For the second time in 2022, 19-year-old Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand won a playoff against Danielle Kang at Walmart NWA on the LPGA Tour. Céline Boutier finished in the top 10, four strokes from the lead on a final and solid 65.

Walmart NWA Atthaya Thitikul defeats Danielle Kang in playoff

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This time around, the teenage prodigy triumphed with an aggregate score of -17 after 54 holes of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship (Walmart NWA) at the expense of American Danielle Kang on the second playoff hole.

Atthaya Thitikul, who posted a sumptuous 61 on Saturday, was 1 stroke ahead at the start of the last round, despite a rather slow start, with a bogey on the par-5 of the second hole. She played the first leg while being in par, the kind of figure that loses ground in a tournament where players regularly score very low. But she turned it around on the back nine with three birdies, including a whopping 6-yard string from the par-3 on the 17th. Atthaya Thitikul didn't realize it at the time, but that putt allowed him to share the lead with Danielle Kang.

"I didn't see the leaderboard until the 18th", said the teenager. “I thought a par would be enough (for the win). »

This was not the case, as Danielle Kang, who was playing three groups ahead, had gone all out with five birdies on the first 17 holes, and the crowning achievement of the week, an eagle pitch-in on the 18 from the left of the green. Her ball was so far below the surface of the green that she couldn't see the bottom of the flagstick. This eagle also allowed Kang to move to -17.

The 29-year-old American major winner raised her fist after the ball disappeared. Kang later said, moved to tears, that to return to competition after being away from the greens for months, to treat her illness, what she described as a spinal tumor was an immense joy.

The playoff began on the par-3 of the Walmart NWA 15th, which sits adjacent to the 18th green. Both players made pars and moved on to the difficult par-4 of the 16. Atthaya Thitikul played her 2nd shot 2.5 yards from the flag. She then tucked in her birdie putt to seal the win.

“On the second hole (of the) playoff, I had a chance to make a birdie, because it was not so far. So, in my head, I said to myself, “Do your best, even if it doesn't fit. Just do the best you can”. »

She did her best and that was enough.

Earlier in the year, Atthaya Thitikul won the JTBC Classic presented by Barbasol, also in a play-off. She was also voted Player of the Year 2021 on the Ladies European Tour.

Blue side

The French number 1 Céline Boutier, signs her 4th top 10 on her last 5 participations.
The Parisian played her game to finish four strokes from the playoff with a total score of -13, on a solid card of 65 haloed by two eagles on the last 5 holes.

For the two other French women in the running, Agathe Laisné signs a 46th place at -6 and Pauline Roussin-Bouchard finishes in 58th position (-4).


To view the full Walmart NWA leaderboard: click here

To read our last article on the same subject :

Walmart NW Arkansas Championship: Four French women entered