Benyapa Niphatsophon (Gift) secured her ticket to play in the US$1.6 million Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 after winning a 36-hole national qualifier held event at Siam Country Club Old Course in Pattaya on January 8-9.
The 24-year-old golfer from Bangkok shot a second round 7-under to win by four shots on a 9-under total of 135. Pavarisa Yoktuan, who took a two-shot lead after the first round, came in second on 139 in the 53-player field.
“I’m very satisfied with my performance,” said Niphatsophon following her victory. “The golfers were very determined because the opportunity to be competing in the Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 with world-class professionals does not come by easily. I would like to thank Honda and Sports Authority of Thailand for promoting this competition. I will train hard to develop the competitive skills of a top-level player in the near future.”
This year, Honda LPGA Thailand 2019, to be held at Siam Country Club from Feb 21-24, will carry the tagline “Dream Big”. The tournament aims to spark interest in golf and build passion among junior players to develop their skills and to pursue a dream of becoming professional golfers. This year’s tournament will feature 57 professionals from the 2019 LPGA Priority List, the winner from the Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions 2019, 2019 ISPS Handa Vic Open and 2019 ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open, as well as nine invited players and Niphatsophon, the winner of Honda LPGA Thailand national qualifier.
Three Thai women golfers have received sponsor’s exemption spots – they being Atthaya Thitikul, Pajaree Anannarukarn, and Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras – and all three have some notable achievements in their fledgling careers to date. Atthaya Thitikul (Jeen), 15, an amateur golfer, was the youngest ever winner of a professional tournament in The Ladies European Tour and also won the mixed team gold medal of the Youth Olympic held in Argentina.
She has experience playing in three majors in women’s professional golf: the 2017 Evian Championship, ANA Inspiration 2018 and Ricoh Women’s British Open 2018, earning particularly impressive scores in the latter two tournaments.
Pajaree Anannarukarn (Meaw) gained the 39th rank LPGA Q-Series that was eligible to LPGA tour and got a Tour Card for LPGA 2019 in the position of Rookie. Pannarat Thanapolboonyaras (Saipan) participated in her first LPGA Tournament in 2016. In 2018, she competed in 19 tournaments and her best result is achieving the 10th rank at the Blue Bay LPGA. She qualified from having participated in three Majors: the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open and Evian Championship.
The Road to Honda LPGA Thailand aims to further develop the sport and industry of golf in Thailand and also to raise the local standards of golf. Besides the Honda LPGA Thailand national qualifiers, the tournament is organizing two golf seminars; the Young Ambassadors Seminar on the 19th January 2019 for golf industry professionals to share in-depth knowledge of golf tournament management with a new generation and the Golf Leaders Conference which will be held on the 21st February 2019 to encourage golfers and industry experts to network and exchange experiences regarding sustainable development golf in Thailand.
For more information on the Honda LPGA Thailand 2019 and to purchase tickets, go to www.hondalpgathailand.com. VIP tickets are also available and offer access for hospitality services in the clubhouse at Siam Country Club Pattaya, Old Course.