News / Tournaments & Events 4 months ago

TAVATANAKIT CLAIMS FIRST WIN SINCE 2021 MAJOR WITH IMPERIOUS WIRE-TO-WIRE PERFORMANCE AT ARAMCO SAUDI LADIES INTERNATIONAL PRESENTED BY PIF

-Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit holds firm to deliver dominant first victory in almost three years. -Germany’s Esther Henseleit finishes in second place after a strong day three showing. -Japan’s Minami Katsu fires a final day 65, seven-under-par, to soar into a T3 finish.

[Riyadh, 18 Feb 2024] Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit capped off an untouchable four days at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF, delivering a formidable seven-under-par on the final day, claiming a first victory since her Major win as a rookie at the 2021 ANA Inspiration.

The Thai star’s dominating win pocketed her the top prize of $750k from the history making $5m prize purse – the largest on the Ladies European Tour (LET) outside of the Majors, and still the only professional golf tournament to match the prize fund of the men’s equivalent.

A calming presence on the course, Tavatanakit shrugged off any question of being chased down on the final day at Riyadh Golf Club, sinking an eagle put on the fifth hole to propel her clear of competitors Esther Henseleit and Charley Hull early on.

A near faultless afternoon for Tavatanakit ensured she was able to get her hands on the Aramco Saudi Ladies International Presented by PIF trophy, a moment that Tavatanakit has worked hard for.

After Tavatanakit’s Major win in her 2021 rookie season caught the headlines, the road back to the top of the leaderboard has been one littered with hardships, with the freshly crowned champion speaking frankly about mental health challenges.

“It's been really difficult, but those struggles gave me a lot of strength,” Tavanakit reflected.

“I learned a lot, and I grew a lot from it as well - looking back, I’m grateful for all the moments, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

“You go down [mentally], and you're down there to go up one day, and that’s kind of true with golf and life. I'm definitely getting the highs this week, and then we'll see what the future holds.”

“But today, I went out there like I came to play golf, and I had a lot of fun today. Regardless of the outcome I told myself to enjoy it, and I really did.”

Esther Heinseleit of Germany followed up a blistering seven-under-par 65 on day three with a solid three-under-par on the final day, asserting herself in second place and earning $450k from the lucrative prize fund.

There was a late charge for Japan’s Minami Katsu, the eight-time LPGA tour of Japan winner who recorded her first professional win at the age of just 15 in 2014.

Katsu followed up a front nine of four-under-par, with a run of four birdies to begin her back nine, before finishing seven-under-par after a bogey on the 16th hole.

Meanwhile, England’s Charley Hull was unable to capitalise on her 68 on day three, but a respectable two-under-par was enough to lock in a T3 finish ahead of a big year for Hull, with Olympic aspirations no doubt in mind.

The prestigious tournament no doubt lived up to its much-anticipated billing in Saudi Arabia’s capital, with the history making tournament attracting thousands of locals to Riyadh Golf Club across the four days.