Golf | “Summer Finnish” golf star Atthaya Thitikul, 18, received a Moomin greeting from the Ambassador

Atthaya Thitikul and his assistants have maintained their European base in the metropolitan area during the summer.

16.7. 18:24

Turku

Thais wai bends were enough on both sides when the 18-year-old golfer Atthaya Thitikul met his compatriots living in Finland in the women’s European tour (LET) competition in Turku.

Collective photos were taken in the dark of the clouds, and Thitikul distributed game balls signed to his supporters. Among them was also the recent Ambassador of Thailand to Finland Chavanart Thangsumphant, who handed Thitikul a Moomin bag.

The autographs may have special value in the future, as all indications are that Thitikul is gaining momentum to become a world-class player.

Atthaya Thitikul posed with Chavanart Thangsumphant, the recent Thai Ambassador to Helsinki, from whom he received a Moomin bag.

Thitikul was only a 14-year-old amateur when in 2017 he won the LET competition as the youngest player of all time.

As an amateur, he rose to number one on the world list, and his professional career, which began in 2020, has consistently progressed to the top.

So far, Thitikul has won three LET races, and a fourth was also close recently. This season, he has played five races in Europe and placed four times in the top six.

The Czech Republic won, and last week in London it resulted in second place after a rematch. From these bases, Thitikul leads the LET rankings this season.

The familiar pace has continued initially in Turku. The opening round of the Gant Ladies Open went with 69 strokes, bringing the split third place.

In contrast, the second round in windy weather was not as successful. There were 73 punches, but the ranking remained close to the top.

Finland and Turku are not any competition stop for Thitikul. This is because Thitikul has been a kind of summer Finn in recent months.

Due to the travel restrictions caused by the corona pandemic, Thitikul needed a base in Europe for the intervals between the races, and one was unexpectedly found in Finland.

“It has been nice to be in Finland. I really liked it. Everyone here has helped me a lot, and I have received support from Thais living in Finland, ”Thitikul told HS.

With these prospects, Thitikul is away from his homeland on a stretch of travel lasting about six months, accompanied only by his manager and professional cadads. The trio have lived on a couple of occasions for about a week in the metropolitan area.

In a key role Thitikul’s arrival in Finland has been an entrepreneur from Viht, who has lived in Thailand for a long time Juha Ritvala, known as a promoter of golf co – operation between Finland and Thailand.

Ritvala assisted with Thitikul’s manager Kanes Nitiwanakulia obtaining visas and other matters related to entering Finland. The duo have known each other well for a long time.

According to Ritvala, the case began more than a year ago. The starting point, of course, was that Thitikul will play in the 2021 LET of the season.

“Actually, it left my side. I told them that as soon as the LET calendar is ready, let me know and we will arrange the best facilities for them in Finland. A lot has had to be done. The Finnish Embassy in Bangkok helped and advised a lot on visa issues, ”said Ritvala.

Second An important person in helping Thitikul’s team in Finland has been Espoo Golf’s CEO and CEO Markku Ignatius, a well-known golf influencer.

“Espoo has been a spiritual base for them through Meikäläinen, but the accommodations have been in the places they see best. They have been extremely careful about the corona, ”Ignatius said.

The Thai trio have stayed in Espoo and Vantaa, including an Airbnb apartment.

Ingatius has helped them, above all, in arranging the training conditions.

Thitikul has practiced for long days on the courses of Espoo Golf Club and Gumböle Golf, as well as Kytjä (Hyvinkää), Pickala (Siuntio), Master Golf (Espoo) and Hills (Vihti). He also visited in good time to explore this week’s race arena at Aura Golf.

“The fields have really positively collaborated and wanted to help. The idea has been that Atthaya should learn and experience different types of fields and greens. So they are trying to learn and study new conditions, ”Ritvala said.

Golfing Thitikul became acquainted at the age of six.

“When I was little, my health wasn’t very good. My parents wanted me to start doing some sports for health reasons. I ended up playing golf because it’s a global sport, like tennis. ”

In May, Thitikul was on the verge of achieving the right to play for the world’s number one tour of the LPGA.

At the time, he finished second in the LPGA race in Thailand and lost only to the winner of the beat and his compatriot To Ariya Jutanugarn, who also went to the LET race in Finland more than ten years ago as a teenager to gain momentum in his career.

Access to LPGA is a clear goal for Thitikul. “It’s everyone’s dream,” said Thitikul, known by the nicknames Jeen and Jeeno.

At the end of the year, Thitikul plans to take part in the LPGA qualifier, the final stage of which he is likely to reach directly, as he will be placed in the top five of the LET rankings.

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