LPGA star Pornanong Phatlum is hoping to cap off her silver jubilee birthday celebrations in style when she returns to defend her title at the 2014 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters at the Emirates Golf Club from December 10 to 13.
The Thai ace, who turns 25 a few days before the event, conjured up a piece of magic on the final hole in 2013, drilling her 54 degree wedge to two feet of the cup for birdie to win the title on her debut in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event.
Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum (left) is shown receiving the 2013 winner’s trophy from Raynald Aeschlimann, vice president, International Sales Director of Omega, as Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in DUBAi, looks on.
She believes fond memories of her victory will drive her to the success she needs to emulate the feat of Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam, the only player to have won back-to-back titles since the inception of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in 2006.
“This (Omega Dubai Ladies Masters) has the energy of a major on the Ladies European Tour. I really enjoyed playing in Dubai last year, and winning it on my first visit made it even more special,” said Phatlum, who has already crossed the $1 million mark in earnings since joining the LPGA Tour in 2009.
“Of course, it will be great fun to be back in Dubai, a city I like very much, and have an opportunity to win two in a row, but I will try not to think about it too much. They have such a strong field every year and anyone can win at any time,” said the world number 33, who boasts 10 professional wins, including two on the Ladies European Tour.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai, said: “We will be delighted to welcome our champion back. Pornanong’s dramatic rise to the upper echelon of professional golf shows how much Thailand’s investment in developing golf infrastructure is paying off handsomely. With a lot of young and talented golfers emerging in the country, I won’t be surprised if Thailand becomes one of the strongest golfing nations in the near future.”