On June 8 at Rayong, Thailand
Arpichaya Yubol won for the second time back to back at Rayong Green Valley.
Unable to make much move in the first round, everyone thought Yubol was drifting away from spotlight. Unexpectedly, the dark horse just shut every hope, including Wanchana Poruangrong the winner-to-be, with ten under-pars 62. She undeniably earned Best of the Day (4,000 THB).
“Piano” plays the right notes at Green Valley
By Richard Talbot
The Final round of the 5th leg of the Thailand LPGA championship at Green Valley saw a result that few would have predicted after the first round had been completed two days previously. At this stage Arpichaya “Piano” Yubol lay eight shots off the lead in a tie for 42nd place at 5 over par.
The 16 year old repaired much of the damage on the second day as she recorded a 4 under par score for the day. However, neither her or father Yodchai, who was carrying out the week’s caddying duties, could have envisaged the final events that were to completely change the leaderboard.
As the players set off on the final morning it seemed likely that the eventual winner would emerge from the final three groups. All week Wanchana Poruangrong had hardly made a wrong step and was ahead of the field with 5 under par. She was followed by a group of three players, Kan Bunnabodee, Pitsaon Chaichompoo and Pimnpa Pathong all on 4 under par.
It all seemed that the tournament was meandering to an end as calm as the Rayong weather had treated the players all week. However, in Thailand the weather is taken for granted at ones peril, and as the thunderstorms rolled in off the Gulf of Thailand a storm started to brew on the golf course.
It was only five weeks ago that Arpichaya recorded her first tour win at Royal Huahin and literally exploded into this final round with 7 birdies on the front 9. Her score of 30 brought her right into contention and she was able to maintain this momentum to finish the day with a final round of 62 and end the tournament at 9 under par.
“Everything is perfect today. Putts, approach shots, iron, you name it! It just find the hole all the time. I feel light because I wasn’t in the spotlight. My group’s atmosphere is comfortable. Alongside, my father,who also my caddie, is a big support to me. We might have some up and down but we work it out anyway. All of these created the first ten under-pars of my life.”
“See you on 21st, at the Ladies European Thailand Championship.”
Her final victory margin does not do justice to the efforts of Wanchana Poruanrong who finished in second place with a final score of 4 under par. She was two shots clear of two amateur players, 16 year old Kan Bunnabodee from Bangpra Golf Club, Sri Racha and 17 year old Tunrada Piddon from Bangkok who both played with great flair and tenacity all week.
The brilliance of the teenage winner from Saraburi in recording a 10 under par final round score just reflects the quality of Thai Ladies Golf at the current time. With the Jatanagurn sisters winning events on the LPGA tour, and Atthaya Thitikul and Patty Tavatanakit making vast strides in their fledgling careers, this week at Green Valley has confirmed there is a new generation of Thai Youngsters just waiting to emerge onto golf’s international stage.
HOLE BY HOLE