Thai rookie Trichat Cheenglab sealed her first LET victory at the Big Green Egg Open after a close fought battle on Sunday
A thrilling final day at the Big Green Egg Open ended with Trichat Cheenglab landing her maiden Ladies European Tour (LET) title as the Thai rookie fired a 67 (-5) to win by one shot in the Netherlands.
With seven players tied at the top prior to play, a Sunday showdown beckoned at Hilversumsche Golf Club, and how the billing delivered as Cheenglab posted six birdies including a wonderful four on the par-5 18th to pip Lydia Hall and Nicole Broch Estrup to glory on 12-under-par.
“I’m very happy,” the 28-year-old said. “I didn’t think my first victory would come this fast! Today I just did what I had to do. I made a lot of birdies.”
Playing in the final group alongside Welsh duo Chloe Williams and Lydia Hall, Cheenglab birdied her opening hole at the par-5 as the latter eagled to break from the pack and take the solo lead.
With Broch Estrup making birdies for fun further up the course – the Dane made five in her first seven holes – Cheenglab posted red numbers on the 3rd, 7th, and 8th to go out in 32 – one shot worse than Hall who looked the player to beat in Hilversum.
“After Lydia [Hall] started with eagle I knew I had to concentrate on my game,” Cheenglab said.“Everyone in the group did very good today. We made lots of birdies, me, and Lydia and Chloe [Williams].”
A bogey on the 10th halted Hall’s momentum while Williams’ charge was hindered by a double-bogey on the par-4 11th.
Elsewhere, Sweden's Sara Kjellker – who went out in 33 – remained in the mix but couldn’t capitalise on dropped shots in the group behind after Cheenglab bogeyed the par-4 12th.
Clubhouse target set by Broch Estrup
After Broch Estrup set the clubhouse target on 11-under par with a sensational 65 (-7), a grandstand finish was set-up as Cheenglab and Hall both required two birdies in their final five holes to topple the score.
The rookie struck first with a birdie on the par-3 14th only for Hall to respond with one of her own on the par-4 15th.
But with nerves building, Hall gave shots back on the 16th and 17th after finding trouble off the tee, meaning the one-time LET winner required an eagle on the last with Cheenglab needing a birdie.
Despite playing one of the shots of the tournament, Hall saw her eagle attempt shave the hole leaving Cheenglab with a four-footer for the win after a clutch chip.
The rookie said: “My hands were shaking on the last, but I had a nice uphill lie and just made a confident stroke to the hole.
“[My caddie and boyfriend] helped me a lot today like always. He means a lot to me so thank you to him for being so patient with me. We worked a lot on our driver and irons because it hasn’t been going so good the past few weeks.”
Second rookie to win this season
With the dramatic maiden triumph, Cheenglab becomes the second rookie to win on the LET this season after Patricia Isabel Schmidt landed the Amundi German Masters.
While the 28-year-old becomes the seventh Thai player to win on the LET, joining Pornanong Phatlum, Ariya Jutanugarn, Thidapa Suwannapura, Supamas Sangchan, Pajaree Anannarukarn and Atthaya Thittikul in the circle.
“They are role models for me,” Cheenglab explained. “Many Thai players have become champions this year, and today I think it’s my turn. But it’s come very fast! I’m very happy. I very much miss my family and my dog, so I can’t wait to go back to Thailand.”
While it wasn’t to be for Hall or Estrup, the duo recorded their best results of the 2023 season with the T2 finishes at the Big Green Egg Open.
Kjellker and Williams shared a tie for fourth on 10-under par, while Italy’s Alessandra Fanali finished in solo sixth on nine-under par following a fantastic final round 66 (-6).
Four players round off the top-10 in a tie for seventh on eight-under par - a group which includes America’s Gurleen Kaur, England’s Hayley Davis, Norway’s Dorthea Forbrigd and Sweden’s Sofie Bringner.
Race to Costa del Sol
In the 2023 Race to Costa del Sol, the top three players remain the same with Celine Boutier leading followed by Ana Peláez Trivino in second and Diksha Dagar in third.
With 500 points for her win, Cheenglab moves into fourth on 1,317.72 points and extends her lead at the top of the Rookie of the Year standings.
The LET now moves to Switzerland and the VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open as excitement builds for the Solheim Cup the following week.