Patty Tavatanakit grabs Honda LPGA Thailand lead; back-to-back wins in sight

Two things persisted at the Honda LPGA Thailand for the third straight day: the oppressive heat and Patty Tavatanakit scoring in the mid-60s.

Tavatanakit signed for a 6-under 66 Saturday, which included four birdies and an eagle on her front nine. That vaulted her up to 16-under for the tournament, three shots better than Madelene Sagstrom and Hye-Jin Choi through 54 holes. Tavatanakit began the day tied for the lead with Sagstrom and Sei Young Kim.

“I’m really proud of my performance today,” Tavatanakit said after her round.

“It’s getting very tiring, exhausting in the heat. I’m just going to conserve my energy and take on the challenge tomorrow.”

Temperatures have exceeded 90 degrees all week in Bangkok, Thailand, which is Tavatanakit’s hometown. She attended high school 30 miles from Siam Country Club—the site of this week’s tournament.

“There are a lot of obligations so far this week. I feel like I didn’t really have time to prepare. Still, I came into this week with an open mindset of learning this position that I’m in coming into a home event, being last week’s champion,” Tavatanakit said when asked about playing on her home soil.

Patty Tavatanakit, LPGA, Honda LPGA Thailand

Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images

“There is a lot of pressure, but I can look at it as an encouragement for me to feel happy to play in front of my fans.”

Tavatanakit, who won the ANA Inspiration—now named the Chevron Championship—in 2021, arrived in Bangkok fresh off a victory at last week’s Aramco Saudi Ladies International.

She is in a prime position to win once again, and should she go on to do so, it would be her first LPGA win since 2021.

Should she go on to win, Tavatanakit would become the first player to win back-to-back tournaments sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA since last summer. Celine Boutier won the Amundi Evian Championship and then the Women’s Scottish Open in back-to-back weeks.

It would be an impressive achievement for Tavatanakit, especially considering the heat, traveling from Saudi Arabia to Thailand, and the pressure to win in your hometown.

But she is keeping her Saturday plans light, hoping to feel fresh and ready to go on Sunday.

“I have a couple of plans, dinner with some friends, and ideally, just reserve as much energy as I can and use it on the course,” Tavatanakit said.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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