Atthaya Thitikul scores a thumping victory in Thailand Championship, Diksha Dagar T13

Atthaya Thitikul played with the composure of a seasoned golfer, shooting a spotless 67 to secure a five-stroke victory over Esther Henseleit

Atthaya Thitikul - Thailand Championship - LET Images - TJ

23 June 2019: She is just a teenager, still an amateur. But don’t you dare tell that to her competitors this week at the Ladies European Thailand Championship. Atthaya Thitikul turned in an absolutely sizzling performance at the Phoenix Gold Golf & Country Club. Starting the day with an eight-stroke advantage, the 16-year-old betrayed any sense of nerves or complacency from a big fat lead. She played some remarkably ambitious golf to shoot a 67, romping home to a five-stroke victory over a rampant Esther Henseleit.

Atthaya Thitikul with her Thailand Championship trophy
Atthaya Thitikul with her Thailand Championship trophy

Esther made an eagle and seven birdies in a blistering 64 as she worked desperately hard to try and catch Thitikul at the front. But the 16-year-old refused to blink or budge, making three straight birdies at the bend to stamp her authority. The Thai girl added birdies 13 & 16 as she marched serenely to the finishing post, without a dent on her card.

“It feels unreal,” said Thitikul, who was undistracted by a three-hour weather delay due to storms in the middle of her round. “I’m really pleased with all the things I’ve done in this tournament. The last time I had a bogey was in round two. I just put the ball where I wanted it. Since I won two years ago I’ve kept working hard and I’ve grown in confidence. Today I didn’t actually sing a song to myself, I was just talking with my caddie.”

Henseleit, a rookie on the LET rode an eight-under-par 64 to second, but with Atthaya still an amateur, the winner’s cheque for 45,000 euros went into her account, helping the German climb to second on the LET order of merit.

“This is my third second place this year and of course I would love a victory, but Atthaya played so well and she deserves this trophy,” said Henseleit.

Olivia Cowan was also in the final group on Sunday, finishing in third at 11-under, a full eleven strokes behind the winner.

Diksha Dagar wrapped up another great week for her with a spotless 69 on Sunday to end the week at 3-under 285. The 339th ranked golfer shot three even rounds this week before capping it all with her best effort for the week. Diksha made birdies at the 9th, 15th and 18th holes to secure T13.

18-year-old Diksha has been enjoying a tremendous season on the Ladies European Tour. She became the youngest Indian to win on the Ladies European Tour when she won the SA Women’s Open in Cape Town. In ten starts this season, she has already scored a victory, a top ten and two top twenty results.

After making a blemish free 69 on Saturday, Tvesa Malik found herself stumbling around the park in the final round. She had conceded four bogeys by the eighth hole, needing 40 strokes to navigate her way out. She added another bogey at the 11th but made some amends with birdies at the 12th and 17th holes to finish in T48.

Astha Madan showed plenty of promise when she made a 68 on Friday, but has struggled through the rest of the week. The final round seemed to be going her way when she erased the damage from bogeys at 4 & 5 with back to back birdies at the 7th and 8th holes. After making the turn in an even 36 strokes, Astha was hurt by a double bogey at the 11th and a bogey at the next. She came home making six pars, but a 75 was only enough for T61 at 8-over 296