate her next consecutive title, the Dane pushed her par putt and fell into a tie with 19-12 months-previous rookie Atthaya Thitikul, who experienced concluded play an hour before.

As Koerstz Madsen place the ending touches on a 2-under 70, Thitikul stretched and worked on her shorter recreation a bit but by no means went to the array as she stored tabs on the scoreboard. The Thai phenom closed with an 8-underneath 64, the round of the 7 days, Sunday at Aviara Golf Club to end knotted with Koerstz Madsen at 16-underneath 272 for the match.

Only three players have at any time won their initially two gatherings on the LPGA in consecutive starts off. Koerstz Madsen looked to turn into the fourth, joining Trish Johnson (1993), Emilee Klein (1996) and Ariya Jutanugarn (2016).

Thitikul, No. 14 in the Rolex Rankings, has four wins on the Females European Tour, generating history when she gained the 1st at age 14. The LPGA rookie seemed to gain for the first time in just her fifth commence in 2022.

Ultimately, youth prevailed, with Thitikul claiming her first LPGA title with bogey on the second playoff hole following Koerstz Madsen’s solution achieved a watery stop.

“It means to the planet to me,” said a champagne-soaked Thitikul,

On the to start with playoff gap, both gamers experienced 156 yards left into the difficult 18th. They informed each other that it did not make a difference who went 1st. Koerstz Madsen eventually gave the nod to Thitikul to go forward, and Thitikul proceeded to just about dunk her strategy for eagle.

Koerstz Madsen couldn’t match the effort, lacking the eco-friendly still left. She did, even so, nestle her third shot near, and immediately after Thitikul unsuccessful to change for birdie, the pair moved on to a next playoff gap after matching pars.

The second time all over, Koerstz Madsen’s tee shot hit the cart path and she strike her hybrid from 216 yards with her correct foot even now on the concrete. Her tactic shot leaked suitable into the water, opening the door for the rookie to make her mark.

Thitikul necessary only to three-putt for bogey to collet her 1st LPGA victory.

Before this month, Koerstz Madsen, whose fiancé Nicki Hansen caddies for her on tour, won the Honda LPGA Thailand in a playoff with an eagle on the last gap.

Nanna Koerstz Madsen tees off the second gap in the course of the final round of the 2022 JTBC Vintage offered by Barbasol at Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, California. (Photograph: Donald Miralle/Getty Pictures)

Past yr at the AIG Women’s British Open, Koerstz Madsen arrived into the 72nd gap tied with Anna Nordqvist but endured a heart-breaking double-bogey on the taxing 18th that integrated a shocking shank from a inexperienced-facet bunker.

That now appears to be a distant memory.

“I do assume before I was chasing a whole lot the birdies,” said Koerstz Madsen. “I have changed my game prepare a minor bit the way I hit into the greens. Nicki is in demand of that really. I just hit the shot. He tells me exactly where I need to strike the ball. Just the mentality of not remaining as well aggressive, likely following almost everything, and it’s okay to have a 7-meter putt. Sometimes that’s excellent adequate. And then you go for the pin anywhere you can, of course.

“The British Open was really a excellent expertise for me. I assume right after the British Open I truly wanted to place myself in that situation again, so I labored very challenging to get there once again.”