Pajaree Anannarukarn used and wanted the luck of the Irish for their first career victory as a professional.
That the 22-year-old Thai woman marks her golf ball with the slogan “Good Luck” and that she won her first LPGA Tour victory on Sunday in Northern Ireland at the ISPS Handa World Invitational presented by Modest! Golf management is probably no accident. It took 74 holes but she demonstrated the tough Irish spirit with a final of 70 at Galgorm Golf Club and a par on each of the two playoff holes.
“I just feel like I always want to see something, especially on the golf ball,” said Anannarukarn, who beat Emma Talley in the sudden death playoffs. “I always write ‘luck’ on it to see some positive things. I have the feeling that everything I went through today, and especially on hole 6, I think I was really lucky and enough to get this victory. “
Speaking of # 6, Anannarukarn picked up a triple bogey after accidentally picking up a ball that was still in play. She responded with birdies at # 8 and # 9 to make Turn 2 under par and was tied in second place, two strokes behind Talley. Then Anannarukarn responded on the second nine to a bogey at par-4 16 with a birdie at 17 that was equal to Talley when the pair ended at 16-under to force additional golf.
Anannarukarn needed an 8-foot par putt at # 18 in the regulation to keep her luck going. And on the third dance of the day with the par-5, she rolled in a 9-foot tickler to reach the winning circle.
“The pin position was really hard and I had a long distance to the green on my third shot at the first playoff hole. I’m actually really glad I hit the green, but I relied on 60 feet. I’m really glad I did the two-putt, ”said Anannarukarn. “In the second playoff” [hole], it took even longer than I expected. I wouldn’t say annoyed, but I just wish I could give myself a shorter birdie putt. It was about 75 feet from there, but I’m really glad I did that two-putt again. “
In a year when their friends and role models Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn won the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, it was a special moment for their father Veerapol to watch his daughter win live. Anannarukarn becomes the fifth Rolex First Time Winner of the LPGA Tour season in 2021.
“He’s been by my side from the start of my career,” said Anannarukarn, who walked 26 for 28 putts within 3 feet of putts over the weekend. “To be able to share it with him was something very special.”
Talley secured the top spot of his career as runner-up, including an admirable 3-under 70 in the finals. An American in Jennifer Kupcho (71) finished third behind, while Ladies European Tour member Atthaya Thitikul (70) finished fourth. In the men’s category, Daniel Gavins secured his first European Tour title with a bogey-free 65 in Galgorm and came back seven strokes behind.