Classy Thais down Australia in LPGA Tour's team event
Australia's women's golf stars have had to settle for second place after being thumped in the final of the International Crown LPGA team matchplay in San Francisco.
Former world No.1 Atthaya Thitikul, major winner Patty Tavatanakit and classy sisters Ariya and Moriya Jutanugarn earned Thailand the title with a crushing 3-0 win in Sunday's final at TPC Harding Park.
Tavatanakit beat in-form Hannah Green 4&3 to secure Thailand's first point before Thitikul sealed victory with a 4&2 triumph over Steph Kyriacou in the other singles match.
"It means so much for us and it's so great for our country," Tavatanakit said.
"You can already see there's a lot of rookies this year from Thailand and you know this is going to keep making it grow and keep inspiring young people."
The Jutanugarn siblings completed the whitewash with a commanding 4&3 comeback win in the foursomes after losing the opening two holes to world No.6 Minjee Lee and Sarah Kemp.
The dominant Thais lost only one of 12 matches for the week in claiming the $US500,000 ($A750,000) winners' cheque.
Thitikul and the Jutanugarns all finished with perfect five-from-five records.
But while Australia cruised into the title decider with a 3-0 semi-final win over Sweden, Thailand scraped through with a tense 2-1 victory over the top-seeded USA.
The clutch Jutanugarn sisters edged out world No.1 Nelly Korda and Danielle Kang 1 up with a birdie on the second-last hole for Thailand to advance.
Thitikul had beaten Lexi Thompson 3&2 in the opening singles match before newly crowned major champion Lilia Vu squared the semi with a 1-up win over Tavatanakit in what proved Thailand's only loss of the week.
In Australia's semi-final victory, Green and Kyriacou scored decisive singles wins before Lee and Kemp thrashed Madelene Sagstrom and Maja Stark 5&3 in the alternate shot match-up.
Kyriacou was never headed after making birdie on the third hole en route to a 4&3 victory over three-time major winner Anna Nordqvist.
The in-form Green hit the front on the first hole and never looked back in a 3&2 defeat of Caroline Hedwall.
But just like in the pool stages, when Thailand trumped Australia 2-0, the sixth seeds were too classy in the final.
Thailand are the fourth different winners of the the $US2 million ($US3m) team event but the first since 2018 after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 edition.
Spain won the inaugural tournament in 2014, followed by the United States in 2016 and South Korea in 2018.
The US edged Sweden 2-1 in the playoff for third spot.
- with AP