Patty Tavatanakit, one of 14 major champions in this week’s Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open, has only played a links course one other time in competition, at the 2020 AIG Women’s Open. Though she missed the cut at Royal Troon, she came away with an appreciation for the challenges that links golf offered.
“You don’t have to be perfect. You can just scramble your way around the course and try to score out here, you don’t have to hit it perfect,” said Tavatanakit, who is making her first appearance in the TGWSO. “It’s something that I haven’t experienced a lot growing up in Thailand, in the U.S., it’s just not something that I’ve been playing a lot to be familiar with it. I think it’s different, and I feel like even though I didn’t play well last year at Troon, I still had fun.”
Since her maiden major championship title, Tavatanakit has displayed a confidence that’s shown in recent results. The young Thai has recorded four top-five performances since the ANA Inspiration, including a tie for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Tavatanakit then took an “unintentional” off-season soon after, withdrawing from the Marathon LPGA Classic when she felt her body wasn’t ready. Due to visa difficulties, Tavatanakit was then forced to pull out of the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational with playing partner Leona Maguire. And then the Amundi Evian Championship, the only potential preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Her Olympic appearance was her first event back and she finished T23 at -5 overall.
“It was actually pretty nice. I’m not complaining at all,” said Tavatanakit of the hiatus from the Tour. “I’m really refreshed and not burnt out. We’re in the middle of the season and that’s just a really good feeling to have and looking forward for more tournaments to play at the end of the stretch.”
As she looks ahead to a brand-new week at Dumbarnie Links, Tavatanakit said she feels her game coming together at the exact right time again.
“I’m really satisfied where everything is right now. I think it’s kind of in place. I’ve been looking forward to coming here and playing on a links course, so I’ve been preparing for that ever since the beginning of the season,” said Tavatanakit, who is currently third in the Race to the CME Globe standings. “My confidence is actually higher than last year. I feel like my swing is where it needs to be, a lot better than last year. I feel like I have more control in what the ball flights will do compared to last year. I’m just at a different stage compared to last year. I feel like everything just feels better, like I’m a little more rested. I’m looking forward to play, and ready for all the challenges with the weather. I’m just out here and I’m ready to play.”