Thailand’s Pavarisa Yoktuan is making waves in the golfing world as she becomes the only player in the field at the Buick LPGA Shanghai to record three consecutive rounds in the 60s. This impressive feat occurred when she carded a 3-under 69 on Moving Day at Qizhong Garden Golf Club.
Yoktuan started her week in the People’s Republic of China with two rounds of 68, putting her at 8-under and two shots behind the leader heading into the third round. On Moving Day, she began her day with three consecutive pars before making birdies on holes 4 and 6 to reach 10-under overall. She continued her strong play with another birdie on the par-4 8th hole but stumbled with a bogey on No. 9, finishing the front nine with a score of 34.
On the back nine, Yoktuan went birdie-bogey on holes 10 and 11, remaining at 10-under with seven holes to play. A birdie on the par-5 13th hole brought her back to 11-under for the tournament. She then followed it up with a pair of birdies on 16 and 17 but faltered with bogeys on 15 and 18. Despite the mixed bag of results on the back nine, Yoktuan finished her round at 3-under and ended the day at 11-under overall, just one shot behind the leaders Maja Stark and Angel Yin.
This achievement marks the first time since March that Yoktuan has recorded three consecutive rounds in the 60s. It is also the first time in her LPGA Tour career that she has carded three consecutive sub-70 scores in the first, second, and third rounds.
Yoktuan credits her comfort level in competing in China as the reason for her strong performance through 54 holes. She and her caddie, Pennapa Pulsawath, have focused on her commitment to each shot. This has been made easier by Yoktuan’s excellent ball-striking throughout the week.
She mentioned, “I didn’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I just go out there and play. Me and my caddie talk a lot that just go play your good golf because the past two days I’ve been hitting my iron pretty good, so just commit to it and don’t expect, look at the leaderboard. Just go play your own game.”
Yoktuan also has additional goals in mind. She is currently ranked 98th in the Race to the CME Globe and needs to secure her position within the top 100 to retain her LPGA Tour Membership for the 2024 season. She also aims to qualify for the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship by finishing in the top 60 in the Race to the CME Globe, a significant challenge as she needs to move up 38 spots in the standings.
Despite these high-stakes objectives, Yoktuan remains focused and optimistic about her performance, stating, “I know that I can do it. I know that I have the shot. I have the putt. So just go do your thing and commit to everything that you’ve been doing.”
With the elusive first victory in sight, Yoktuan understands the importance of controlling what she can and enjoying the process. She said, “It doesn’t matter as long as I’m happy with my golf game. Whatever I finish, I’m just happy to be here, and I’m happy with my golf game for the past three days.”
As Yoktuan heads into the final round of the Buick LPGA Shanghai, she holds her fate in her hands. A strong finish could see her secure both her LPGA Tour Membership for the next season and a coveted spot in the season-ending CME Group Tour Championship. All eyes will be on Yoktuan as she looks to make history as the 12th Rolex First-Time Winner of the season.