STILLWATER, OK (October 10, 2016) -- Paphangkorn Tavatanakit of Bangkok, Thailand, broke AJGA PING Invitational tournament total record at 12-under-par 204 for her second Invitational victory. Noah Norton of Chico, California, carded a final-round 3-under-par 69 to win his first Invitational title at 6-under-par 210.
Tavatanakit broke Esther Choe’s 2006 tournament record of 6-under-par 210. Ranked No. 8 in the Polo Golf Rankings, the UCLA verbal commit earned her first Invitational win earlier this season at the Rolex Tournament of Champions. She started her final round three strokes clear of Lucy Li of Redwood Shores, California, and notched six birdies during the round for a 3-under-par 69, one of only three girls’ rounds under par. Her victory helps boost her resume for end-of-season honors, including Rolex Junior Player of the Year, as The PING Invitational is the final counting tournament in the 2016 season.
“I’m grateful,” Tavatanakit said. “It’s always great to come back and win another Invitational. It’s been my goal since I got back for summer. I’ve been working hard and looking forward to this tournament. I just didn’t expect anything except to be the happiest golfer on the golf course.”
Li finished at 4-under-par 212 in second place in her second AJGA appearance. Hailey Jones of Dallas earned a third-place finish at even-par 216, while Allyson Geer of Brighton, Michigan, and Gina Kim of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, rounded out the top five with T4 finishes at 2-over-par 218.
In the Boys Division, Norton, ranked No. 68 in the Polo Golf Rankings, started the day two shots back of playing partners Noah Goodwin of Corinth, Texas, and Kristoffer Reitan of Oslo, Norway. He posted three birdies on the front to take the lead making the turn. The Georgia Tech verbal commit had a two-stroke lead going into No. 18, but a birdie on the par-5 helped seal the deal for the first-time Invitational winner. His first Invitational appearance was the 2015 PING Invitational, where he finished T10. His previous victory came at the Bishops Gate Golf Academy Junior Open in 2015.
“It’s pretty special,” Norton said of his victory. “Last year, this was my actual first Invitational I played in. So it’s extremely special for me to be able to come back and play as well as I have and take home the win.”
After a record-setting Sunday with a 9-under-par 63, Goodwin finished in second at 3-under-par 213. This is Goodwin’s third second-place finish of the year. Ricky Castillo of Yorba Linda, California, finished in third at 1-under-par 215. The University of Florida verbal commit won the Winn Grips Heather Farr Classic hosted by Longbow Golf Club earlier this year. Andrew Lewis of Carmel, Indiana, finished at 1-over-par 217 in fourth, and Philip Barbaree of Shreveport, Louisiana, finished in fifth at 4-over-par 220. Evan Katz of Washington, D.C., Davis Shore of Knoxville, Tennessee, Sean Maruyama of Encino, California, and Khavish Varadan of Wesley Chapel, Florida, tied for sixth at 6-over-par 222. Matthew Wolff of Agoura Hills, California, rounded out the top 10 at 7-over-par 223.
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