Royal Lytham & St Annes, England: Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific champion Atthaya Thitikul picked up the leading amateur honours at the RICOH Women’s British Open.
The 15-year-old, who booked her spot at Royal Lytham following her victory in the inaugural championship in Singapore in February, was awarded the Smyth Salver.
As the only amateur to make the cut (+1) with a score of even-par (73-71), Atthaya knew on Friday that if she completed all four rounds of the championship she would claim the title.
However, the Thai teenager struggled on the weekend posting rounds of 79 and 77 for a 12-over-par finish.
Atthaya now holds leading amateur titles from both Major championships she gained exemptions for as part of her Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific win. In April, she recorded a tied for 30th finish at the ANA Inspiration.
She was also invited to compete in the 2018 HSBC Women’s World Championship held at Sentosa Golf Club following the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific in March, where she recorded an impressive eighth-place finish.
“I feel really proud of myself and very happy,” said Atthaya. “I have really enjoyed this week and knowing I can make the cut. Last year I didn’t make the cut but this year I can! I have learned a lot through the experience and I take it all in to improve myself in the future.”
Looking at the names that adorn the Smyth Salver, including this year’s champion Georgia Hall, Atthaya said: “There are a lot of professionals whose names are here and that’s where I want to be in the future.”
Dominic Wall, Director – Asia-Pacific at The R&A, added: “Congratulations to Atthaya on winning the Smyth Salver at the RICOH Women’s British Open.
“We knew she was a special golfer when she came through the four-way play-off to clinch the trophy at Sentosa in February. She played every round in high spirits and her energetic personality and love for the game shone through for all to see.
“The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship was established to showcase the best of the women’s amateur game in the region as well as providing opportunities for amateurs to play the Major golf championships in women’s golf.
“Atthaya’s success highlights that talent and I have no doubt of her bright future in golf.”