Belgium’s Manon De Roey bagged the Ladies European Tour’s first Aramco Team Series solo title of the season after carding a bogey-free six-under-par closing round at Thai Country Club, May 14.
De Roey kept her cool in stifling temperatures to topple local hero and overnight leader Patty Tavatanakit and earn her first career win.
World #13 Tavatanakit led by two after the second round of the debut Aramco Team Series – Bangkok presented by Public Investment Fund, firmly cementing her as favourite to claim the crown in the three-day event’s $500,000 individual competition.
But as the 2021 ANA Inspiration champion struggled to a final day one-over-par 73, playing partner De Roey flourished, finding six birdies as she romped to a three-shot victory and her maiden Tour title.
“It feels great,” said De Roey – the first Belgian to win an LET title in 25 years. “I was waiting for this for a long time so I’m very happy.
“It was actually a really good day. I started quite strongly. I was hitting it quite close, made birdie on the second. I just stayed patient and I dropped in some good putts.
“I’ve been working hard on my game, just trying to stay patient for the win. I was really hoping for this last year, so I’m really happy I got it now this year.”
The 30-year-old added: “I have a pretty good record in the Aramco Team Series events – I’ve picked good teams! But I love it. The first few days I really played for the team. They really pushed to make a lot of birdies. Yeah, super happy. I mean, it’s been a long time for me. I fought really hard and I’m happy I came through.”
Three solid under-par rounds from Johanna Gustavsson were enough to earn the Swede a second placed finish as her strong early season form continued in the Thai capital.
“It’s been a good week,” said Gustavsson. “I’ve had fun with the girls in the team event, and today was very fun. I really enjoyed playing with Ariya [Jutanugarn] and Tiia [Koivisto].
“My putting has been decent. Yesterday, I did struggle a little bit, but I got through it. Then I holed a lot of putts in the middle of the round, which was nice. Today, that was my only concern, but I thought I got through it pretty nicely and I’m proud of that and happy with it.”
The Aramco Team Series – Bangkok was only the third LET event of the season for Scotland’s Kylie Henry, who returned to professional competition in March following four months out of the game with a broken elbow.
A second three-under-par 69 in three days took her to eight-under-par for the week, and a share of third spot alongside hometown hero Tavatanakit.
“I played really solid today,” said Henry, who injured herself when she slipped coming out of a bath last November. “I felt like I could really trust my swing all week, so I was really happy with my long game.
“I putted mostly good. Missed a few out there, but, yeah, I guess that’s going to happen sometimes. On the whole, I’m absolutely delighted.”
Played over three days, this was the first Aramco Team Series tournament to run under 2022’s new format, in which its $500,000 prize-fund team element – where three LET professionals team up with an amateur golfer – is battled out over only 36 holes.
That title was claimed a day earlier by Team Hillier: Australian Whitney Hillier, Krista Bakker of Finland, Thailand’s Chonlada Chayanun, and Bangkok businessman Pattanan Amatanon.
Now up to five events per season, the Aramco Team Series next heads to the UK for the Aramco Team Series – London, which will take place at Centurion Club in St. Albans, June 16-18th.
That will be followed by the Aramco Team Series – Sotogrande (La Reserva Club De Sotogrande, August 18-20th), the Aramco Team Series – New York (Venue TBC, October 13-15th,) and the Aramco Team Series – Jeddah (Royal Greens Golf & Country Club, November 9-11th).
For more information, visit www.aramcoteamseries.com
About the Aramco Team Series Events
The Aramco Team Series events are both unique and historic and epitomize Aramco’s status as one of the most committed investors in female golf today. The investment by Aramco as the headline sponsor makes them one of the biggest backers of the women’s game in Europe today. The five Aramco Team Series events are a significant step forward for women’s sport and follow the hugely successful Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by Public Investment Fund and Saudi Ladies Team International, which has been played three times at Royal Greens Golf and Country Club since 2020.
The five tournaments form an important part of a record-breaking LET schedule, with teams of four players competing over 54 holes. Unlike any other event in world golf, Team Captains recruit one fellow Tour pro through a draft system. Another Tour professional will be selected at random, while all teams will also uniquely include one amateur player.
This is the only event in world golf where an amateur contributes to the final result in the main team competition. Prize money for the winning team is split between its three professional members.
About Golf Saudi
Golf Saudi facilitates uptake and participation in golf through the delivery of world-class facilities, operational excellence, and the implementation of industry best practices to position the Kingdom as an exceptional golfing nation. Combined with grassroots training and education programs that introduce people to the game at the earliest opportunity and with the greatest ease, Golf Saudi is committed to delivering a dynamic national development program that transforms the golfing landscape.
Aramco is a global integrated energy and chemicals company driven by the core belief that energy is an opportunity. Aramco aims to continue it’s long and proven track record, contributing multiple streams of value to its many stakeholders while maintaining its reputation as a reliable supplier of sustainable energy to the world. This partnership with Aramco comes as part of the company’s efforts in female empowerment by providing an exciting new platform through which women can excel in this global sport, while also inspiring the next generation of girls to pursue their dreams and achieve their potential.
About the LET
The LET inspires women and girls to pursue their passion and realize their potential through the game of golf.
At our core, we aim to build and deliver an extensive competitive schedule of events to enable our strong, energetic, proud, and confident players to compete at the highest level, pursue their dreams, and lead by example.
Our diverse and multicultural membership of 362 professional golfers represents as many as 36 countries. We are a global tour with roots in Europe.
We aim to entertain and excite, but also to enhance health and quality of life, as responsible, committed, and respectful partners.
Inspiring – our players are inspiring role models to follow and encourage others to pursue their dreams.
Passionate – we are driven by a passion to perform to our full potential and get better every day. It’s not just about the money or the glory, but a true love for the game.
Committed – we are fiercely committed to continuous improvement and recognize the grit that it takes to achieve long-term goals.
2022 marks the 44th season of golf tournaments since the professional tour was founded in 1978 and the third edition of the Race to Costa Del Sol. This year’s schedule includes 34 events in 22 different countries and a record-breaking prize fund of €24.5 million.
The LET Access Series is the official development tour of the LET, formed to allow players to compete and progress onto the LET and achieve their dreams in professional golf.