CROSSVILLE, Tenn. – Recent University of Oklahoma graduate Chirapat Jao-Javanil won the 2014 Golf Capital of Tennessee Women’s Open at Stonehenge Golf Club in typical record fashion.
Playing in only her second professional tournament, her rounds of 73-70-71 gave her a 2-under par 214 total and made her the only player in the field to finish under par. Jao-Javanil earned a five-stroke victory over her closest rivals, Courtney Shelton and Ashli Bunch.
Originally from Hua-Hin, Thailand, Jao-Javanil, whose nickname is Ja, made a college career of accomplishing firsts. She was the first female from the University of Oklahoma to win an individual NCAA national championship, a feat she accomplished in 2012. Ja also was the first to win three tournaments in the same season and also holds the Oklahoma record for the lowest four-year scoring average at 73.07.
“She has unbelievable mechanics and fundamentals,” said Veronique Drouin-Luttrell, her former coach at Oklahoma.
“There are so many great players,” Jao-Javanil said, “you have to keep moving to keep up with everybody. Now that I don’t have school to worry about, I have more time to work on my weak spots.”
After the first round, Jao-Javanil was tied for third with a cluster of other players. With no sub-par rounds posted on the first day, the leaderboard showed 15 players within three strokes of the lead.
After posting a 2-under par 70 on the second day, one of only four under par rounds for the entire event, Jao-Javanil tried to turn her focus inward to claim the lead.
“During the second round, I tried not to think about the scores. The course is challenging, and I knew that if I stayed patient that eventually the putts would drop,” Jao-Javanil said. “I tried not to pay attention to what everyone else was doing. I did my best and hopefully would end up in a good position.”
With a gallery surrounding the final green, Jao-Javanil coasted to victory with a two-putt par on the 18th to finish with a 1-under par 71, and the $5,000 winners check.
“Going into the third round, I had the same mind-set. I couldn’t control the outcome so my only focus was on what I should be doing — I just let things happen,” Jao-Javanil said.
So what does Chirapat mean? “It means a heart as pure and as strong as a diamond,” said Jao-Javanil.
The name like the girl makes a true impression. This girl who was a diamond in the rough when she first came to the United States is now starting to sparkle like the true gem she is.