Tavatanakit rules the roost in Riyadh

Patty Tavatanakit fired a final round 65 to win the Aramco Saudi Ladies International by seven shots.

The 24-year-old Thai star lead from start to finish at Riyadh Golf Club in Saudi Arabia to win with a score of 18 under par.

It is a fifth professional victory, but her first on the Ladies European Tour since winning the 2021 ANA Inspiration, one of women’s professional golf’s five major championships.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve played this good,” she said. “It’s very emotional, I’m very emotional right now with how I have overcome that and looking back it was just one day at a time, keep working hard. I worked really hard to get here. To play this solid all week, I just want to thank my team. The coaches, the trainers back home, I really appreciate them. Thanks to Jason for sticking around as well.”

Tavatanakit began the final round with a three-shot lead and started with a birdie on the first ibefore sinking a 12-foot eagle putt on the fifth. She had a tap-in birdie on the par-three eighth when she hit her tee shot to just one foot and duly rolled in the putt.

After the turn Tavatanakit continued her charge with birdies on 11, 13 and 16, she did drop a shot on 17, but finished in style with a birdie on 18 to seal an emphatic victory.

Germany’s Esther Henseleit finished the tournament in outright second place after producing a round of 69  on the final day, while Japan’s Minami Katsu and England’s Charley Hull ended the week in a share of third place on nine-under.

Hull dropped shots on the 6th, 10th and 16th as she attempted to reel in the leader, but had two more birdies on the 12th and 15th  holes for a final round of two-under.

She said: “Top three is pretty good, I’m happy about that. I left so many putts out there today, I hit it so well. It was tricky. I felt like I didn’t putt too bad, but there were just some little mis-reads and I’m happy with my performance. My first event on the LPGA Tour a few weeks ago was a top-10 finish and then another top-10 here, so my game is definitely going in the right direction.”

Next week the LET heads to Rabat in Morocco for the Lalla Meryem Cup which takes place at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam from February 22-24.