Ariya Jutanugarn received a hero’s welcome upon returning to Thailand following her win at the 2016 Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic. There was the media waiting at the airport for her, a formal salute to His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX) and a celebration at the SCG 100th Building. As a fan of the Seoul Sisters, the Korean players on tour, I’m fairly used to this kind of pomp and circumstance following victories. The difference is the Korean press has had a lot of winners to celebrate over the past 18 years since Se Ri Pak’s 1998 rookie season. Nong May’s Yokohama title is the first official LPGA tournament victory for a player representing Thailand. With the win, Jutanugarn moves past Pornanong Phatlum as the highest ranked Thai player in the world, moving from #32 to #21 while Waen slipped from #31 to #33. May also rises to 6th on the LPGA money list this year.
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