Prima Thammaraks (Bangkok, Thailand) got into the Ricoh Women’s British Open last week through a 5-spot qualifier at the LPGA’s event (Marathon Classic). The top five players after the first two rounds that weren’t already qualified for the Ricoh Women’s British Open received a spot. Thammaraks shot 68-68 to earn last minute entry into the fourth major of the season.
She will play in the FireKeepers Casino Hotel Championship this week and then head to Scotland to compete next week in her first LPGA Tour major championship. On Monday, she will fly from Chicago to New York to Edinburgh.
“I’m so psyched to play,” said Thammaraks, who tees at 7:52 a.m. on Friday at Battle Creek Country Club. “This is the biggest event I’ve ever played in and I’m just so thrilled to have the opportunity to play on a grand stage in Scotland where golf started.”
After earning a spot in the British Open, the first order of business was getting a visa to travel to Scotland. At first, she was notified that she would have to fly to either New York or Los Angeles so she booked a ticket to New York. She did some research and realized that she could get a visa in Chicago, which is just four hours from Sylvania, Ohio – home of the Marathon Classic.
“I found an application center in Chicago so I cancelled my tickets to New York on Monday night and drove to Chicago on Tuesday,” said Thammaraks, who woke up before 4:00 a.m. to arrive in Chicago before 7:30 a.m. “I had to hand my stuff in before 10:00 a.m. to make sure I got my visa.”
Thammaraks had to pay $1,400 for the visa and even called her parents to make sure it was worth it. They confirmed her belief that no price wasn’t worth playing for the magnitude of the opportunity that she earned. Her parents, Supoj and Piriyapom, are so excited that they are flying from Thailand to meet her in Scotland.
Thammaraks arrived in Battle Creek on Thursday afternoon, came into the tournament office to register and then went out to practice. She won’t see the golf course until her first shot on Friday, but the good news is that she played at Battle Creek Country Club last year and finished T40.
“I’m going into this tournament really excited about everything,” said Thammaraks. “I know I’m going to play well with this mindset. Obviously, top five and winning would be amazing, but everybody is playing well out here. It’s anyone’s game.”
Thammaraks missed the cut in her first four starts on the LPGA this year and recently went back to Thailand to reset and work on her game. She returned to the U.S. and took a lesson with the Vision 54 team in Illinois before her success at Marathon. She credits Vision 54 for helping her feel excited and comfortable again on the golf course.
The former Iowa State golfer has made eight starts on the Symetra Tour this year. Her best finish is a tie for 14th at the Symetra Classic.