GOLF: Thai Patty Tavatanakit has won the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year Award 2021, the LPGA announced on Monday (October 25).
Patty Tavatanakit. Photo: Bangkok Post
Patty, winner of the ANA Inspiration, won the honor after completing the BMW Ladies Championship at the weekend.
The 22-year-old, whose Thai name is Paphangkorn, has collected 1,134 points in 17 events and is 355 points ahead of second-placed Leona Maguire with two tournaments remaining in the 2021 season, reports the Bangkok Post.
Maguire, who needed at least sixth place in the BWM championship, finished 61st in a tie to win the honor for the idle Patty.
“Receiving this award is a dream come true for me,” said Patty.
“It’s once in a lifetime. I am so excited to add my name to a spectacular recipient list that I have looked up to for many years. This season has been unforgettable and I’m looking forward to being strong as the newest Rookie of the Year on the Tour in 2021. “
Patty won the ANA Inspiration in April, becoming the first LPGA Tour rookie to win the Major title since Inkster did the feat in July 1984. She also has eight top 10 placements on her resume.
After Moriya Jutanugarn in 2013, she is the second player from Thailand to win the honor.
Lee Jeong-Eun from South Korea won the 2019 award. The award was not awarded in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Patty became the LPGA Tour rookie in 2021 after finishing second in the Race for the Card of the Symetra Tour 2019, where she won three times and was named Rookie of the Year.
Following the British Women’s Open, Patty also won the Rolex Annika Major Award based on her results at all five major championships.
In August, she represented Thailand at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, finishing in 23rd place.
With two remaining events in the 2021 season, Patty ranks among the top 10 in many statistical categories of the tour, including sand saves (3rd place, 60%), laps under par (6th place, 41st), average distance traveled (7th place, 275th place) , 49) and points average (number 10, 70.02).
She is fourth on the Race to the CME points list (2,208 points) and seventh on the official 2021 money list ($ 1,322,827).
The Thai woman is also third in the Rolex Player of the Year rating with 121 points.
Prior to joining the Symetra and LPGA tours, Tavatanakit was a seven-time winner and two-time All-American team for the WGCA at UCLA.
She was also the WGCA and Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year 2018.
After two seasons in college golf, she turned pro in 2019.
Patty will receive the Rookie of the Year award at the 2021 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony on November 18, 2021 at Tiburon Golf Club during the end of the season week of the CME Group Tour Championship.
Meanwhile, Collin Morikawa of the USA reached a new high in his career by overtaking his compatriot Dustin Johnson to number 2 in the world rankings on Monday.
Morikawa, 24, now has 8,4710 average points, topping Johnson’s 8,3777.
Jon Rahm from Spain remains number 1.