Newly minted world No. 1 talks her rise to stardom

Shortly after becoming the highest ranked player in women’s football, Atthaya Thitikul sat down with GOLF.com to talk about her rise to the top.

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There’s a new star in women’s golf, and her name is Atthaya Thitikul.

Thitikul – affectionately known as ‘Jeeno’ – became the 16th different player to reach the top spot in the Rolex rankings earlier this month, overtaking Jin Young Ko who had held the title since January. With her rise to No. 1 in the world rankings, Thitikul became the second Thai player to achieve world No. 1 and the first LPGA rookie to win the accolade since 2017.

Shortly after becoming world number one, GOLF.com sat down with the 19-year-old to discuss her rise to stardom.

Thitikul poses for a photo with a fan after becoming world No.

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Zephyr Melton: Jeeno, first of all I just wanted to congratulate you on becoming the world No.

Atthaya Thitikul: Thank you very much!

ZM: How does it feel to know that you are the best player in women’s football?

AT: It’s an incredible feeling and a really cool experience. To be in my first year on the LPGA Tour and become world No. 1 is truly amazing. But at the same time, I feel like I’m not here to be called the “best” yet. I don’t have as much experience as some of the other top ranked players. But still, it’s a cool experience for me.

ZM: Did you ever imagine that you would be world No. 1 so early in your career?

AT: It’s very early for me to become world No. 1. I never even thought about being No. 1 in my rookie year. I think it’s because I had a very good team with me and we worked hard to get there.

ZM: What was the main key to your rapid rise to the top?

AT: There are a lot of things you need to be good at to be on top. I owe a lot to my team for setting the schedule for me to be successful this year. The big key was having fun on the course. It was wonderful.

ZM: In what ways do you think you can further improve your game?

AT: I would say that I can improve everything (laughs). What I really want to improve is my short game – chipping and putting. Because even if you have a bad day swinging it, you can bounce back with your short game. So that’s what I want to improve the most.

ZM: What are your goals for the future that you haven’t achieved yet?

AT: I want to win major tournaments. It would be a really cool experience. There are only five each year, so getting a major win would be amazing.

ZM: Last question: tell me about your nickname, “Jeeno”. Where does this come from?

AT: A lot of people ask me about that (laughs). Normally, my nickname is “Jeen”, without the “O”. But the first Thai woman on the LPGA Tour, she was my coach on the national team when I was a kid. She called me Jeeno and I liked it so I took it.

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is associate editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Before joining the GOLF.com team, he attended the University of Texas, followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He attends all instructions and covers amateur and women’s golf.

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