After reaching the final by defeating USA, Thailand prove too strong for Australia taking all three points to win the International Crown.

It was an impressive performance from the Thailand Team on Sunday afternoon at the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown as they charged to a dominant victory over Australia, sweeping all three finals matches to emerge victorious for the first time in the history of the competition.

Winning just 10 matches in total in their first three appearances at the International Crown, Thailand went 11-for-12 in the 2023 edition of the event, led by MVP award winner Ariya Jutanugarn, who chipped in on the final hole to solidify the victory for her country.

“Actually on that hole, we just talk about do we have to keep playing. We don't know what's going on. We know they already won, so I don't know if I have to keep playing or not because I felt like I pushed to the right; Mo hit bunker in the rough. I feel like if I keep doing this we might have to play to 18, so I'm like, okay, what we have to do. So that shot, I just really want to make it because I want to finish,” said Jutanugarn of the chip-in.

“I'm always believing in my team, and I still feel that way. To me, it can't be only me doing hard work, doing a good job. It has to be all of us. I think this week, we put ourselves in a really good position all the time. I think the vibe between us, can't ask for better.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 7: (L-R) Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya Thitikul of Team Thailand pose with the winners trophy after defeating Team Australia during their Championship match in the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown at TPC Harding Park on May 7, 2023 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images)
Ariya Jutanugarn, Moriya Jutanugarn, Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya Thitikul of Team Thailand - image credit Orlando Ramirez/Getty Images

Atthaya Thitikul (THA) d. Steph Kyriacou (AUS), 4&2

A pair of 2022 LPGA Tour rookies went head-to-head in the first singles match of the finals with two-time LPGA Tour winner Atthaya Thitikul facing off against Stephanie Kyriacou, ultimately winning 4 and 2. Thitikul jumped ahead immediately, going 1 up after opening with a birdie on the par-5, 1st hole, but a Kyriacou birdie on 4 evened the score.

The Aussie then pulled one ahead, moving to 1 up after grabbing another birdie on hole 6, and Kyriacou held that lead until Thitikul nearly holed out her approach on 8, tying the match after the birdie tap-in was conceded. They tied the next three holes and Thitikul finally flipped the match with a birdie on 12, taking a 1 up advantage to the 13th tee. A par on 14 was enough to move Thitikul 2 up and she won the next hole to go 3 up with three to play. It was ultimately a birdie on the par-4, 16th that gave Thitikul the 4-and-2 victory and Thailand a much-needed point.

“I not really expect that we're going to going for win that much coming into the week,” said Thitikul of her first Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown experience. “But I think when I come into this event, when we had a practice round with my team, I feel like I had more confidence, we had more good vibes, and I think we just had fun. We really had fun out there, especially in the practice round or tournament round. Like we had so fun. I think it's good memories for us forever.”

Patty Tavatanakit (THA) d. Hannah Green (AUS), 4&3

Patty Tavatanakit continued her tear of excellent play at TPC Harding Park, defeating Australia’s Hannah Green in a resounding 4 and 3 fashion, just hours after dropping the only match of Thailand’s run to fellow UCLA alumna Lilia Vu during the Sunday morning semifinals.

Tavatanakit, who won an NCAA regional at TPC Harding Park as a freshman, took the lead early, winning the 2nd hole with a par to go 1 up. She grabbed a birdie at the next to go 2 up on Green and won her third consecutive hole on 4 to move to 3 up. Green battled back to 1 down with wins on holes 5 and 6, but Tavatanakit held off that charge, winning 7 to get back to 2 up. After tying the next three holes, a Tavatanakit birdie on 11 extended the lead to 3 up and she won the 14th hole to get to 4 up with five to play. Two tied holes later and Tavatanakit claimed the 4-and-3 victory on No. 15, her fourth win of the week.

“I'm just really happy that we pulled it off, all of us. And to be able to kind of get a head start to go up on Hannah early I think kind of gives them a little bit of a sense of security that we already kind of is ahead in one match, we just need one more,” said Tavatanakit. “Us winning this event is huge for golf in Thailand. It is already growing, and I think this is going to inspire a lot of people, even more than what we feel inspired 10 years ago. I'm really excited to see the future of Thai golf.”

Watch highlights from the Final Matches of the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown

Moriya Jutanugarn/Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) d. Minjee Lee/Sarah Kemp (AUS), 4&3

The sister act of Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn just couldn’t be stopped throughout the week at TPC Harding Park and the dynamic duo again proved to be a deadly combo on Sunday afternoon, pummeling Sarah Kemp and Minjee Lee in a resounding 4-and-3 victory.

The Australian Team started off strong, winning the first two holes to go 2 up through two, but Thailand took holes 3 and 5 to tie the match with 13 holes to play. The Jutanugarns caught fire on 7, making birdie to take their first lead of the match, and continued that streak, winning the next three holes to hold a 4-up lead. The teams tied the next four holes and it was ultimately a walk-off chip-in from Ariya that sealed the deal, giving Thailand one last 4-and-3 victory and its first Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown title.

“Of course, it's so much fun this week. Very, very enjoyed it,” said Moriya Jutanugarn. “We take a lot of good things and confidence and learned a lot. Everything more than I could ask for, and I'm very, very proud of all of the girls.”

Final Matches results

Atthaya Thitikul (THA) d. Steph Kyriacou (AUS), 4&2
Patty Tavatanakit (THA) d. Hannah Green (AUS), 4&3
Moriya Jutanugarn/Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) d. Minjee Lee/Sarah Kemp (AUS), 4&3

Semi-final results:

Sweden (SWE) vs. Australia (AUS)

Steph Kyriacou (AUS) d. Anna Nordqvist (SWE), 4&3
Hannah Green (AUS) d. Caroline Hedwall (SWE), 3&2
Minjee Lee/Sarah Kemp (AUS) d. Madelene Sagstrom/Maja Stark, 5&3

Thailand (THA) vs. United States (USA)

Atthaya Thitikul (THA) d. Lexi Thompson (USA), 3&2
Lilia Vu (USA) d. Patty Tavatanakit (THA) (USA), 1 up
Moriya Jutanugarn/Ariya Jutanugarn (THA) d. Danielle Kang/Nelly Korda (USA), 1 up

To find out more about the Hanwha LIFEPLUS International Crown - please visit the LPGA website here.

Epson Tour news: Ruffels secures second victory of the season.

Report by the Epson Tour

Former U.S. Women’s Amateur Champion, Gabriela Ruffels took home the Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes trophy in historical fashion, carding a final round 71 to tie the Epson Tour 54-hole scoring record at 197 (-19). Ruffels finished her final nine holes with two birdies and no bogeys to close out a record-setting week in Garden City. 

The 23-year-old started her week by breaking the course record (62, -10), and that was just the beginning. Ruffels would break a 20-year-old Epson Tour record when she posted her second round 64 (-8), which moved her to -18. Despite the big lead heading into the final round, the nerves were still there. 

"I was definitely very nervous, but I knew I had a big buffer which really helped," said Ruffels. "I just tried to play every shot as it was and not get too ahead of myself. I was just trying to play super consistent today and I was able to do that today, so I was very happy." 

Coming up the 18th hole, the University of Southern California alumna was already at the coveted -19 number. After a long drive and a well-placed approach shot, the Australian had a putt to get to -20 and break the 54-hole Epson Tour scoring record. The putt slid by the hole, and Ruffels tapped in for her par, but the 54-hole record was never on her mind. 

"I didn't know about the 54-hole record," said Ruffels. "It kind of shocked me, but it is really cool. It is always good when you are setting records and hopefully there are more to come." 

There will be a week off before Ruffels tees it back up again on the Epson Tour, and after six events, she has a significant lead in the Race for the Card standings.

View the final Eposn Tour leaderboard here.