Teenaged Thai Hopeful Aims to Outshine the Men

Thai teenager Pornanong Phatlum will be hoping to emulate American Michelle Wie by trying to qualify for the weekend during next week’s Bangkok Airways Open.

Wie became the first female player to play all four rounds of an Asian Tour event when she took part in the SK Telecom Open in Korea in 2006.

Now, 18-year-old Pornanong is hoping to do the same thing when she tees up at the Santiburi Samui course.

The Asian women’s number one first showed a hint of her potential when she won the 2005 Hong Kong Women’s Open and has since claimed the top rankings on the Ladies Asian Tour, Orient Tour China and Taiwan Ladies Tour. She said on the Asian Tour’s webstie:

“I am very excited and happy as I am the only female player invited for the Bangkok Airways Open. I have been practising from the men’s tee in preparation for this tournament. I’ve played at the Santiburi Samui course previously and found it to be quite a challenge, so I hope to be more prepared this time around.”

Former PGA Tour player Scott Hend, of Australia, is among the main contenders for the title along with defending champion Lee Sung, of South Korea, Thailand’s Thaworn Wiratchant and Taiwan’s Lu Wen-teh.

Pornanong has competed against men before, finishing third at the 2006 Singha Masters in Chiang Rai, where she hit off the ladies tees.

The tournament is being played on the exotic Thai island of Koh Samui, where Pornanong’s main priority will be making the cut.

Leave a Reply