Amateur star Atthaya Thitikul wins second LET title aged only 16
By Keith Jackson
Last Updated: 23/06/19 5:43pm
Teenage sensation Atthaya Thitikul claimed another home victory as she cruised to a five-shot win at the Ladies European Thailand Championship.
The Thai youngster created history in the same event two years ago when she earned her maiden Ladies European Tour title just four months after her 14th birthday, and she repeated that success following a weather-hit final day at the Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club.
Thitikul had opened up a commanding eight-stroke lead over the field when she fired a course-record 63 in the third round, and a solid, closing 67 ensured a comfortable win ahead of Esther Henseleit, finishing on 22 under par.
The world amateur No 5 made a steady start to her final round with six straight pars, while Henseleit applied some pressure on the leader when the German eagled the second and added birdies at the fifth and seventh.
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But Thitikul effectively slammed the door on the chasing pack with three consecutive birdies to close out an outward 33 and, after a three-hour delay due to thunderstorms, she returned to pick up further shots at the 13th and 15th before parring safely in.
"It feels unreal," said the 16-year-old. "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."
LET rookie Henseleit easily won the race for second place as she birdied four of the last six holes to return a 64 and finish on 17 under, recording her third runner-up finish of the season while moving into second on the LET Order of Merit.
Henseleit's compatriot, Olivia Cowan, was a distant third on 11 under after carding a 70, while the Norwegian duo of Marianne Skarpnord and Tonje Daffinrud both fired 69s to finish a further two strokes behind.