Patty Tavatanakit is back in the top 5 for the first time since the 2022 Chevron Championship. A 6-under par final round boosted the 23-year-old to T3 at the DIO Implant LA Open, her best result since she finished T3 at the Honda LPGA Thailand in 2021.
After winning the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year award in 2021, Tavatanakit struggled in 2022, making just 11 cuts in 21 starts. This season has already been kinder to the young prodigy from Thailand and Sunday’s result is just a glimpse of what’s to come.
“This is Patty 2.0,” Tavatanakit said after her final round at the Palos Verdes Golf Club. “Nothing can really be the same. I can’t really go back to being who I was because so much has happened. I feel like I’m coming back to myself a little bit more. Being able to play freely and confidently is a really nice feeling.”
Tavatanakit credits the change to her team. Over the past few months, she has been focusing heavily on the mental side of her game along with the technical, and she has seen marked improvement.
“Chris Mason has been helping me these past six months,” Tavatanakit said “I feel like I was trending in the right direction, it was just a matter of time. He helped me a lot on self-talk and just being more kind to myself. Being on the course and managing self-talk and just a little bit more positive stuff than before really helped.
“It’s been really helpful I’m really happy with everyone on my team right now, including my trainers as well.”
Besides being a clear display of Tavatanakit’s progress, ending this week with a low score was also a huge confidence booster. It was especially encouraging to have played so well at the Palos Verdes Golf Club, a course the UCLA alum is more than familiar with.
“I’m a lot more confident than where I was even a week ago,” she said. “To be able to close it off and post a really good round today, I was really proud of myself. I had so much scar tissue from this course. I played here in college and the back nine is not easy. I was really being patient and I think that helped a lot.”
Tavatanakit found seven birdies and just one bogey in the final round, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation and needing just 28 putts to make it through the course. During her press conference, which was crashed briefly by Jessica Korda, Tavatanakit credited both her putting and Korda with her success.
“Just executing shots and I was having good feelings with my putter on the back nine,” Tavatanakit said before Korda jumped in.
“Were you also having really good feelings because you were playing with me?” Korda asked.
“Definitely,” Tavatanakit replied with a smile. “Jess helped a lot. Every time I play with her, I play well.”
Tavatanakit has a two-week break ahead of her and doesn’t plan on letting the time off take away any of the momentum she’s gathered this week.
“I feel like I still have a little bit to work on, but if anything, just maintaining what's good and just a little bit here and there what could be better, and just have fun and rest these two weeks off,” she said.
Hopefully, when Tavatanakit returns to the tour for the Chevron Championship, she’ll be paired with Korda again. If not for good golf, then just for some good fun.