Patty Tavatanakit impresses during 59 watch at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic

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Patty Tavatanakit impresses during 59 watch at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic

LPGA Tour

Patty Tavatanakit impresses during 59 watch at Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic

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Patty Tavatanakit had the golf world on a 59 watch in only her fourth start as a professional. The 19-year-old became only the third player in LPGA history to card three eagles in nine holes, making the turn in 29 at the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. She was 13 under through 10 holes. Tavatanakit ultimately finished with a course-record 11-under 61 to take the clubhouse lead at 20-under 207.

“At the moment I was kind of in the zone I guess,” said Tavatanakit, “that’s the word.”

Golf Channel broke into its re-airing of the Irish Open to show Tavatanakit’s finish. The Bangkok native said she didn’t think about needing to hole out her approach to the 18th to shoot 59, saying she let it go.

“Apparently I’m not meant to shoot 59 yet, I guess,” she said. “Maybe next time.”

Annika Sorenstam remains the only player in LPGA history to record a 59.

Tavatanakit, who played Thornberry on a sponsor invite, left UCLA after two seasons and made her pro debut at the U.S. Women’s Open in June, where she finished in a share of 34th. Since then she has twice competed on the Symetra Tour, where she has status, finishing T-14 at the Island Resort Championship and runner-up last week at the Prasco Charity Championship.

A former AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Tavatanakit closed with a 63 to win the ANNIKA Intercollegiate last fall. She won the Pac-12 title at UCLA and was college golf’s Freshman of the Year. She tied for 26th at the ANA Inspiration this year as an amateur and tied for fifth at the U.S. Women’s Open in 2018.

As Tavatanakit wrapped up her final round in Wisconsin, the final groups teed off. Among those tied with her at 20 under were three players who have held the No. 1 ranking – Sung Hyun Park, Shanshan Feng and Ariya Jutanugarn. Another Bruin looking for her first title, Tiffany Joh, is squarely in the mix.

Yealimi Noh, a would-be Bruin who instead turned professional earlier this year, Monday-qualified for this week’s LPGA event and is one shot off the lead. The 17-year-old is playing in her first LPGA event as a pro.

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