TAVATANAKIT CONTINUES STELLAR PLAY
After 18 holes in just her third career Symetra Tour start, Patty Tavatanakit (Bangkok, Thailand) holds the outright Donald Ross Classic lead by one thanks to a 5-under par 66 on the Donald Ross Course at French Lick Resort this afternoon.
The performance comes four days after the former UCLA standout fired a bogey-free, 11-under par 61 as a tournament sponsor exemption in the final round of the Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. It was both a career low for Tavatanakit and 18-hole tournament scoring round.
“This morning I definitely didn’t feel like myself from the last few weeks,” said Tavatanakit, who carded five birdies and an eagle today. “I was definitely tired and adrenaline level wasn’t high. I jumped around, skipped, hopped a little on the course to bring it up since I was fatigued, now on my fourth straight week competing. The calmness is there because it has been a lot of golf. I feel like I’m doing the same thing over and over, sticking to the playbook.”
WEBER FINDS LOW NUMBER WITH BALANCE, NEW PUTTER
To begin her rookie campaign on the Symetra Tour, Dewi Weber (Groningen, Netherlands) played the weekend in seven straight starts with a season-best tied for fourth result at the Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout. Since, the University of Miami (FL) alumna has missed the cut in three of her last four events.
With no tournament last week, Weber spent time tweaking her game and polishing her entire practice process to maintain a balanced regimen moving forward. She also switched around putters, trading out the Scotty Cameron Select Newport 2 for a TaylorMade Spider X. The fixes allowed Weber to rekindle the groove she had to start the year, firing an opening round 4-under par 67 in southern Indiana.
“My swing starting in Arkansas was a little off, and I worked so much on that I forgot about the other aspects,” Weber said. “With my coach, we realized I should work on those things and in the week off, I started maintaining my short game and wedges better than before. Other thing is I had no confidence in my [previous] putter. Even though it is brand new, it already feels better and definitely in my head.”
DONALD ROSS COURSE FEELS LIKE HOME FOR KIM
A season-best round of 4-under par 67 on day one of the Donald Ross Classic has Hyemin Kim (Seoul, Republic of Korea) one shot back of the lead. The showing was also just the fourth time this year that the two-time Symetra Tour champion has scored under par.
“It’s a really nice feeling,” said Kim, who recorded five birdies. “I haven’t played that well since Florida’s Natural [Charity Classic] it feels like. Today was really amazing and I have more confidence about my game now.”
Much of that comfort can be attributed to the style of the Donald Ross Course. Every hole features an uphill climb, something Kim can relate to.
“In Korea, all the golf courses are like this,” Kim said. “We never play flat lies, everything is really hilly and basically made in the mountains, they cut through the trees. It’s more familiar for me to use the slope and not go for the flag, pick a certain target and see the ball roll back. That’s why I also feel really comfortable playing our Arkansas event [Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout].”
Ssu-Chia Cheng (-3, T4) on mentality this week and how she attacked round one:
“It’s a big week and there’s a lot of good players here. Everybody wants to win or finish top-three to make good money. I played last year and missed the cut, it is a little tricky especially the greens. You have to be in the right place for the pins or you can have a lot of trouble. The first couple holes left my birdie putts short, then adjusted and started playing pretty good.”
Leona Maguire (-3, T4) on her Donald Ross Classic opening round 3-under par 68:
“Played really solid all day, had my irons dialed in for most of the round which helped create some good birdie opportunities. An eagle on No. 5 jumpstarted my round and gave me some good momentum. Also had a great par save on No. 17, was on the top green plateau and chipped it close instead of putting it.”
Amy Boulden (-3, T4) on competing for the first time since The Forsyth Classic first round:
“I think I shot 81 and could feel it, had 40 putts and just thought about going home to see my coach, get a few things done. When you play every week, you can get into a few bad habits and go back to some old ways. That’s what happened with me and I wasn’t swinging it how I wanted to. It was hard to work on during tournament week, so I thought it was best to take a few weeks off then come back fresh.”
- Tavatanakit, 19, is a native of Bangkok, Thailand
- Attended the Keerapat International School in native country
- Winner of the Callaway Junior World Golf Championship in 2014
- Named the 2016 American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) Player of the Year
- Two-time AJGA winner in 2016 at Ping Invitational and Rolex Tournament of Champions
- Member of the West Team at the 2017 Wyndham Cup and finished with 4-0-0 overall record
- Seven collegiate victories during her two years at UCLA, as well as total of 12 career top-10s
- 2018 Women’s Golf Coaches Association (WGCA) and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year honoree
- Two-time All-Pac 12 First Team and WGCA First Team All-American selection for the Bruins
- One of nine players that ended under par in the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open, finishing T5 to earn low amateur honors
- Made professional debut at 2019 U.S. Women’s Open with T34 result and Symetra Tour debut at 2019 Island Resort Championship going T14
- Carded a career low and 18-hole tournament scoring record 11-under par 61 in the final round of the 2019 Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic as a tournament sponsor exemption