Ummm, does anybody have the address for the Golf Gods? I need to send them a nice premium fruit basket and some Godiva chocolates. A couple of months ago, I thought they had forsaken me. After Ariya Jutanugarn lost a lead at the 2016 ANA Inspiration, an LPGA Major, I thought I might never see a Thai player win on the biggest women’s golf tour in the world. Why dost thou smite me, O Golf God? That was my refrain at the time. Fast forward to today and verily my cup runneth over! Not only did Ariya fulfill her vast potential with not one, not two but three LPGA wins in a row, now on the other tour I follow, the LPGA of Japan (JLPGA), Thailand’s Porani Chutichai of Thailand makes it a Thai winner on a major women’s golf tour four weeks in a row!
Porani Chutichai (or Wing, if you will) won the 2016 Yonex Ladies Golf Tournament, beating Momoko Ueda in a playoff. They say you can’t win a golf tournament in the first round. That’s mostly true…but she came close. Wing had the round of her life with a 9-under 63 to open this event. She had 7 birdies, including 4 in a row at one stretch, and an eagle on 18. A second round 2-under 70 pushed Chutichai to 11-under. Understandably, she had the pressure on her in the final round. At one point she was 2-over for the round and running on fumes at 9-under overall with the field chasing her down. A clutch birdie on 13 moved her back to 10-under but she would need a playoff to shake Momoko Ueda.
Wing was a money list winner on the Chinese LPGA (CLPGA). I wrote about a tournament win of hers back in 2011. You can read that here: Thailand’s Porani Chutichai Wins 2011 CLPGA Yangzhou Golf Challenge. However, since competing on the JLPGA since 2012 Chutichai has never finished higher than 84th on the year-end money list. In fact, that year (2014) was the only season she placed in the top 90. She has 4 missed cuts this year including 3 in a row at one point. But she started showing signs of improvement with a T19 at the Hoken no Madoguchi Ladies in mid-May. Then she had her best showing ever on the JLPGA, a T2 at last week’s Resort Trust Ladies. Well, her best result until this tournament, that is. It’s wonderful to see Wing’s hard work pay off. I don’t know how long she keeps this up. I also don’t know how long the Golf Gods will continue to bless Thai golfers. But maybe I should consider putting a dollar or two on Pornanong Phatlum or Moriya Jutanugarn to win soon.
ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE
1 PORANI CHUTICHAI (-10)
2 MOMOKO UEDA (-10)
3 HIKARI FUJITA (-8)
T4 BO-MEE LEE (-7)
T4 JIYAI SHIN (-7)