Posted August 22, 2021 in From The Tours by Tom Brassell
By LPGA Communications
2021 ANA Inspiration winner becomes the second player from Thailand to earn the honor
CARNOUSTIE, Scotland, Aug. 22, 2021 – Thailand’s Patty Tavatanakit has won the 2021 Rolex ANNIKA Major Award (RAMA), which recognizes the player who has the most outstanding record in all five major championships during the current LPGA Tour season.
Tavatanakit earned the honor thanks to her win at the ANA Inspiration and cemented it with a tie for fifth at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and a tie for seventh at the AIG Women’s Open.
The 21-year-old joins Michelle Wie West (2014), Inbee Park (2015), Lydia Ko (2016), So Yeon Ryu (2017), Ariya Jutanugarn (2018) and Jin Young Ko (2019) as winners of the prestigious award, which will be presented to Tavatanakit at the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship in Naples, Fla., in November. The award was not given out in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Points for the Rolex ANNIKA Major Award were awarded at all five major championships in 2021 to competitors who finished among the top 10 and ties. To earn the award, a player must have also won at least one of the five majors. Yuka Saso (U.S. Women’s Open), Nelly Korda (KPMG Women’s PGA Championship), Minjee Lee (Amundi Evian Championship) and Anna Nordqvist (AIG Women’s Open) were the other players to qualify this season.
Heading into the final major of the season, the AIG Women’s Open, 13 players had a chance of earning the RAMA with a win at Carnoustie. Entering the week with 72 points, six behind Rolex Rankings No. 1 Korda, Tavatanakit needed either a victory to win the award outright or to finish eighth or better to have a chance. She secured her tie for seventh at -9 after a final-round 67, earning six points and surpassing Korda by two in the standings. Korda ended the major championship in a tie for 13th and received no points.
Tavatanakit was the 2021 season’s first Rolex First-Time Winner with her victory in Rancho Mirage this past April. She became the sixth player on Tour history to earn her first career victory at the major and was the first LPGA Tour rookie to win the ANA Inspiration since Juli Inkster in 1984. Along with her win this season, Tavatanakit has accumulated an additional six top-seven finishes and also represented Thailand in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, finishing in a tie for 23rd. She currently leads the Louise Suggs Rolex Rookie of the Year standings with 970 points.
Tavatanakit earned LPGA Tour status for 2020 after finishing second on the Symetra Tour’s 2019 Race for the Card, winning three times and earning Gaelle Truet Rookie of the Year honors. She played collegiate golf at UCLA, winning seven events, and was a two-time WGCA First Team All-American.