There’s a widely held superstition in golf circles that it is unlucky to touch the trophy before a tournament, which may explain why the top Thai golfers in this week’s inaugural Ladies European Thailand Championship adopted a slightly modified pose for the above photo. However, in this morning’s opening round at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya, it seems that the local players cannot wait to get their hands on the trophy.

The players jostling for pole position on the leader board include Chonlada Chayanun, a 24-year-old nicknamed ‘Koi’ from Nakhonrachasrima, who was a 2015 ISU Athlete of the Year at Iowa State University.

Prima Thammaraks from Bangkok, nicknamed ‘Pim’, the winner of the ALPG Tour’s 2017 RACV Gold Coast Challenge at Royal Pines in Australia, the venue of the former RACV Ladies Masters on the LET until 2016, is also in the mix, as is Parinda Phokan, 20, from Khon Kaen, nicknamed ‘Best’, who also has one victory on her CV, at the 2015 Thai LPGA Championship at Royal Hill Golf Resort and Spa.

Meanwhile, the LET’s youngest member, rookie professional Madelene Stavnar from Norway, aged 16 years and 6 months, is among the rising European stars in the hunt, along with English pair Gabriella Cowley and Inci Mehmet and Sweden’s Jenny Haglund and Emma Nilsson.

Conditions are currently comfortable, with temperatures of 30C and a cooling breeze.

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