The next big thing? 14-year-old finishes third in tour event
17 Jan 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com
see also: Ratchanon Chantananuwat Rankings
Ratchanon Chantananuwat (Asian Tour photo)
Joohyung Kim, 19, won the Singapore Invitational in a playoff over Rattanon Wannasrichan on Sunday, but it was another teen who captured the hearts of the gallery at Tanah Merah Country Club.
, 14, briefly held the final round lead after playing his first nine holes at 5-under par, only to come home in 3-over, which included a double-bogey on No. 17, for a closing 69 and a third-place finish, missing the playoff by just two strokes.
The young Thai was attempting to become the youngest player, male or female, to win a world-ranked professional event, a distinction that belongs to fellow countrywoman Attahaya Thitikul, who was 14 years, four months and 19 days old when she won the 2017 Ladies European Thailand Open.
“People will look at those scores online, see those dropped shots, and think I played badly but I didn’t. I was trying so hard and playing well,” Ratchanon told the South China Morning Post.
Chantananuwat was playing in his first professional event overseas but has had success on the All Thailand Golf Tour, finishing second in the Singha Laguna Phuket Open, and in ties for third and fifth at the Singha Thailand Masters and Singha All Thailand Championship respectively.
He credits his golfing idol, Thongchai Jaidee, for much of his early success.
"The advice I’ve taken from most of them is to have fun out there," Chantananuwat told the South China Morning Post. "He’s not just a great player who has won multiple times on the Asian Tour, he’s also a really nice guy and he definitely tries to share what he has with me, and I think I’m really lucky with that and it’s really very valuable.”