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Patty Tavatanakit: 2021 LPGA Rookie of the Year

LPGA Tour golfer Patty Tavatanakit

The 2021 LPGA Tour season isn't over yet, but Patty Tavakanakit has clinched the tour's Rookie of the Year Award. The LPGA uses a points formula for its awards (as opposed to a players' vote), and Tavatanakit's lead over second-place Leona Maguire is insurmountable. So she is the Rookie of the Year winner.

Now, if you are a fan of the LPGA and of Patty, as we obviously are, you might have realized something: 2021 was not Patty's rookie year on the LPGA Tour. She was a tour member in 2020 and played 14 tournaments. In normal times, therefore, Tavatanakit would not have been eligible for the rookie award in 2021. But in the COVID era, times aren't always normal.

Because the LPGA had a truncated season in 2020, it did not name a Rookie of the Year last year. All those who would have been been eligible in 2020 had that eligibility carried over to 2021, and that is why Patty Tavatanakit was earning Rookie of the Year points throughout the 2021 season.

How did she earn those points? The big one was her victory in a major championship, at the 2021 ANA Inspiration. That was her first career win on the LPGA Tour. She also finished tied for fifth in the Women's PGA Championship and tied for seventh in the Women's British Open.

So far, with a few events remaining, Tavatanakit has nine Top 10 finishes on the year. Other than her one victory, Patty's best finishes are a pair of tied-for-thirds, at the HSBC Women's World Championship and in her home country's Honda LPGA Thailand.