The 18-year-old from Saraburi committed three bogeys but also shot eight birdies including four in succession from holes 13-16 for a final round 67, to triumph in the mixed-gender event with 23-under-par 265 at the par-72 course with the full 7,285-yard for the men cut to 6,277 yards for the women.
Both Arpichaya and Atthaya, also 18, started the day a shot behind third-round leader Settee Prakongvech before the latter bogeyed on the eighth hole, allowing the two girls to battle for the top spot. The 2018 local LPGA Order of Merit winner then birdied on the 16th hole which propelled her to the lead from then on, with the current Thailand LPGA No. 1 Atthaya trailing by a stroke and Settee closing the top three as the best male scorer.
“It was fun and a challenge to play against the men,” said Arpichaya, who picked up the winner’s cheque of Bt450,000. “This course has windy conditions. It sets up pretty tough and the pin positions are not easy in the final round,” added the teenager who captured her first title in almost two years since her victory in the Manila Golf Ladies Classic in April 2019.
After making history as the youngest winner at 16 of five Thai LPGA events in a row in 2018, Arpichaya endured a wrist and back injury. She resumed intensive training only during the Covid-19 break last year.
“I have to thank myself for being so patient after the injuries and the hard work. I really learned a lot playing alongside Settee and Atthaya as both have interesting techniques,” added Arpichaya, who bakes and sells brownies with her mother in her free time.
Atthaya, despite struggling with her putts, still managed to sign off with an unblemished 68. Her total 22-under-par 266 saw her land at lone second.
“I had opportunities but I just didn’t seize them. Overall it was a good day for me except the fact that I didn’t make some putts,” said Atthaya, who plans to start her overseas tour in May. As first runner-up, she earned Bt300,000.
Overnight leader Settee, with a disappointing 71, had to be content with third place after he scored a 20-under-par 268. He received Bt180,000 as the second runner-up.
The fourth place was shared by male golfer Suteepat Prateeptienchai (68) and 16-year-old girl Chanettee Wannasaen (66) on 18-under-par 270.
The next Trust Golf Tour stop will be at the Alpine Golf Course Resort in Chiang Mai from April 12-18.
Published : February 28, 2021
By : THE NATION