Call me a homer if you want, that’s ok. But I am always happy to see players of Thai heritage or, like myself, partial Thai heritage succeed. Tiger Woods, Stacy Prammanasudh, the Song (Wongluekiet) sisters, the Jutanugarn sisters and my favorite of them all, Virada Nirapathpongporn, are among the players I have watched with a keen eye. Another I am following with much interest is the young lady with fun, funky golf skorts, Pornanong Phatlum. She just won the final tournament of the 6 event 2012 Singha-SAT Thai LPGA Championship series.
Waen (her nickname) has been winning on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour for some time now. She has 6 wins, including a record third Women’s India Open earlier this December. Waen was able to best rising Ladies European Tour star Caroline Hedwall by four strokes to claim victory.
Her best LPGA showing was winning the 2012 HSBC Brasil Cup. Granted, that was not an official LPGA event. Still, the important thing is that this is a player that is very familiar with holding professional trophies. I am hopeful that it is just a matter of time before Waen has a big breakthrough on the LPGA Tour.
She’s had decent years on the LPGA so far, in the mid-50s on the money list the past two years. Waen earned 9 top 30s (if you include the unofficial Brasil Cup), including 3 top 20s. She tied for 28th at the 2012 US Women’s Open and tied for 36th at the 2012 LPGA Championship, both being Majors on the LPGA Tour. That kind of play will safely secure her card. No problems there. The question is can she make the jump higher. Her stats, in terms of driving distance, accuracy, putts per GIR, etc don’t jump out but her 2012 LPGA results don’t lie. However she does it, she does it. Can she do it toe to toe with the big names on tour? I hope so. I will certainly be watching and cheering either way.