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Line-up at Siam Country Club includes defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn,  LPGA Tour Rookie of the Year Patty Tavatanakit and Race to CME Globe Leader Danielle Kang

 One of the strongest line-ups in women’s golf is preparing for the showdown at the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022, where hometown favourite and defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn will be aiming to retain the trophy she won last year, when she became the first Thai golfer to clinch the title. A two-time Major championship winner and former world number one, Ariya will head a star-studded cast of players in the US$1.6 million (about 53 million baht) tournament that will also feature a hole-in-one prize of an all-new Honda HR-V e:HEV RS variant at the 16th hole of Siam Country Club Old Course, Pattaya.

Thailand will also be represented by Major champion Patty Tavatanakit, who won the ANA Inspiration (to be known as the Chevron Championship) last season and is the LPGA Tour’s Rookie of the Year, Ariya’s sister and multiple LPGA Tour winner Moriya Jutanugarn, world number 14 Atthaya Thitikul and winner of this year’s Honda LPGA Thailand National Qualifiers, Chanette Wannasaen. The international stars in the field include Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions 2022 winner Danielle Kang of the United States, Hugel-Air Premia LA Open 2021 champion Brooke Henderson from Canada, 2021 Amundi Evian Championship winner, Minjee Lee from Australia, three-time Honda LPGA Thailand winner Amy Yang, also from South Korea, Japan’s 2021 U.S. Open winner Yuka Saso and 2019 British Open champion Hinako Shibuno, together with other top players from Asia, the United States and Europe. Among the Sponsor Invitees are fan-favourites and rising golf talents of Thailand, who include Prima Thammaraks,  Jaravee Boonchant and amateur player Rina Tatematsu, all of whom will get the opportunity to compete on a world-class stage.

Current Race to CME Globe leader, Danielle Kang from USA shared her excitement to return to Thailand and the Honda LPGA tournament, “The conditions of the course are great and I’m chipping better so far so that feels great. I always try to calibrate however the course is playing and I feel like I’m definitely adjusting better than I have in the past. My motivation this week is to minimise my mistakes. During the practice rounds, I’ve been hitting, putting and chipping well so I hope to put this into execution at the tournament as well.”

Minjee Lee who won the 2021 Amundi Evian Championship shared more on her game plan for the tournament saying, “I’m slowly getting back into the tournament mindset and readjusting once again. I’ve been working on my swings and putting and I’m quite confident in my approach shots as well which have always been the strength of my game.I feel quite positive as my iron play and my putting have been good on this course so far. I would say that my game is all in the right place and I just need to be focused mentally and physically so that it works out well.”

Canada’s 10-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson, who finished six at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore (on Sunday, March 6), also shared what she’s looking forward to at the tournament, saying: “I love it here in Thailand and I’ve missed being here over the last two years as it’s always an exciting tournament. Having friends on tour who are from Thailand also makes it very special to be here in the country they grew up in. It’s been a great start to 2022 for me, and it’s so much fun to be in contention and to be near the final groups over the weekend and I hope to continue that into this week as well. The course is in great shape and I feel it suits my game so I’ll try to take advantage of some of the holes and hopefully it works to my benefit.”

Speaking ahead of the tournament that will be held at one of Asia’s premier golf courses and the defence of her title, Ariya Jutanugarn said she was pleased to be back home and looking forward to the event. “Everytime I come back here, it brings back so many great memories that I have from playing at the Honda LPGA Thailand. Before I won the tournament last year, I always told myself that the Honda LPGA Thailand is one tournament that I have to win as it’s hosted here in my home country. It was great to see so many Thai players playing on the field last year so well last year so while I was rooting for myself, I was also rooting for them to do well. All these upcoming players inspire me so much and I know they also inspire the young generation which is definitely a good thing for the development of golf in Thailand. I don’t feel pressured this year but instead I feel very excited because I know I will do my best and I have the support from my family, friends and fans which I truly appreciate.”

Patty Tavatanakit added: “It’s great to be back here once again. I grew up watching this event and I went from being a spectator to an amateur player to now a professional player at the Honda LPGA Thailand. To watch Ariya win last year was such a great win for all Thai people so that was amazing to witness and be part of in 2021.”

Atthaya Thitikul said she too was looking forward to making the trip to Siam Country Club and hoped to do her best. Already with a Ladies European Tour win to her credit, having won the 2021 VP Bank Swiss Ladies Open, the 19-year-old said: “Alongside Ariya, Patty and all Thai players, it means a lot to us to be part of such a special tournament. I had pretty good results last weekend in Singapore and I hope to continue doing well here in Thailand this weekend. It is an honour to be part of this tournament organised by Honda, the Sports Authority of Thailand, IMG and the other sponsors of the event. It is great for women’s golf and especially good for golf development in Thailand – I cannot wait for the tournament.”

Winner of her first LPGA Tour title last season and a 22-year-old rising star from Bangkok, Pajaree Anannarukarn said she was happy to be back home and would give the chance of winning at Siam Country Club everything she has. “First of all, I’m just very glad to see that there are 11 Thai players on the field this year at this world-class event. It’s always been our dream to compete at a tournament of this level. Honda LPGA Thailand has always been a tournament I’ve admired, so it feels great to be here competing on the same field as the world greats.”

The Honda LPGA Thailand 2022 will take place at Siam Country Club Old Course, Pattaya Chonburi province from March 10-13, with a limited number of invited guests. To ensure a safe environment, the tournament will adhere to the guidelines provided by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the Department of Disease Control. Golf fans can tune in to live broadcasts and streaming of the event on the Official Broadcast Host PPTV HD 36 and their digital platforms: www.pptvhd36.com, Facebook, YouTube and the PPTVHD36 application over the four days of the tournament.

For more information and updates on the Honda LPGA Thailand 2022, visit www.hondalpgathailand.com or follow us on Facebook  at www.facebook.com/lpgaThailand or Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/hondalpgathailand.