Patty Tavatanatik. Pic: ANA Inspiration.
Rancho Mirage, California, April 5: It was a tame finish yet again for Aditi Ashok, who shot even par 72 in the final round of the 2021 ANA Inspiration, the first of the five women’s Majors each year.
Aditi’s final round of 72 with three birdies and three bogeys saw her finish at 4-over 292 for the week in Tied-67th place, which was way below her expectations.
Thailand’s 21-year-old rookie Patty Tavatanakit claimed her first major victory closing out with a blemish-free 68 in the final round at an event where she the lead since Thursday.
Starting the final day five shots clear of a formidable chasing pack which included the world No.1 and four past ANA Inspiration champions, Patty held on for a win.
The strongest of her challengers turned out to be the 2016 Champion, Lydia Ko, who surged up the leaderboard with a stunning final round of 62 and finished just two shots back in second place.
Tavatanakit’s jump into Poppie’s Pond alongside her caddie Ryan Hogue was almost as impressive and stylish as her on-course performance. She said, “It’s amazing I’m still calm, there is some calmness in me. I don’t know why. But like I said, I just wanted it to be done since this morning, I didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. But I meditated twice this morning. Just be patient and I knew it was going to be hard out here and I got to be really strong mentally. So it feels great to be a major champion. It still hasn’t really sunk in yet the fact that I just turned 21 six months ago and now I’m a major champion in my rookie year. Just crazy.”
Tavatanakit had played the ANA Inspiration as an amateur in 2019 when she won the low-amateur medal in 2019. She said, “It’s an amazing, amazing feeling. I feel like I’m really grateful for all the opportunities I got from before AJGA for having me play here as an amateur, and also got an invite when I was in college. Really grateful for those opportunities to come and play, experience the course and know how it’s like to play in a major.”
Ko was philosophical as always when she spoke of her spectacular 62 which tied the lowest tournament round record of Lorena Ochoa in 2006. She said, “I was a little bit of a mess the first couple days. I made a lot of birdies — I made more birdies than bogeys thank goodness, but I was making a lot of like clumsy mistakes. Always no matter if it’s a major or just any other event we play, I think it’s great to finish your tournament on a high.”