Atthaya Thitikul did not start her 2023 AIG Women’s Open campaign how she wanted after she made a quadruple bogey on the first hole of her first round.
The Thai star found trouble off the tee and then ended up hitting a tree on her second shot to eventually walk away with an eight on the opening par-four at Walton Heath.
However, the 2021 Race to Costa del Sol champion fought back in style and has successfully climbed up the leaderboard heading into the weekend of the final major of the year.
She said: “I bounced back because I kept it on the fairway! I’m super proud of myself, it also released everything out of my mind. A couple of months ago, I struggled with the mindset because I was in my head a lot. I have released it and now I think I play more free.
“It’s still a good week for me because I had an eight on the first hole, but I have still made the cut in the second round and bounced back. It means something, it means we are in a good sign.”
On day one, Thitikul was five-over-par after her first five holes but soon turned around her day with consecutive birdies on seven and eight.
She made another birdie on eleven before a double bogey on 15, but that immediately got cancelled out thanks to her sinking a stunning eagle putt on 16 for an opening round of 74 (+2).
The four-time LET winner, who was playing alongside France’s Celine Boutier and England’s Georgia Hall, had a brighter start on day two rolling in birdies on holes four and eight.
The 20-year-old made another on 11 and dropped her only shot of the second round on 12, but she soon rolled in three birdies on the trot on 14, 15 and 16 to seal a round of 67 (-5) and move into a tie for ninth place on three-under-par.
“I think today, it was like yesterday condition-wise and it was the same with the wind,” she explained. “I’m trying to tell myself that there are some holes where it is tough to make a birdie and then I tried to tell myself to escape the heather, keep it on the fairway and then give myself a lot of chances to make birdie.
“If you keep it on the fairway, it’s key for this course because if it’s in there it’s hard to bounce back. It depends on luck as well. You walk there and you think how is my lie going to be because if it’s a bad lie then it’s really tough to bounce back.
“Keeping it on the fairway is the big key and the putting as well because there are a couple of holes where it’s 3-wood then 3-wood for the second shot, then I had a long putt, so the speed is important as well.”