Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit capped off an untouchable four days at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International presented by PIF, delivering a formidable seven-under-par round on the final day to finish 18-under, claiming her first victory since her major win as a rookie at the 2021 ANA Inspiration. 

The Thai star’s dominating win pocketed her the top prize of $US750,000 from the history-making $US5 million prize purse – the largest on the Ladies European Tour (LET) outside the majors, and still the only professional golf tournament to match the prize fund of the men’s equivalent. 

A calming presence on the course, Tavatanakit shrugged off any question of being chased down on the final day at Riyadh Golf Club, sinking an eagle putt on the fifth hole to propel her clear of competitors Esther Henseleit and Charley Hull early on. 

A near-faultless afternoon for Tavatanakit ensured she was able to get her hands on the Aramco Saudi Ladies International trophy, a moment she has worked hard for.

After Tavatanakit’s major win in her 2021 rookie season caught the headlines, the road back to the top of the leaderboard has been one littered with hardships, with the freshly crowned champion speaking frankly about her mental health challenges. 

“It’s been really difficult, but those struggles gave me a lot of strength,” Tavanakit reflected.  

“I learned a lot, and I grew a lot from it as well. Looking back, I’m grateful for all the moments, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”  

“You go down [mentally], and you’re down there to go up one day, and that’s kind of true with golf and life. I’m definitely getting the highs this week, and then we’ll see what the future holds.” 

“But today, I went out there like I came to play golf, and I had a lot of fun today. Regardless of the outcome I told myself to enjoy it, and I really did.”

Esther Heinseleit of Germany followed up a blistering seven-under 65 in round three with a solid three-under-par score on the final day, asserting herself in second place and earning $US450,000 from the lucrative prize fund. 

There was a late charge for Japan’s Minami Katsu, the eight-time LPGA Tour of Japan winner who recorded her first professional win at the age of just 15, in 2014. Katsu followed up a front nine of four-under par with a run of four birdies to begin her back nine, before finishing seven-under after a bogey on the 16th hole.

Meanwhile, England’s Charley Hull was unable to capitalise on her 68 from day three, but a respectable two-under round was enough to lock in a T-3 finish ahead of a big year for Hull, with Olympic aspirations on her mind. 

The prestigious tournament lived up to its much-anticipated billing in Saudi Arabia’s capital, with the history-making event attracting thousands of locals to Riyadh Golf Club across the four days.