November 30, 2023 1:55 am

20-year-old Thai golfer Atthaya Thitikul may not have won a tournament this season, but she did end up with a trophy in Naples, Florida. She secured the LPGA’s scoring title with a 69.533 average over 75 rounds, beating out Hyo Joo Kim by less than a stroke. This makes Thitikul the first player in the award’s 70-year history to win the scoring title without winning a tournament.

Thitikul is also just the second Thai golfer to lift the Vare Trophy, following Ariya Jutanugarn in 2018. “It means a lot,” she said after receiving the trophy. “It feels like we are heading in the right direction.”

Despite not winning any tournaments this year, Thitikul still had a strong season, finishing fifth at the CME Group Tour Championship and earning her 13th top-10 finish of the year. However, she acknowledged that a brief summer slump – two missed cuts in majors and a withdrawal after an opening round of 79 at the Women’s Scottish – challenged her confidence.

“I had no idea I was going to win the Vare Trophy,” she admitted. “In the middle of the season, I played really badly. But I’m just happy that I got over it and past it.”

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