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Thitikul is LPGA Rookie of the Year

MIAMI (AFP) — Atthaya Thitikul, the Thai teenager who climbed to the top of the world rankings in October, has clinched the LPGA Rookie of the Year award, the tour said Thursday.

Atthaya, who has two victories so far this season at the JTBC Classic and the NW Arkansas Championship, was assured of the award after her nearest rival, South Korean Choi Hye-jin, withdrew from this week’s Pelican Women’s Championship — which has been shortened to 54 holes because of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Nicole.

Atthaya is the second straight Thai player to capture Rookie of the Year honors after Patty Tavatanakit last year.

Thailand’s Moriya Jutanugarn earned the award in 2013.

“It is such an honor to win the Rookie of the Year award, especially being the second consecutive player from Thailand to win this honor,” the 19-year-old from Thailand’s western Ratchaburi Province.

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