The 21-year-old rookie, who finally gained by two strokes, went into the ultimate day 5 photographs forward of the sector and was blissfully unaware of her rival tearing up the course forward of her.
Ko, who has gained 15 LPGA Tour occasions, equaled the course file set by Lorena Ochoa in 2016 by hitting a masterful 10-under 62 on the ultimate day however it wasn’t sufficient to overhaul the eventual winner.
“Didn’t look at the leaderboard at all today,” Tavatanakit mentioned after celebrating her win by honoring custom and leaping into the pool.
“I saw her [Ko’s] name up there, but I didn’t look at it. I wanted to play my own game, which I did, and did a really good job of that today.”
Ranked 103rd on the planet, Tavatanakit is the first rookie champion since Juli Inkster in 1984 and says it has been a “crazy” journey from her days within the novice ranks.
“It’s a dream come true,” Tavatanakit mentioned. “Every time I play here, I remember exactly I was on this green receiving my low amateur award and I saw they were jumping and I took a Snapchat and the caption was, ‘One day.'”
Ko had recorded seven birdies and an eagle on the first 11 holes in an astonishing last round earlier than falling agonizingly quick. She additionally set a brand new course file by hitting 29 after the first 9 holes.
The 23-year-old, who grew to become world No. 1 when she was simply 17, has been winless since April 2018 however will look to take confidence from her efficiency in California.
“I was actually thinking in my head, ‘I wonder if on the coverage they are going to be like, ‘Oh, Lydia Ko is back,'” she mentioned after ending runner-up.
“I hope it’s not the sense that I’m back to a position where I was or where I could be. I just want to be the best version of myself right now.”
The 50th version of the event, held at Mission Hills, was extra subdued than regular with followers nonetheless absent amid the pandemic.