Patty Tavatanakit Wins ANA Inspiration for First Major Title

By Nick Heidelberger

Patty Tavatanakit hoists ANA Inspiration trophy

Patty Tavatanakit won at every level as she climbed through the amateur and professional golf ranks, and after a thrilling week at the 2021 ANA Inspiration, there’s no higher level for Tavatanakit to prove herself.

The 21-year-old secured her maiden LPGA Tour and major championship win in impressive fashion, shooting 18-under par with four straight rounds in the 60s to earn a two-stroke ANA Inspiration win over Lydia Ko at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, California. Tavatanakit eagled the second hole and fired a bogey-free 68 in the final round to hold off Ko, who made a charge with a Sunday 62.

“It feels great to be a major champion,” Tavatanakit said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet. I just turned 21 six months ago and now I’m a major champion in my rookie year, just crazy.”

Tavatanakit, who ranks second on the LPGA Tour in driving distance, played to her strength by averaging 323 yards off the tee for the week to lead the field. She hit 61 of 72 greens in regulation for the tournament and averaged 29 putts per round. Tavatanakit cashed a $465,000 first-place check for winning the ANA Inspiration, the LPGA season’s first of five major championships.

Tavatanakit's Rise to the Top

The LPGA rookie won seven times and twice earned first-team All-America recognition during her collegiate career at UCLA. It’s the first major win of her young career, but it’s not her first taste of success at a major. Tavatanakit was the low amateur and finished T5 at the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open.

In 2019, Tavatanakit dominated the Symetra Tour, racking up three wins, leading the tour in scoring average and finishing second on the money list to earn LPGA Tour status for 2020.

Rounding Out the Top Six

Ko vaulted up the leaderboard with a 7-under par 29 on the front nine en route to her final-round 62. At 16-under for the tournament, she finished five strokes ahead of four players who tied for third, including Sei Young Kim, Nelly Korda, Nanna Koerstz Madsen and Shanshan Feng.

Image: Michael Owens/Getty Images Sport via Getty Images

About the Author

Nick Heidelberger is the Editor of GolfLink and an active member of the Golf Writers Association of America (GWAA). He covers all things golf, from the professional tours to rules, equipment, style, and golf history. In the years prior to joining GolfLink, he worked for the New England Section of the PGA of America. Nick has a degree in journalism from the University of Idaho and has been an avid golfer for more than 10 years.