There’s a pair of Thai players on top of the leaderboard in Thailand. One of them has been No. 1 in the world. The other is leading by four while playing on a sponsor exemption.
Twenty-year-old Natthakritta Vongtaveelap shot 8-under 64 on Saturday to increase her lead to four shots over reigning LPGA rookie of the year Atthaya Thitikul with 18 holes to play at the Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club. Vongtaveelap, who got into the field after winning a national qualifier earlier this year, is one round away from a life-changing victory.
“Really good today,” she said of Saturday’s round. “Perfect.”
Vongtaveelap turned professional last November after advancing through the first two stages of LPGA Q-School. She earned LPGA membership for 2023 after finishing in a tie for 28th at LPGA Q-Series.
Her third round started with an eagle and she closed with three consecutive birdies. Vongtaveelap has only two bogeys on the week. She said the Thai crowds have been extremely supportive.
“I try to be myself, be with the game, and I think I can make it,” she said.
Thitikul matched Vontaveelap with a round of 64. Celine Boutier is in third at 15 under. World No. 1 Lydia Ko and No. 2 Nelly Korda are at 13 under and T-7.