Patty sitting pretty at Honda LPGA ThailandLegacy

Home favourite Patty Tavatanakit produced a masterclass on ‘moving day’ to seize control of the Honda LPGA Thailand 2024.

Bidding to become only the second Thailand winner in the event’s 17-year history, Tavatanakit fired a third round six-under-par 66 at the Siam Country Club’s Old Course.

With a 54-hole aggregate of 16-under 200, the 24 year old will take a three-stroke advantage into Sunday’s final round from Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom, who eagled the 18th for a round of 69.

A further shot back in third are Koreans Choi Hye-jin and Kim Hyo-joo and Denmark’s Emily Pedersen. Choi and Pedersen both carded 65s, the best score of another hot and humid day marked by slick greens and swirling winds on the back nine.

In joint sixth place on 205 are Canadian Brooke Henderson, Switzerland’s Albane Valenzuela, Korean Kim Sei-young and Thais Ariya Jutanugarn and teenage amateur Suvichaya Vinijchaitham.

Despite her lead, Tavatanakit will be taking nothing for granted as she attempts to emulate the victory here of Ariya in 2021, when she herself tied for third.

Tavatanakit, who achieved her maiden Ladies European Tour (LET) victory last Sunday at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International, said: “I’m really proud of my performance today. It’s getting very tiring, exhausting in the heat. I’m just going to conserve my energy and take on the challenge tomorrow.

“I feel like last week has given me a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. I’m not saying I’m going to guarantee the result, but there is a lot of positives and a lot of good things to look at the past seven rounds I’ve played. So, I’m just going to have fun, stay present, and be very busy with my process.”

In a brilliant start to her round on Saturday – known as moving day – Tavatanakit thrilled the thronging galleries with a front nine of six-under 30 with birdies at the first, second, fifth and sixth and an eagle-three at the seventh.

The going got a little harder on the back nine which she covered in even-par 36, her solitary bogey at 11 after failing to get up-and-down from a greenside bunker offset by a birdie at the par-four 15th where she drove through the green.

Honda LPGA Thailand
Image courtesy of Honda LPGA Thailand

Her pursuers will know that final-day fireworks are possible over the Old Course, where Lilia Vu carded a closing 64 last year to seal a come-from-behind triumph.

Sagstrom and Pedersen, both members of Europe’s victorious Solheim Cup team last year, are leading the chasing pack.

Sagstrom, joint second-round leader with Tavatanakit and Kim Sei-young, said: “Patty is playing beautifully – hitting the ball lovely and putting even better. She left a few putts short today and could have gone really low.

“To have a chance tomorrow, you have to play good golf. You don’t really do that by comparing yourself to somebody else or trying to react on their games. All I need to do is get in my own zone and out of my own way.

“Playing with players that are playing well is a lot better. I just have to pace myself and try to find my stuff.”

After a third round containing eight birdies and one bogey, Pedersen, a five-time winner on the LET who was paired with Tavatanakit on the last day in Saudi, said: “My game feels solid, and I’m just trying to build, trying to put myself in contention. I’m happy to be in this position.

“I want to keep the foot on the gas. I played with her (Patty) in that final round in Saudi and she just played unbelievable. But I believe I can play like that myself and hopefully I can do that tomorrow.”

“There are still a lot of holes to go … and many birdie opportunities out there for everyone. I’m just trying to put my foot on the pedal as much as I can and make as many birdies as I can because I know that everyone else will.”

Battling back after a disappointing opening 72, Ariya continued her quest for a second Honda LPGA Thailand crown with a four-under 68.

“My first round was a bit hard because I kind of hit everywhere. After that, I feel like there’s no expectations. When I have no expectations, I start to play better,” said Ariya, who has been impressed by the performances of her compatriots this week, among them 17-year-old Suvichaya.

The teenager, who earned her starting spot here by winning the National Qualifier last month, once more rose to the occasion on day three, with a 67, highlighted by an eagle-three at the first hole.

She said, “On the first day I didn’t expect that much. But after round three I’m like: ‘Wow, this is amazing. How can I do it?’ I was looking at leaderboards and was so excited to see my name.

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself as I’m still an amateur. Just playing this tournament means so much to me. Of course, I want to win, but I don’t want to put the pressure on myself.”

Honda LPGA Thailand 2024 tickets are now available in both general admission and VIP categories at their official website. Bangkok Bank credit card holders can enjoy discounts of up to 15%. Individuals under 16 and those above 60 can register for free admission.

For more details about the event, make sure to follow updates at their website, Facebook page; Honda LPGA Thailand, and Instagram account; hondalpgathailand.

Press Release

The story Patty sitting pretty at Honda LPGA Thailand as seen on Thaiger News.

Go to Source
Author: Thaiger