Thailand’s Eila Galitsky won the fifth Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific (WAAP) championship in commanding fashion at the weekend, becoming the second player from her country to triumph in the region’s pre-eminent amateur championship.
The 16-year-old, who holds dual nationality of Thailand and Canada, shot a four-under-par 68 in the final round at Singapore Island Country Club, giving her a four-day aggregate of 14-under-par 274 and a five-shot win over Korea’s Minsol Kim (70).
Galitsky follows in the footsteps of Atthaya Thitikul, who won the inaugural championship in 2018 in Singapore and rose to number one in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings last year.
Galitsky, 193rd in the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR) coming into the week, closed with three birdies in her last four holes. The result was never in doubt as she remained rock-solid throughout the day. She made the turn at one-under-par with a birdie on the 6th hole.
Her only dropped shot came when she shockingly missed a one-footer par putt on the 14th hole, but then bounced back in incredible fashion with birdies on the 15th and 16th holes.
Galitsky was imperious throughout the championship, but her crowning moment was truly the 18th hole, where she smashed a 375-yard drive down the fairway slope and needed only a 7-iron second shot into the par-5 hole, which left her a comfortable two-putt for birdie.
Speaking after the win, Galitsky said: “I never thought about winning until I made that first putt on the 18th hole. I was very nervous going into the final round. I did not sleep well and woke up at 4:30am.
"I did not expect this to happen at the beginning of the week. I played my first practice round here and lost five balls that day. At that point, I was thinking making the cut would be a good result."
As the 2023 WAAP champion, Galitsky earns dream starts in three major championships – the AIG Women's Open, the Amundi Evian Championship and The Chevron Championship – as well as the Hana Financial Group Championship, ISPS Handa Australian Open, the 120th Women's Amateur Championship and an invitation to play in the Augusta National Women's Amateur (ANWA) later this month.
The WAAP is developed by The R&A and APGC to unearth emerging talent and provide a route for Asia's elite female amateurs to the international stage.
The R&A is supported by championship event partners that share its commitment to developing golf in the Asia-Pacific. The Women's Amateur Asia-Pacific championship is proudly supported by Hana Financial Group, Nippon Kabaya Ohayo Holdings, Rolex and Samsung.