ASIAN GOLF INDUSTRY FEDERATION

Tanah Merah Test for Swift-Inspired Patty

Patty Tavatanakit answers a question during a press conference in Singapore. Picture by Hana Financial Group.

Singapore: Patty Tavatanakit is drawing positive energy from American superstar Taylor Swift, who is currently captivating audiences in Singapore.

Ahead of this week’s Hana Financial Group Singapore Women’s Open, in-form Tavatanakit took in one of Swift’s Eras Tour sell-out concerts in the Lion City.

It was the perfect tonic before the 24-year-old Thai tees-off at Tanah Merah Country Club tomorrow in the season-opening Korean LPGA Tour event.

By her own admission, Tavatanakit is feeling fatigued after a memorable three-week stretch that has seen her win back-to-back on the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour and post a top-10 finish in last week’s HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore.

But seeing Swift perform has provided a timely pick-me-up.

Tavatanakit said: “I went to the Taylor Swift concert and it was amazing. While I had fun, I also learnt a lot of things. She’s a great performer, and it’s a three-hour-long concert. It has to be somewhat tiring for her at some point, but she showed up every single night.

“To be honest, I’m not feeling 100 per cent. This is my fourth week playing (in a row), but I’m going to do everything I can to be able to show up and compete at 100 per cent.”

After nearly three years of grappling to capitalise on her stunning Major triumph at the 2021 ANA Inspiration, which catapulted her to prominence, Tavatanakit believes that things are finally falling into place for her.

A maiden KLPGA Tour triumph this week would be a further feather in her cap.

On her last KLPGA Tour appearance at the 2023 Hana Financial Group Championship in Incheon, Tavatanakit finished joint runner-up with Australian Minjee Lee, the LPGA Tour duo losing out to Korean Lee Da-yeon in a play-off.

Tavatanakit hopes to put the record straight this week. She said: “To be able to compete in a KLPGA event and represent Hana Financial Group, I know it would mean a lot to them if I could win at their event and represent them at the same time.

“It’s such an important event for them to grow the game in the Asia-Pacific. As someone who is part of Asia-Pacific, I feel honoured to be here and represent Thailand and hopefully, this event can grow and bring a lot more players to the world stage.”

Tavatanakit can expect stiff competition from a host of KLPGA Tour stars, including defending champion Park Ji-young, last year’s KLPGA Tour Money List winner Lee Ye-won, KLPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Kim Min-byeol, as well as other emerging regional talents such as Ashley Lau of Malaysia and Princess Mary Superal of the Philippines.

Of her title defence mission, Park said: “I’m very happy to be back in Singapore. As the defending champion, I’m looking forward to it and I’m also very well prepared.”

Lee, meanwhile, is aiming to conquer the challenging Tampines Course and vie for her first tournament victory abroad. Last year, she asserted her dominance on the KLPGA Tour by clinching three titles and finishing runner-up four times.

*Tanah Merah Country Club is a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

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