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April 4, 2021

Patty Tavatanakit

Rancho Mirage, California, USA

Mission Hills Country Club

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you everyone. I'm pleased to be joined now by the 2021 ANA Inspiration champion, Patty Tavatanakit.

Patty, we have seen you after every round this week. We've talked about your composure, how you felt.

How are you feeling now that you can say that you are a major champion?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It's amazing I'm still calm, there is some calmness in me. I don't know why. But like I said, I just wanted to -- I just wanted it to be done since this morning; didn't get a lot of sleep last night. But I meditated twice this morning. Just be patient. I knew it was going to be hard out here and I got to be really strong mentally.

So it feels great to be a major champion. It still hasn't really sunk in yet the fact that I'm like -- I just turned 21 six months ago and now I'm a major champion in my rookie year. Just crazy.

Q. You talked on the green after your win about how you remembered getting your low mm trophy back in 2019. What does it mean to come full circle with the Dinah Shore trophy?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It's an amazing, amazing feeling. I feel like I'm really grateful for all the opportunities I got from before AJGA for having me play here as an amateur, and also got an invite when I was in college. Really grateful for those opportunities to come and play, experience the course and know how it's like to play in a major.

I feel like that helped me a lot. I was talking to my coach last year at the U.S. Open. I was like, Wait this is my fifth U.S. Open. Then I was just, Oh, man, I've played in couple majors, like enough to know how to handle myself out there, and it was probably the best experiences I've ever gotten from anyone giving to me.

Q. At what point were you aware of what Lydia was doing?


Q. Never knew?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: No. Not even at 18.

Q. Was there any point in the round where you felt like this may be getting a little sideways and you were able to hit a shot that brought it back?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Not really. I feel like I've been striking the ball well all day. Didn't make putts; I still shot 4-under; it was a good round.

Like I said, I didn't really look at the leaderboard, I didn't really care who did anything. I just wanted to focus on myself because I know that will lead me somewhere I want to be.

Q. Do you know you are the first player in history to make this their first win in their rookie year?


Q. Yeah.


Q. Yeah. How does that make you feel?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Accomplished. You know, obviously -- well, coming into this year I didn't really set any goals just because I knew how tough it was last year, and I just wanted to come out, to learn to be a better player.

My dad kind of told me like if anything, you should keep your goal as having under 100 Rolex Rankings and top 60 for CME.

That's just been kind of my goal at the back of my mind. I really want to win. I told Grant, my coach about it, but I didn't expect to win here.

Q. How much did playing in the final group in February in Georgia -- was that in Georgia -- Gainbridge help today? Is there a carryover?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It did carry over I watched how the winner played, how Nelly played. She played really good that day obviously. She stayed patient. I learned a lot from that.

And it takes a lot out here to win obviously, and all I needed to -- like I told myself you just got to be patient. I'm impatient, a very impatient person. I can go sideways pretty easily.

For some reason after playing in the final group at Gainbridge and going back second off the last at Ocala taught me a lot of experiences to finally close it down on a Sunday.

Q. Symetra Tour you won a lot, ten times. You know how to win. For today, bigger stage. Could you feel more gravity in trying to close out today?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yes, for sure, because I wasn't able to close it at Gainbridge or Ocala and there was some weight in there in me like I got to do something different, and I took that approach and turned out pretty great.

Q. Follow up, you seemed aggressive throughout today. A lot of times young players in this situation might dial it back and be more conservative. Seemed like you had your foot on the pedal throughout. Does that help you?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yes, that's the mentality since the first day, just keep pedaling. Never know what's going to happen out here. Just got to keep going and going.

Q. You left Q Series in 2018 and I remember you telling my, I'm not ready for this. You went back to college.

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I didn't want to be there.

Q. Yeah, you didn't even want to be there.

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It was like two weeks long and it was raining and I had midterms and I was just like, I'm miserable. I don't like this. I want to go back.

Q. How much does the Symetra Tour help you for this moment?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Huge. I learned how to win out there. I learned how to be comfortable, to feel like I could do it, which really helped. If I were to recommend anyone to turn pro they should go to the Symetra Tour. It's a preparation tour. A transition from college to LPGA is -- it's huge. It's way too big for me personally.

But I'm really glad I played on Symetra Tour for half a season, even though going in I kind of just wanted to make it to Q Series and ended up getting the card and winning three times, which is incredible.

Q. I wanted ask you to walk us through the a few shots. The chip shot on 14 looked delicate; you almost chipped it in. Can you walk us throughout that one?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I practiced my chipping on the putting green this morning and I got some nice feel to it. I was really calm. It was not the best but I was pretty comfortable with it. I've been chipping really good since Monday, so every time I missed a green, yeah, I can make up and down from anywhere.

Q. That was an incredible chip on 17, another one that looked like was going in it. Walk us through that one a little bit.

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Well, I feel like if I knew it was going on I don't know if I could pull that. Since I didn't know, I just played like how I would do it freely, and I feel like that just helped. Like I just like chipping really close to the green. You would barely see me putt and I just have a really nice feel in my hands.

Q. I asked you about being a closer yesterday, and now you're a closer. How does it feel?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It's like it hasn't really sunk in. It's kind of surreal right now. But I feel great. I feel like all the hard work and dedication into trying to be better as a golfer has paid off, and huge thank to that to my coach, Grant Wade and Pia and Lynn, Vision 54 helping me stay sharp on the course.

Q. Super impressive. I wanted to go back to last night when you said you couldn't sleep. How much sleep do you think you actually got, and what kind of thoughts were running through your mind?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I really remember counting my breaths for like -- it reach 100 for like five times. I shut the light at 10:00. I took magnesium powder just to help relax my muscles and to sleep a little better. Tried to go to bed around 10:00. I think I laid around until 11:30 and got up to go to the bathroom at almost 5:00 and just stayed up.

Q. Were you thinking at all about that jump into Poppy's Pond and what that might be like?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yeah, I was. You know, there is a lot of thoughts going on throughout from 6:00 a.m. to 1:00, until now. There is probably a million thoughts that run through my head.

I don't remember them all because I just wanted to stay present the whole moment, the whole time I'm out there on the course. Breathing helped. Just activating my senses and to be aware of myself, it really helped me to be present out there.

Q. If I could just ask one more. What was the most helpful thing that Pia and Lynn said to you this week?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Actually I have it on my text. I could read it to you. I sent them a text about my core values this morning. Do you want me to read it?

Q. Read it.

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Okay. So, I said -- they said, Reality check. You don't know if you're going to win or not today. You can play good and not win or you can play so-so and still win.

You do want to make yourself proud by taking the best actions possible to manage yourself and your game plan. That was huge. I took that really seriously. Just focus on what is 100% under your control, because the outcome is -- you can't control it.

I said, I agree. No matter what happens today my core values are, one, my parents will be proud of me and still love me no matter what; two, I'm already so proud of myself to be able to play good the last three days and just be a better player already since last year; and three, I'm still going to be the same Patty who appreciates the love and care from the people that matters in Patty's life; and four, at the end of the day there is always room for improvement and I won't stop trying to be or get better.

I feel like those words, I just keep like making it sink in to my system, and I really think those core values helped me to win today.

Q. Congratulations on a fantastic week of golf.


Q. When you were walking across by the grandstand and getting ready to walk across the bridge over Poppy's Pond, what was going through your mind?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Well, I was happy and excited and I got a little emotional, but I just kept telling myself, It's not over yet. You still have to try your best to make the putt or to two-putt that.

I think Ryan, my caddie, saw me got a little bit emotional and he said, Come on. Let's focus on the last one, which I did. I feel like I just pulled myself out of the emotional state and back to where I needed to be.

Q. When you got to 17-under did you at any time start thinking about trying to get to 19-under our chase the tournament scoring record?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: A little bit. I was trying to go up to 20 but the putts weren't dropping. I wasn't going to force it. I played great. 4-under on a Sunday in a last group, that's -- looking back I would say it was really tough.

Q. One last thing. How are you going to savor this moment and what's next for Patty?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I did not hear that.

Q. How are you going to savor this moment and what's next for Patty?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Just going to let it sink in, know that I can win out here, which I proved to myself that today, and just always going to be the next step from here. Obviously I always want to get better, always just -- I like to win, so hopefully more wins ahead of me.

Q. We have a question about you caddie. You talked about how he was helpful keeping you calm, especially on the last one. Were there any conversations that really helped, especially on this final day here with him?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Yeah, you know, like we talked things through every shot pretty good and he kept me really calm. You know, he tried to have me stay on the same page since day one, which was huge, because I could be walking faster, slower, doing thing a little different.

Like for example, yesterday I wasn't really like hitting it as aggressively towards the end because I was tired, and he told me that. So I was like, Okay. He's really aware of that and he played so he understands.

Q. Congratulations.


Q. You said you haven't checked social media, been on your phone. You've called back home, but what's the phone going to be like when you open it up. I'm guessing quite a few notifications.

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It's already been a lot. I was just like I'm having it on my hand right now and there is a lot of people reaching out. Obviously a lot of people reached out yesterday, too, but I just feel like I can't respond to everyone. Which I feel really bad. I don't usually do that.

But Pia and Lynn and also Grant told me like you should respond to people you want to connect with and who you feel like you don't have to talk much about golf, which I did.

Q. Enjoy the notifications. Just one more from me. Your power this week was just incredible. I'm just wondering if you could speak to where you think your power comes from and how you're able to harness it so well in big moments like this?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: Well, physical strength is important, and I been training hard getting my body to move the right way and stronger with Dr. Brendan McLaughlin down in Orlando, and I also have my trainer in L.A.

I actually visited her Monday and I'm training with her tomorrow at noon. Yeah, it's been great. I feel like both of them understand what I'm going through and they keep me strong and address my weaknesses.

It's been a huge help in that regard. And more importantly, it's my swing change and how I'm swinging it more freely, more efficiently, and that's all Grant's work.

Q. Is this the longest you've ever hit the ball in your life right now?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: I think so. Probably. I mean -- well, it's dry here and hot. The ball is going far. If it were to be like 50 degrees I would hit it 240, 250 like average.

Q. Not quite, but yeah. Thank you, Patty.


THE MODERATOR: With that, I think I'll just wrap it up with one more question here. What are you thinking now that you've had the time to put on the robe? This is the 50th edition of the ANA Inspiration. What does it mean to come out of here winning the 50th edition of a championship with such long history and tradition?

PATTY TAVATANAKIT: It means the world to actually win an LPGA Tour event to begin with, and on top of it, doing it at a major, it's been surreal. I always wanted to win a major and my goal for my career is to get a grand slam obviously, and I got one checked out.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you Patty and everyone on the call. Congratulations.


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