The fourth edition of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific championship has attracted a strong field, including 22 of the top-100 players in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR).
To be played on the Waterside Course at the Siam Country Club in Thailand from 3-6 November, Asia-Pacific’s premier women’s amateur championship will feature 71 of the region’s finest golfers from 22 countries.
Jiyoo Lim of the Republic of Korea is the highest-ranked player in the field at world number nine with three wins in the past year, but all eyes will be on Thailand’s world number 46 Natthakritta Vongtaveelap who is eager to make amends after last year’s championship in Abu Dhabi.
Renowned for her ability to hit the ball a long way off the tee, Vongtaveelap was leading by three shots going into the final round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club before she was reeled in by Japan’s Mizuki Hashimoto in the closing stages. She eventually finished tied second alongside compatriot Kan Bunnabodee and Australia’s Kelsey Bennett.
Major home hope
Thailand’s Atthaya Thitikul won the inaugural WAAP in Singapore in 2018 and Vongtaveelap and Oklahoma State University star Rina Tatematsu, world number 80, are two of eight players from the home nation hoping to follow in her footsteps.
Vongtaveelap, the 19-year-old from Bangkok, said, “Women’s golf in Thailand is very strong right now. We are not short of inspiration – starting from Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn to Patty Tavatanakit and Atthaya – we have had superstars who are amazing role models for all of us.
“The WAAP is the biggest championship we play in Asia-Pacific and is an amazing opportunity for us so early in our careers. We all dream of playing major championships and the girl who wins will be able to play two out of the five next year.”
The other players representing the host nation include Taglao Jeeravivitaporn (world number 114), Pimpisa Rubrong, Navaporn Soontreeyapas, Suvichaya Vinijchaitham, Achiraya Sriwong and Elia Galitsky, a quarter-finalist at last month’s R&A Girls’ Amateur Championship at Carnoustie in Scotland.