The moment Caroline Hedwall hit her second shot on the 18th into the lake just short of the green, Pornanong Phatlum told herself to remain calm. Not let pressure overpower the situation. Not repeat last year's mistake when she lost the plot on the 16th to the Swede.
that I had it but didn't want to think about it before I had actually won it," the 22-year-old Thai said. "I kept saying 'relax, relax'." It was only after she birdied the winning stroke did she allow herself to break into a smile.
Caddied by brother Pornpong, she lifted her third Hero Women's Indian Open title at the DLF Golf and Country Club on Sunday afternoon.
Phatlum, who celebrates her birthday in two days' time, felt this triumph is sweeter because when she won the event twice successively in 2008 and 2009, the $300,000 event wasn't tri-sanctioned by the Ladies European Tour.
"The field was definitely much stronger this time," the winner, who beat defending champ Hedwall (nine-under 207) by four strokes, said.
Phatlum carded 13-under 203 (72, 65, 66) and created a tournament record beating the Swede's total set last year by one stroke. My putting and approach shots were good," she said, already looking forward to a grand 23rd birthday celebration at home with friends and family.
"Though I was a bit nervous when I made a bogey on the 15th and Caroline managed a birdie, I told myself to stay calm. And after the 17th, when it became a two-shot difference, I refused to let my focus waver," Phatlum, who has mainly concentrated on the LPGA this season, added.
She's had two top-15 finishes and won the Brazil Cup, an unofficial LPGA event. The Loudmouth-sponsored youngster aims to break into the top 30 next year in the US circuit.
Amateur Aditi Ashok, who was in joint lead on the first day, had the best finish among Indians at tied eighth (69, 74, 72).