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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. – After cracking her driver mid-round on Thursday at the KPMG Women’s PGA, Patty Tavatanakit finished the round driverless. She still shot 2-under 70, which was only three shots off the lead at the time and outdrove her playing competitors, Celine Boutier and Yani Tseng, with her 3-wood. It wasn’t until 6 a.m. ET on Friday when she received her replacement and still shot 1-under 71.
“I have a really, really good support system with people in Orlando. I’m really thankful for that,” said Tavatanakit, after one of them drove up from Orlando to Atlanta to deliver an old driver. “I didn’t really ask them to drive up, but they volunteered. They’re like, we’re so worried about you. We’re just going to drive up tonight and give it to you in the morning.”
Although she hit her ball down the middle on her first hole, No. 10, Tavatanakit didn’t feel comfortable with the lighter weight and different shaft.
“It didn’t really work today. I got around the course pretty well. I just tried my best to score, which I did. I decided to hit 3-wood on the last two holes because I was just so done with it,” said Tavatanakit, who had a steady round with two birdies and only one bogey – not bad for using an old driver. She’s four shots back of clubhouse leader Boutier, who shot an 8-under 64 on Friday.
In only her second year on the LPGA, Tavatanakit is already a major champion. At the 2018 U.S. Women’s Open at Shoal Creek, she was low am, finishing T-5. Three years later, the 2020 LPGA rookie won the ANA Inspiration wire-to-wire, finishing at 18 under par. Despite Tavatanakit’s driver adversity, the major champ is confident in what she can accomplish.
“Even though I had a slow start, I had to just keep my head down and keep telling myself that I did it before and I can pull it off again,” she said.