BANGKOK (AFP) – Defending champion Ariya Jutanugarn on Tuesday shrugged off talk of pressure ahead of this week’s Honda LPGA Thailand, insisting she was “excited” to defend her crown on home soil.
The 26-year-old finds herself plastered over billboards around the Siam Country Club in Pattaya after storming to victory last year with a blistering nine-under-par final round.
But the two-time major winner, one of a crop of young Thais making waves in the LPGA, said she is looking forward to teeing off today.
“I felt like I’m more excited like what going to happen this week, not only for me, but for all the Thai players this week,” she said.
“And I don’t really feel pressure because I know everybody just want to support me.”
The former world number one and her older sister Moriya have been the vanguard of a surge of talented Thais, who now number 12 on the LPGA tour.
Among the 10 home golfers challenging for the USD1.6 million purse this week is Patty Tavatanakit, who last year bagged a major as her first tour victory at the Chevron Championship.
“I’m very happy that I can see all the new generation, a lot of Thai girls on Tour right now,” said Moriya.