Tavatanakit clinches honor with two events remaining in the 2021 season
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Oct. 25, 2021 – The LPGA Tour announced today Patty Tavatanakit has won the 2021 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award. Tavatanakit, who won the 2021 ANA Inspiration, clinched the honor following the finishes at the BMW Ladies Championship. Tavatanakit has earned 1,134 points through 17 events, and holds a 355-point lead over second-place Leona Maguire with two events left in the 2021 season.
Entering the BMW Ladies Championship, Maguire needed a sixth-place result or higher to have a chance at winning the award. Maguire ultimately finished in a tie for 61st, leaving Tavatanakit to clinch Rookie of the Year honors even though she did not play at LPGA International Busan.
“Earning this award is a dream come true for me,” said Tavatanakit. “It’s once in a lifetime. I’m so thrilled that I get to add my name to a spectacular list of recipients that I have looked up to for many years. This season has been one to remember, and I’m excited to finish 2021 strong as the Tour’s newest Rookie of the Year.”
Tavatanakit is the second player from Thailand to capture the honor, following Moriya Jutanugarn in 2013. The award was not given out in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tavatanakit became a 2021 LPGA Tour rookie after finishing second on the Epson Tour’s 2019 Race for the Card, where she won three times and earned Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year honors. The Thai native became a Rolex First-Time Winner at the ANA Inspiration, becoming the first Tour rookie to win the major title since Juli Inkster in 1984. In addition to her win, Tavatanakit has notched eight top-10 finishes along with two other top-20 results.
Following the 2021 AIG Women’s Open, Tavatanakit also clinched the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award based on her results at all five major championships. This past August she represented Thailand at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, finishing in a tie for 23rd.
With two events left in the 2021 season, Tavatanakit ranks in the top 10 in many statistical categories on Tour, including sand saves (No. 3, 60%), rounds under par (No. 6, 41), average driving distance (No. 7, 275.49) and scoring average (No. 10, 70.02). She is fourth on the Race to the CME Points list (2,208 points) and seventh on the 2021 Official Money List ($1,322,827). Tavatanakit is also third in the Rolex Player of the Year standings with 121 points.
Prior to joining the Epson and LPGA Tours, Tavatanakit was a seven-time winner and two-time WGCA First-Team All-American at UCLA. She was also the WGCA and Pac-12 Freshmen of the Year in 2018. She turned professional in 2019 after two seasons of collegiate golf.
Tavatanakit will receive the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award at the 2021 Rolex LPGA Awards ceremony, to be held Thursday, Nov. 18, 2021 at Tiburon Golf Club during the week of the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship.
Since its inception in 1962, 10 Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year winners have become members of the LPGA and World Golf Halls of Fame: Joanne Carner (1970), Jan Stephenson (1974), Amy Alcott (1975), Nancy Lopez (1978), Beth Daniel (1979), Patty Sheehan (1981), Juli Inkster (1984), Annika Sorenstam (1994), Karrie Webb (1996) and Se Ri Pak (1998).