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Young Phuket golfer continues her ascent

Young Phuket golfer continues her ascent

GOLF: Young Phuket golfer Namo Luangnitikul took a huge step forward in her development with a fantastic display at the recent SAT-NSDF Thai LPGA Classic, where her impressive form saw her secure the position of Top Amateur Winner.

By Muchanga Zebron

Friday 31 March 2023, 10:00AM

The 14-year-old student from British International School, Phuket (BISP) scored an overall 73:73:69 at the Royal Hill Golf Resort and Spa hosted event in Nakhon Nayok from Mar 8-10, finishing with a total score of -1 on the par 72, 6,385 yard course.

The SAT-NSDF Thai LPGA Classic is a major golf tournament in Thailand that attracts professional and amateur golfers from all over the country. The tournament format was stroke play over 54 holes, with the first round played on Wednesday, Mar 8 and the final round played on Friday, Mar 10. After 36 holes, the top 50 players and ties moved on to the final round.

The tournament was open to 120 players, with the top 50 professional golfers and ties exempt from qualifying. Namo’s victory is a remarkable achievement, especially considering the high level of competition in the tournament. She demonstrated excellent skills and determination throughout, exemplified by finishing the tournament with a birdie on the 18th hole.

“It’s great to see Namo progressing and competing at the Pro level,” commented BISP’s Golf Academy Coach Oliver Bates. “With Namo’s strong work ethic in both golf and academics, she is inspiring so many young golfers at BISP. Congratulations to Namo and I’m sure there will be more great results in the future.”

The SAT-NSDF Thai LPGA Classic is a crucial event for Thai golfers, providing them with an opportunity to showcase their skills and compete against the best in the country. The victory therefore marks a significant milestone in Namo’s golfing career and reflects her hard work, dedication, and showcases her potential as a talented golfer with an undoubted bright future in the sport.

Great achievement’

Namo’s victory is the latest achievement in a journey that has seen her excel in recent years. Most recently she finished runner up at the Blue Canyon Asian Junior Masters 2023, held in Phuket from March 3-5, following on from a fourth place finish at the 13th Singha Thailand Junior World Championships at Royal Hua Hin Golf Course on Oct 27-30 last year.

She secured a fourth place finish in the Singha Amateur Ladies Open in August 2022, a result which qualified her for the Thai national team, then travelled to Rajaprabha Golf Club in Surat Thani on Sept 3-4 to win the TGA Junior Ranking South event with a very impressive score of -3 after two rounds.

Brightview Center

Prior to this, Namo won the girl’s 12-14 age division at the Notah Begay Jr. Golf National Championship, presented by Trust Golf Suwanabumi Golf Club in Bangkok on June 4-5.

She also finished as runner up at the LLD International Amateur Championship at Laguna National Golf Resort in Singapore (May 30 - June 1) and secured second place at the TGA Southern #1 at Southern Hills Golf Club in Hatyai, Songkhla (May 14-15).

Just before this, Namo finsihed as overall champion in the girls division at the Asian Junior Masters 2022, held at Blue Canyon Golf Club in Phuket between April 29 and May 1.

Namo first secured her official world amateur golf ranking in October 2021 at the age of 12 after a string of strong performances at various tournaments endorsed by the R&A (the world ranking governing body). Most prominently was the TJDT-Invitation Phuket Sand Box Swing at Blue Canyon Country Club in October 2021 where she won the overall girls division which subsequently secured her official rank of 3,144 in the world.

“Achieving an official ranking at 12-years-old is a great achievement for Namo and I’m certain she will continue her rise up the world rankings,” a proud Oliver Bates said at the time. “She has proved herself as one of the top players in Thailand and continues to impress us at BISP with her attitude and commitment to both sports and academics. Congratulations and well done, Namo.”

Of course things have only gone from strength-to-strength for Namo since then and she currently sits at rank 457 – a considerable rise in a relatively short space of time for a young lady who we will no doubt be hearing much more of in future as she continues to shine.

- Additional reporting by The Phuket News

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