Thailand’s 14-year-old rising star Atthaya Thitikul is one stroke back at the halfway stage of the Ladies European Thailand Championship in Pattaya.
The amateur golfer, from Ratchaburi, who is a friend of world number two Ariya Jutanugarn, shot a one-under-par 71 at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club on Friday to sit at three-under-par, one behind the tournament leader Ana Menendez of Mexico.
It was a hot and breezy second day, with light early morning rain, but the conditions failed to faze the teenage Thai National Team member, who has a chance to become the youngest ever winner on the Ladies European Tour, should she continue her impressive form over the weekend. Lydia Ko currently holds the LET record having won the 2013 New Zealand Open aged 15 years, nine months and 17 days.
Thitikul said after her round, “I’m very happy with my score. Today my driver and approach shots were not good and my putting was so, so, but tomorrow I will have the same game plan.”
When asked her thoughts on her performance so far, she was clearly thrilled and added: “Unbelievable! There is a little bit of pressure in a professional tournament but I will do my best to enjoy my game, but not think too much. I am having so much fun!”
The teenager turned 14 on 20th February, three days before teeing up in the Honda LPGA Thailand event, where she tied for 37th place in a world class field of competitors. Although she opened with a five-over 77, she shot eight-under for the last three rounds to end on three-under for the tournament.
Fast forward to this week, and she is now chasing Menendez, who shot a level par 72 in the second round and continues to lead an LET event for the first time.
Germany’s Karolin Lampert is in third position after opening with a pair of 71s, while LET rookie Frida Gustafsson Spang shot a 70 – the joint lowest round of the day with Johanna Gustavsson – to share fourth with Luna Sobron of Spain and Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun on one-under.
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