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Thailand’s Thidapa defends LPGA title

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Thidapa "Jasmine" Suwannapura of Thailand defends her title this week at the LPGA Marathon Classic. AFP

Thailand’s Thidapa defends LPGA title

Thailand’s Thidapa Suwannapura defends the biggest title of her career this week at the LPGA Marathon Classic while the rival she beat in a 2018 playoff, Brittany Lincicome, celebrates a new baby.

The 26-year-old from Bangkok, who goes by her nickname “Jasmine”, defeated Lincicome last year at par-71 Highland Meadows in suburban Toledo, Ohio, with a birdie on the first extra hole after finishing eagle-birdie to force the playoff.

“It’s a really good feeling coming back here,” Jasmine said. “Winning, it’s like telling me just don’t give up on things. You have to believe you’re good enough to be out here and you’re good at what you’re doing.”

The confidence from that victory has bolstered 106th-ranked Jasmine, who overcame a broken back in 2016 that forced a swing change upon her.

“It definitely took a lot of pressure off me,” Jasmine said. “I feel like I don’t need to concentrating on keeping my tour card. I’m actually concentrating on grow the game.

“Like my emotion, I feel way happier to play golf. I have more confidence and believe there will be a good day for me and I’ll probably win again sometime.”

Lincicome, meanwhile, has taken a break from the tour to have a baby and she gave birth to daughter Emery on Monday afternoon in Chicago, exactly eight weeks earlier than expected.

“Our little bundle of joy decided she didn’t want to wait anymore to make her grand entrance,” Lincicome posted on social media.

Lincicome, still ranked 47th despite her absence, posted that the baby was taken off oxygen support on Tuesday.

Jasmine’s best finish this season was a share of seventh at the Kia Classic in March, but since then she has cracked the top 45 only once in 11 starts, missing six cuts.

“I’m definitely working on my mental,” Jasmine said. “When a thing doesn’t go right for you, when you hit a good shot and somehow kick right, kick left, doesn’t go well on your day, you can’t just look down and say, ‘Oh, I had a bad day’.

“Your energy is going down and it affects your mood and everything. So I try to get better on that and see more positive things. It doesn’t matter if you hit a good shot. Doesn’t mean the result will come out good.

“Just tell myself I’m good enough to play from any shot in the golf course. You know, even though I hit it bad, I will be able to get up and down, make par from anywhere. I just work on believing that.”

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