Galitsky follows Thai stars to master links golf at the Girls’ Amateur

The R&A
13 Aug 22
3 mins

Thailand has not been represented in the Girls’ Amateur Championship since 2006, the same year 2022 quarter-finalist Eila Galitsky was born. 

Galitsky has stormed through a strong field at this year’s championship at Carnoustie, which included seven players ranked in the top 100 on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® (WAGR®), such as Meja Ortengren (22) and Francesca Fiorellini (39).  After finishing 13th in the stroke play qualifying rounds, the 15-year-old has performed consistently well in the match play stages of the championship. This includes a 5&3 win against Italy’s Giulia Bellini and a 4&3 victory over former semi-finalist Maggie Whitehead, in which Galitsky made five birdies. It is hard to believe that this is only her second foray into links golf.

Debut summer in Scotland

“This is my first year in Scotland,” she revealed. “I played the R&A Junior Open in Monifieth. It’s very different from what I’m used to.”  Despite the sunshine and rare heat experienced by the players this week, a tough wind has ensured that they have been tested by Carnoustie’s famous links.  Galitsky has not been phased by her inexperience of this kind of golf, however, and has adjusted quickly to work out the ways of the course. “Good shots become bad shots, bad shots become good shots,” she said, “You need a lot of patience so I’m just building up my stamina for the links.” Although Thai participation has been sparse in the Championship’s history, the country boasts plenty of recent success in the women’s game. Ariya Jutanugarn, who Galitsky cites as a personal role model, claimed victory in 2016 at the Women’s British Open and again at the 2018 US Women’s Open. 
Galitsky experienced her first links conditions when she represented Thailand in the Junior Open at Monifieth last month on the eve of The 150th Open.

Thai inspiration

More recently, Patty Tavatanakit won the 2021 ANA Inspiration, marking the third women’s major title for Thailand, and Atthaya Thitikul won the Race to Costa Del Sol on the Ladies’ European Tour and reached number four in the world ranking.  While Galitsky acknowledges, “It feels great to represent Thailand here in Europe,” she admits, “I’m mostly doing this for myself.”   Galitsky’s beginnings in golf suggests that she has always had an independent streak. With no previous golfers in her family, she was first introduced to the game aged eight while watching a family friend play.  She added, “I went to watch him one day and picked up a golf club. I hit my first ball and I liked it from then. Then I played my first tournament and I finished second and got a trophy. I really like trophies!” Galitsky will face Spain’s Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio in the morning’s quarter-finals. Whatever the outcome, Galitsky has learned a lot from this week and the experience she has gained of links golf will undoubtedly stand in her in good stead in the future.