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In A Class Of Her Own, Louise Landgraf Makes Golfing History

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

✦ Young golfing prodigy Louise Landgraf sets a new record as the youngest ever winner on the women’s professional golf tour.


Keen readers of Brilliant-Online may well recall a profile piece we ran in March 2022 on a young, amateur golfing prodigy based in Phuket, Thailand by the name of Louise Landgraf who has been trailblazing through the sport over recent years. “Sometimes people are just born to do something,” we said. “Natural talent is in their blood and their destiny almost seems preordained.”


Well, in the 12 months or so since that piece, Louise has taken things to an altogether different level after the Phuket school girl made history by becoming the youngest ever female winner on the professional tour when she triumphed at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open, part of the Ladies European Tour Access Series, on April 15 at the age of 14 years, 2 months and 18 days. In doing so, she broke the record previously set by young Thai sensation Atthaya Thitikul who won the Ladies European Thailand Open in 2017, aged 14 years, 4 months and 19 days old.


Louise made history by becoming the youngest ever winner on the women_s professional tour in April while still an amateur. Brilliant-Online Magazine
Louise made history by becoming the youngest ever winner on the women's professional tour in April while still an amateur. Photo: Supplied

Battling not only tough opponents but adverse weather conditions at the Domaine de Terre Blanche Golf Resort in the south of France, where high winds meant the competition had to be shortened to two rounds, Louise finished with hugely impressive scores of 69 and 74, sinking five birdies during her round to ultimately end 2 shots over par. Entering into a three-way playoff against Pasqualle Coffa of the Netherlands and Charlotte Liautier of France, Louise kept her cool and focus to win the match and subsequently claim the record, a truly outstanding achievement.


Louise with the winner's trophy at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open on April 15. Brilliant-Online Magazine.
Louise with the winner's trophy at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open on April 15. Photo: Supplied

However, proving that her mind was purely focused on her game, Louise admitted after the victory that she was unaware she had broken the record and, while clearly delighted, maintained her typically humble and respectful manner. “I wasn’t aware I had broken a record,” said Louise, who was born and raised in Phuket to a Thai mother and French father but who now competes for France. “But after I got the news I was definitely surprised because I beat Atthaya Thitikul which is pretty cool to achieve at a young age. That win has got her to where she is now and it is nice to follow her footsteps. She is such an amazing player, she’s really consistent, that’s where I hope to see myself in the next few years.


“I feel great after the win,” she added. “I feel I have accomplished something really good. Especially, to win on a professional tour is something I’ve wanted to accomplish for a really long time. It definitely shows me what I am able to achieve and definitely gives me a boost of confidence in other tournaments. I exceeded my expectations by a long way. My dad was my caddie this week - he used to caddie for me a lot when I was younger - so it was really nice for him to join me this week.”


Prodigious talent


Following her record-breaking success, Louise then followed up by competing at the under-14 French International Championships at Chantilly Le Vineuil Golf Club, Chantilly, France on April 20-22. Her prodigious talent shone once again as she posted scores of 71 (par), 68 (-3) and 67 (-4) to finish on a total of 7 under par and claim the overall win. Afterwards she was invited to represent the French girls’ national team at the under-14 age level, qualifying thanks to her father Marc.


The final stop on Louise’s European tour was the Jabra Evian Ladies Open, to which she received an official invitation to compete from the Ladies European Tour following her win at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open. Competing in an extremely tough field, Louise made the cut after 2 rounds and finished 6 over par to place a hugely credible 39th out of a total of 132 players. The three combined tournaments means Louise is currently ranked 92nd in the Ladies’ World Amateur Golf Ranking and 601st on the World Ladies Rolex Golf Ranking.


Louise with the winner's trophy at the under-14 French International Championships at Chantilly Le Vineuil Golf Club on April 22. Brilliant-Online Magazine
Louise with the winner's trophy at the under-14 French International Championships at Chantilly Le Vineuil Golf Club on April 22. Photo: Supplied

More recently, Louise was on a five-tournament tour of the United States and once again her talent shone through. She won the girls’ 15-18 age group at the World Star Golf Championships Class Girls in Las Vegas, Nevada, between June 27-29 with a score of 70 (-2), 69 (-3) & 67 (-5) , to finish with a total of 206 (-10). Louise then followed this up by winning the FCG Callaway Junior World Championships at Cimarron Golf Club in Cathedral City, California, on July 19 with score of 67 (-4), 62 (-9) & 62 (-9). She also finished in second place in the girls’ 15-23 year age class at the FCG Collegiate Summer Series at Twin Oaks Golf Club in San Marcos, California on June 22.


Louise credits her parents for supporting her and helping her to get where she is now. Both parents travel with her on overseas trips, providing logistical and emotional support, and even caddying when required, as Marc did at the Terre Blanche Ladies Open. The entire Landgraf family are quick to pay special thanks to Louise’s coach in Phuket Prawat Prachoomsrisakul aka Pro Golf, her French coaches Laurent Cabanne and Thierry Abbas, Le Kempferhof Golf Club in France, the French Golf Federation team, Loch Palm Golf Club in Phuket, Red Mountain Phuket, Phuket Country Club and Transview Bangkok, who sponsors Louise’s golf equipment.


Louise and her proud parents after winning the World Star Golf Championships in Las Vegas on June 29, 2022. Brilliant-Online Magazine
Louise and her proud parents after winning the World Star Golf Championships in Las Vegas on June 29, 2022. Photo: Supplied

Louise herself cites 13 time LPGA winner Brooke Henderson of Canada as her biggest inspiration. “I look up to Brooke Henderson,” she said. “She is an amazing player. I really like her attitude and the way she practices. There have been some ups and downs in her career but she always fights back. I really admire that fighting ability. She has been my inspiration for a really long time. I met her once and she was really kind in person, she shows me what I have to do to be there up with her.”


One thing is for certain – the future is definitely bright for this phenomenal young talent who has already demonstrated such huge potential. Thailand’s Atthaya has gone on to enjoy a hugely successful career and is currently ranked number 6 in the world on the ladies’ professional tour and, having already broken one record held by the Thai star, the future is Louise’s to make. While she has stated she aims to turn professional within the next five years, it would be no surprise to see Louise breaking even more records and creating even greater waves within the game before then.

 

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