DUBAI, Oct 15 – Pornanong Phatlum is hoping to cap off her silver jubilee birthday celebrations in style when she returns to defend her title at the 2014 Omega Dubai Ladies Masters to be at Emirates Golf Club from December 10 to 13.
The Thai ace, who turns 25 a few days before the event, conjured up a piece of magic on the final hole in 2013, drilling her 54 degree wedge to two feet of the cup for birdieto win the title on her debut in the season-ending Ladies European Tour event.
She believes fond memories of her victory will drive her to the success she needs to emulate the feat of Swedish legend Annika Sorenstam, the only player to have won back-to-back titles since the inception of the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters in 2006.
“This (Omega Dubai Ladies Masters) has the energy of a major on the Ladies European Tour. I really enjoyed playing in Dubai last year, and winning it on my first visit made it even more special,” said Phatlum, who has already crossed the $1 million mark in earnings since joining the LPGA Tour in 2009.
“Of course, it will be great fun to be back in Dubai, a city I like very much, and have an opportunity to win two in a row, but I will try not to think about it too much. They have such a strong field every year and anyone can win at any time,” said the world number 33, who boasts 10 professional wins, including two on the Ladies European Tour.
“Certainly, a strong finish, if not a victory, will be ideal soon after my birthday, but I am not too hung up on it. Of course, my goal is to win, but I can’t really control all of it. All I can do is to give my best, which I will and see what happens,” said Phatlum, who boasts four top-10s on the LPGA Tour this season with her best finish a tied third at the Bahamas LPGA Classic in January.
Mohamed Juma Buamaim, vice chairman and CEO of golf in Dubai, said: “We will be delighted to welcome our champion back. Pornanong’sdramatic rise to the upper echelon of professional golf shows how much Thailand’s investment in developing golf infrastructure is paying off handsomely.
“With a lot of young and talented golfers emerging in the country, I won’t be surprised if Thailand becomes one of the strongest golfing nations in the near future.Pornanong’s presence will further bolster the field and I am sure fans will turn up in large numbers to watch her defend the title. I also wish her a pleasant stay in Dubai.”
‘Golf in Dubai’ is backed by OMEGA as the title sponsor and Dubai (Dubai Aluminium) as sponsor. The confirmed co-sponsors are: CNN, Drydocks World & Maritime World, Emirates NBD, Gulf News, Jebel Ali Resorts and Hotels, Mercedes and was, while Dubai Duty Free, Neocasa Interiors and Motivate Publishing are the Patrons in golf in Dubai’s drive to showcase the emirate’s vibrant golfing scene to a worldwide audience.