Patty Tavatankit wins on home soil at the Honda LPGA Thailand, after claiming the Aramco Saudi Ladies International last week on the LET

Like buses, you wait for one and then two come at once! That's what it must feel like for Patty Tavatanakit who, until last week, had not won on tour since her first (Major) victory at the Chevron Championship in 2021.

At the LET's Aramco Saudi Ladies International, the 24-year-old went wire-to-wire to win and this week only differed that she held or shared the lead from the second round. After her victory last week, she said:

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played this good,” she said. “It’s very emotional, I’m very emotional right now with how I have overcome that and looking back it was just one day at a time, keep working hard."

And taking it one day at a time exactly what Tavatanakit did this week too. It came down to the 72nd hole against some late-round charges, but when the dust settled, the Thai native became the second Thai champion to be crowned at the Honda LPGA Thailand.

After starting the final round with a three-shot lead, she ultimately shot a five-under-par 67 to finish -21 to win by one shot. The first time she’s recorded all four rounds of an event in the 60s since her first LPGA Tour win at the 2021 Chevron Championship.

Watch Final Round Highlights from the Honda LPGA Thailand

Tavatanakit immediately put the field on notice, opening with back-to-back birdies on the first two holes. After two close misses for birdies on three and six, Tavatanakit levelled out the momentum until the seventh, a hole she had gone four-under on through the first three days (two birdies, one eagle). She went right off the tee near the cart path, but still made birdie after her third shot landed a few feet below the pin to make it a three-shot lead and -19 by the turn.

On 10, Tavatanakit missed the green left in a sod area, and chipped it beautifully to inches for another birdie to get to -20 and two off the 2023 winning score. After four-straight pars, Tavatanakit carded her first bogey since the 11th on Saturday on the 15th, chalking it up to just a “bad shot.”

The Thai native said she had nerves on the 16th tee – the pressure of rebounding after a bogey in front of her hometown crowd as the momentum in the air started to shift – but responded with another birdie, her “favourite” of the week. “I was just like, you know what? Let's just do it. Whatever it is, bring it on. I'm up for the challenge.”

Round of the week from Albane Valenzuela

By the time Tavatanakit reached the 18th, Albane Valenzuela had recorded the back-nine of her life two groups back. With a birdie on one and a hole-out eagle on five, Valenzuela had made the turn six shots behind Tavatanakit. But the Swiss native turned it up on her final holes as she carded six birdies in her last eight holes, including two on 17 and 18.

“It's funny, yesterday I felt a little bit more nervous. Today I just had the sense of inner peace that I could do it. I was just foot on the gas and just tried to go get it. I told my dad, ‘let's go to 20,’” said Valenzuela. “I'm just really just proud of myself. I just fought really hard and I just see that I can make putts under pressure.”

Valenzuela closed with a nine-under-par 63 for the lowest round of the week and her new career-low 18-hole score on Tour. She waited in the locker room for a potential play-off as Tavatanakit took on the par-5 closing hole. She had 184 yards to the pin, went for it with her 6-iron and came up a bit short of the green in the lower bowl. She chipped up to tap-in length, and the rest was history.

Another emotional week for Tavatanakit

“It was a lot of emotions. It was joy. I felt so proud. And a little bit of, I felt a little tired, too. But overall, you know, like, again, I had so much pressure on me today just playing in front of the home crowd, and I was able to do that. It was just like a dream come true,” said Tavatanakit. “It was like unbelievable. Like I still couldn't believe I did that today.”

Sei Young Kim and Hye-Jin Choi tied for third at -18, after both shot 65 and 66, respectively. It’s Kim’s first top-10 finish since a tie for third at the 2023 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, and is her lowest round since a third-round 65 at the 2023 Maybank Championship. Last year’s runner-up Natthakritta Vongtaveelap and major champion Hyo Joo Kim came in a tie for fifth at -17. Defending champion Lilia Vu rebounded from a first-round 73 to shoot 67-67-65 to close out the tournament in a tie for seventh with Emily Kristine Pedersen (-16) as both earn their first top-10 finishes on Tour this season.

“I think I did feel a little bit of the pressure of being like oh, it's your first time defending. But I love this place. I had a really great time with my parents. I went to dinner with a couple of the players. I went to dinner with Patty and her parents too and it's been a really fun week,” said Vu. “It's more than just golf. It's spending time with people, too. I just always think there are good vibes here and I think it showed in my golf game. First day I got a little shocked by the heat. My strain was 19 on the WHOOP. That's not normal.”

Four players finished in a tie for ninth at -15, including two-time major champion Brooke Henderson and reigning Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Haeran Ryu. Ryu shot up the leaderboard early with five straight birdies from holes two to six, and carded a 65 for her eighth-career top-10 finish on Tour since 2018. View the full leaderboard here.

From Thailand to Singapore as the Asia swing continues on the LPGA with the HSBC Women's World Championship at Sentosa Golf Club.