19-year-old birdies second playoff hole to win her second LPGA title.
Atthaya tied a tournament record with a 10-under par 61 on Friday.
Atthaya will move up to fourth in the world rankings on Monday.
Atthaya Thitikul of Thailand made a birdie putt on the second playoff hole to defeat Danielle Kang and win her second LPGA title at the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday.
Atthaya, 19, began the day with a one-shot lead over Japan’s Yuka Saso. She shot a final-round 68 with four birdies for a 17-under-par 196 total at Pinnacle Country Club.
Meanwhile, Kang, competing in her third tournament since June following treatment for a tumor on her spine, shot a seven-under-par 64, capped by a hole-out eagle on the 18th, to surge to the top of the leaderboard.
Both players parred the opening playoff hole, a par-3.
At the next hole, the par-four 16th, Atthaya found the fairway, while Kang was just right of the fairway. Atthaya’s second shot landed 12 feet from the hole, while Kang’s approach hit the putting surface.
Atthaya calmly rolled in the winning putt after the American’s putt from the short greenside rough sailed past the hole.
Kang was not at all dissatisfied.
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“I’m just really proud that I’m even here,” said Kang, who broke down in tears during her post-round television interview. “Obviously I wanted to win, but these are, like, tears of joy.
“I mean, there was part of me that I didn’t think I would ever play again or contend, but here I am. I’m not that far off, and I’m happy about that.”
Atthaya, who tied a tournament record with a 10-under par 61 on Friday, stated that competing against Kang increased the level of pressure.
“I just feel playing with Danielle was kind of tough, because she’s a great player, won a lot on the LPGA tour,” she said.
Atthaya, who won the Ladies European Thailand Championship as a 14-year-old amateur in 2017, is anticipated to move from fifth to fourth in the world rankings on Monday.
Since winning her first LPGA championship in March, she has finished in the top 10 at the Women’s PGA Championship, the Evian Championship, and the Women’s British Open.
She is the fourth player with multiple victories in 2022, joining three-time winner Jennifer Kupcho, and two-time winners Minjee Lee and Brooke Henderson.
She is also the fourth Thai player to win multiple times on the LPGA tour, a list topped by Ariya Jutanugarn’s 12 victories.
Following a second-round score of 63 with a score of 65 for a total of 197, South Korean Chella Choi finished third. Thailand’s Pornanong Phatlum placed fourth with a score of 199, while Saso faded with a score of five over par.
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