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Rising Star: Phuket girl Ein, 17, lands on world golfing stage

PHUKET: Thailand has introduced many excellent players to the world’s golfing stage in recent years and Saranporn “Ein” Langkulgasettrin is looking like a solid bet to be the next one.


Matt Pond

Sunday 25 June 2017, 11:00AM


Saranporn hails from Chalong, in Phuket, but made her move to Bangkok in 2017 hoping to raise her game. Photo: Thaipga.com
Saranporn hails from Chalong, in Phuket, but made her move to Bangkok in 2017 hoping to raise her game. Photo: Thaipga.com

The 17-year-old Phuket native recently won the inaugural Singha Phuket Open 2017, but more recently, just last weekend in fact, she scooped her 10th title as a professional when she closed with a 4-under par 68 for a 4-stroke victory at the Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge. Ein finished on 13-under 203 in the tournament which was held in the Hubei province of China.

The Phuket News was lucky enough to speak to Ein following her win last Sunday (June 18) to find out more about her and her golfing career.

Born on December 9, 1999, Ein hails from Chalong and most of her education was undertaken at Satree School Phuket. However, in 2014, she made the move north to Bangkok to further her career as a pro golfer.

It was at the tender age of three when Ein first picked up a golf club; following in the footsteps of her golf-loving father, she explained, “When I was three years old my dad loved to play golf, every time he went to play he took me to the course and this is when I first picked up a golf club.

“That wasn’t such a bad move in my opinion as by the time I was nine I had won a charity golf tournament,” Ein said.

“After winning that event I told my dad how good it was to hold that trophy, I wanted to know how I could get more.”

And it was shortly after this initial trophy win that Ein’s potential was first recognised.

“I’m not exactly sure but I think it was one of my dad’s friends who first thought I could make it as a pro golfer. The friend told my dad that one day I’d be professional and would be seen on the LPGA tour,” she said.

When asked if the recent win at the Singha Phuket Open 2017 was her biggest win to date, Ein told The Phuket News, “Hmm, the Singha Phuket Open win wasn’t my biggest since I turned pro. My biggest win was at the ‘ICTSI Philippines Ladies Masters’ held in Alabang in the Philippines. This event was co-hosted by the Taiwan Ladies Professional Golf Association and Ladies Philippines Golf Tour back in December.”

Prior to her victory at the Singha Phuket Open 2017 a confident Ein had said that she felt that she would win the event, asked why she felt so positive, Ein said, “Well the main reason was because I was playing in my home town, and to be honest, that was the main thing on my mind.

“But the win didn’t really sink in until after the final hole when I thought to myself that I had really made it and that I must have made my home town proud.”

Since the Singha Phuket Open 2017 it’s been a full-on schedule for Ein that has seen her heading straight to Beijing to compete in the Le Coq Sportif Beijing Ladies Classic, which is part of the China LPGA Tour held at the Beijing Orient Pearl Country Club, where she finished in 8th position.

“Straight after that I went to Hong Kong for the ‘EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open 2017’ which is also part of the China LPGA Tour and held at the old Hong Kong Golf Club.

British International School, Phuket

“I finished in 4th place with rounds of 76-67-65 (+4,-5,-7) and came in 8-under par.

“And my last event outside of Thailand since the Singha Phuket Open 2017 was last weekend’s Orient Masters Wuhan Challenge, the third tournament of the China LPGA Tour season held in Hubei province.

“I shot 68-67-68 to finish 12-under par and give me the win,” she said.

And it wasn’t such a bad win as it was worth RMB75,000 (approximately B370,000).

Following the win Ein said her goal now was to prepare for the LPGA Tour qualifying school later in the year.

However, she also praised her father for his guidance and said her prize money would go to him.

“I’m just going to say hey, thank you for helping me as always. He’s always helping me in everything. He’s my friend, my dad, my coach, my manager, sometimes also my brother,” she said with a laugh.

When asked for her opinion on Phuket’s golf scene, Ein replied, “I think it’s got a lot bigger since I left Phuket, there are far more new golfers and I hope they can become good players.”

The Phuket News was also interested to know if Ein had a golfing dream she wanted to fulfil, and if she did, what would that be.

A very modest Ein said, “I want to play on the LPGA tour events representing Thailand. But if I manage to achieve this, it comes with a very big condition, my dad would have to either be watching me compete or carrying my bag,” she said jokingly.

And to prove how modest Ein really is, when asked if there was any particular person she looked up to in the golfing world and why she looked up to them, her reply, “Normally I don’t like to compare myself to anybody, I like to watch other players who are better than myself as this is one major way for me to improve my game.”

To wrap up the interview, The Phuket News asked if Ein if she saw herself becoming as successful as recently crowned World No.1 Ariya Jutanugarn?

Again, it was a modest reply, “Yes I wish I could be there one day. I’m not going to wish for it, but I will work for it!”

 

 

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