Beth Allen from the United States is making her debut in the Ladies European Thailand Championship, which teed off this morning at Phoenix Gold Golf and Country Club in Pattaya.
Allen, the winner of the 2016 Ladies European Tour order of merit and three titles on the circuit, is no stranger to Asia, but this is her first time in Thailand.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s absolutely beautiful and the people are so friendly. Even though I’ve only been here two days I’m really growing to like it,” said the 36-year-old from San Diego, California, who bases herself in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Allen enjoyed a whirlwind welcome to colourful Pattaya. “Nine holes, happy hour, really good Thai food and a foot massage. I’ve had a good taste of Thailand already,” she added.
Allen will take home even better memories with a stand-out performance this week. Currently 59th on the LET Rankings after playing in two tournaments in Australia, where she placed 34th and sixth in the Vic Open and Canberra Classic respectively, she is looking to qualify for the European Majors, the Ricoh Women’s British Open and the Evian Championship, with a fourth LET victory.
On returning to the Ladies European Tour from the LPGA, she said: “It’s really nice to be back and I feel confident playing here. I like the golf course a lot so I’m excited to start tomorrow. You need to drive it well here and that’s a strength of mine and I’ve been putting well. As long as I hit greens it will be all good. It’s really nice to be back on the LET and I always feel really comfortable out here, so it will be good to get back into it.
“I’ve had quite a lot of success in Europe and I think the tour is like family to me, so it was nice to come back and see lots of friendly faces and people were actually really excited to see me! I really enjoy that about this tour. I think changing courses and countries suits me, because I’m quite adaptable, so that’s one of the reasons I’ve had success and hopefully I’ll have more success this week.”
Allen’s addition to the second Ladies European Thailand Championship, won by teenager Atthaya Thitikul aged just 14 last year, boosts a line-up of international players from the LET and the Thai LPGA.
The Thai LPGA Order of Merit leader Arpichaya Yubol, who only turned 16 a month ago, won the local tour’s last two events, while Australian Sarah Kemp is the highest ranked LET player in the field at second on the rankings and looking to land her first LET trophy on Thai soil.