Thailand's Patty Tavatanakit ready for Tokyo 2020 challenge
Rising golf star Patty Tavatanakit is a name to remember.
The 21-year-old surprised the field to claim her maiden major victory at the 2021 ANA Inspiration in April, and in the process became the first LPGA rookie to win the tournament since 1984.
She now joins Ariya Jutanugarn to become the only two players from Thailand to ever win a major golf championship.
Brush up on your knowledge of the 21-year-old Thai disrupting women’s golf.
1 - Tiger Woods inspired the teen to pick up a club
Growing up, Tavatanakit never cared much for golf.
She would begrudgingly follow her dad around the Bangkok golf club course expressing a complete disinterest in the sport.
It wasn’t until the then 8-year-old caught 15-time major winner Tiger Woods celebrating an event win on television that something clicked for her. She too wanted to taste that level of fame and success. Within no time, Tavatanakit was out on the course trying to emulate the golfing legend who encouraged her from the very start.
2 - Patty Tavatanakit has a dangerously powerful drive
The most powerful weapon in the Tavatanakit's armoury is her drive. It was largely responsible for her victory at the Mission Hills Country Club in California.
Averaging 326 yards off the tee, the Thai's hitting power quickly set her apart from her competitors; it enabled her to lead her maiden major from Day 1 and later saved her from a charging Lydia Ko.
What’s even more impressive is that the young golfer's driving distance is devilishly consistent. Tavatanakit currently sits in eighth position in the LPGA’s average driving distance list, she hits on average 276.391 yards.
3 - Eating under par
In turning professional at just 19-year-old it’s clear the UCLA undergraduate has committed to a career in golf, but it’s not her only hustle.
Tavatanakit is also a self-professed “foodie” and enjoys capturing shots of her food while on her travels. The aptly named account ‘eatunderpar' is just one of the future star’s loves.
She also enjoys the Netflix hit-show Riverdale, the acting of teen heartthrob Zac Efron and the moody tunes of Thai rock band ‘Slot Machine.’
4 - The Jutanugarn sisters are a source of motivation
Ariya Jutanugarn and her sister Moriya Jutanugarn have long been trailblazers in Thai golf.
Moriya started out on the LPGA Tour in 2013, winning LPGA Rookie of the Year. Five years later she banked her first LPGA Tour victory at the inaugural Hugel-JTBC LA Open.
Making her professional debut at 11-years-old, by 2017 Airya was world no.1. With eight majors to her name at 25-year-old she is well and truly an established golfer.
“It really drives the younger generation,” Tavatanakit said to Reuters. “Seeing they [the Jutanugarn sisters] can do it proves to us that we can be up here too.”
5 - Patty Tavatanakit has two nicknames
‘Patty’ is in fact not Tavatanatik’s first name. She shortened it because she felt her real name, Paphangkorn, would be too difficult for others to pronounce, especially once she became a professional golfer.
Her other moniker ‘Meow” is Thai.