Thai tyro ready to tee off in Adelaide
Thailand's Pornanong Phatlum is edging ever closer and closer to her breakthrough first LPGA career win. So close in fact, the world number 49 has had a second place finish in each of her last three seasons.
Phatlum finished tied for fifth at last week's Silk Bahamas event with -21. In 2016 she played 27 events and made 24 cuts with four top five finishes and a career best season scoring average of 71.15. With a strong 2016, Phatlum already has a vision of where she would like to be this time next year. "I want to finish in the top 30 of the Rolex Rankings and top 20 of the LPGA Money List," Phatlum said. "I also would like to win my first official tournament victory in the LPGA. Phatlum last played the Australian Open back in 2014 in Melbourne finishing tied for 57th, but she’s is looking for a more improved performance in her first visit to Adelaide. "I haven't played the Australian Open for three years, I would like to finish in the Top 20 this year," she confirmed. Phatlum is regarded as one of the most fashionable players on the LPGA Tour often wearing a fun colourful and stylish range of attire by a brand called Loudmouth. But her bright coloured clothing will be put on hold this season as she pays her respect to the late Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej by wearing only black and white colours. "My style is going to be the same as last year with my coolest sponsor 'Loudmouth'," a respectful Phatlum said. "But this year I will wear only black and white tone for paying my respect to our King Bhumibol Adulyadej." King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away peacefully on Thursday October 13, 2016, he was the longest reigning monarch and ended seven decades on the throne. Minutes after a statement from the Royal Household, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha was on Thailand's television announcing the nation would observe a year-long mourning period. Phatlum is not the only talented golfer within her family and credits her father Dusit for teaching the family how to play golf. Pornapong's sister Pornpun plays for the University and brother Pornpong plays as a professional in Asia. "I think I got my talent from my father, he played tennis and competed in the country then he change to play golf and I’ve loved golf since then,” she continued "Until my sister and brother were old enough to play golf so he taught them how to play and then taught me." "My inspiration is my father I love sports and he supports us no matter what if we still love to play golf.
Phatlum's also says her late coach Mr Supphaphorn Maphungphong was extremely influential to where she is today and it was his dream to see Thailand players on both the PGA and LPGA tours. "Another person is Mr Supphaphorn Maphungphong, he was my coach,” Phatlum explained. "Because of his dedication to golf in Thailand. He wanted to see players both Men and Women to play on PGA and LPGA Tours. "I will make both of my dream and his dream come true. "He passed away during 2007 LPGA Final Q-School so he didn't see me play in the LPGA Tour as he wished. Thailand have talented players coming through the LPGA, with Phatlum's close friend Ariya Jutanugarn rocketed up the world rankings in 2016 and is currently world number two. Ariya's sister Moriya is number 89 in the world and Nontaya Srisawang is 130th. Phatlum's strength is her consistancy with her straight drives but would certainly like to take her short game to the next level, especially under 50 yards.
Images- Pornanong Phatlum