A Cinderella story unfolded in Oregon for the LPGA’s Portland Classic as Chanettee Wannasaen took home her first professional title.
She fired off a bogey-free 63 on Sunday to claim her first title, running away from the field by four shots.
The 19-year-old LPGA rookie got into the field by qualifying and became the first Monday qualifier since Brooke Henderson in 2015 to win. It has been a season of struggles for the Chiang Mai, Thailand native.
“I don’t give up,” Wannasaen said. “I always work hard to improve my short game, improve my mind, improve my play. I do everything to get a trophy.”
Wannasaen missed nine straight cuts leading up to the Portland Classic. However, she put together some of her best golf of the season to finally get over that hump. She shot in the 60s all four days, going lower each day. Her 65 on Saturday was a season-low until she blistered the field on Sunday.
She made par on her first two holes, then went nuclear. Wannasaen made four birdies and an eagle on the front nine to go out in 30 strokes. Coming home, she made two birdies on the par-3 13th and par-4 14th. The rookie had one more birdie in her as she solidified her win on the par-4 17th.
“I’ve been waiting for the win for so long,” Wannasaen said. “I know I can do it — the result is not what I expected earlier in the year. I still want to build that up, and this week, I have a lot of belief that I can do it. Even for missed shots or making mistakes, I know I can fight back and do better and basically just believe in myself more.”
Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.