Sky's the limit for Ariya
Ariya targets more wins in bid to overtake Ko, starting with next week's HSBC Women's Champions
She shattered the glass ceiling when she won the Women's British Open last year, becoming the first Asean golfer of either sex to win a Major.
Now, Ariya Jutanugarn wants to aim for the stars by reaching the summit of golf's world rankings.
Judging by her barnstorming form last year, in which the 21-year-old Thai won five LPGA Tour events, and a whole host of awards including the LPGA Player of the Year and LPGA Tour Money Winner, it seems only a matter of time before she overtakes New Zealander Lydia Ko as the world No. 1.
Ahead of her arrival for the HSBC Women's Champions tournament at Sentosa Golf Club's New Tanjong course from March 2 to 5, the world No. 2 told The New Paper in an e-mail interview: "Becoming No. 1 is every athlete's dream.
"I always have a goal and I wake up every day trying my best to achieve it. I think everyone should have one, so life is a little more meaningful.
"I had a goal to win a first LPGA tournament. After that, it was to win a Major.
"My first goal for 2017 is very simple. Find my next win as soon as possible. Nothing more than that," added Ariya, who won US$2.55 million (S$3.6m) in prize money last year.
"I know there will be more pressure on me, there are more expectations. But I will try and not think about the outcome.
"This year, I'm going to try and have more fun."
There is no questioning Ariya's talent. She first played in an LPGA tournament at age 11 and had won nearly US$500,000 on the Tour by 17.
But, to get to where she is now, she has had to battle her insecurities as she suffered 10 missed cuts in a row in 2015, which made last year's achievements all the more remarkable.
She started developing a pre-shot routine where she thought she was hitting the last shot of her career and finding a happy place before pulling back the club. It worked wonders.
Not only did she claim her first LPGA Tour win at the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic last May, she also won all three LPGA events that month, before adding the British Open in July and the Canadian Pacific Women's Open the following week.
And she believes she won't be the last Asean golfer to achieve greatness.
"I hope younger generations of golfers from Asean can believe in themselves," said Ariya.
"I am from Thailand and I did all that. If I can, you can too. I hope that more people will pursue golf."
Thai star Ariya Jutanugarn won US$2.55 million (S$3.6m) in prize money last year.
High on confidence, Ariya doesn't even mind that Ko has recruited her coach Gary Gilchrist in a bid to overhaul her game.
She said: "Gary Gilchrist is awesome so I am not surprised at all. I am friends with Lydia and it is fun to hang out with her at Gary's academy.
"I respect Lydia in so many ways. She is an amazing golfer and a nice friend. She is very fun to hang out with."
Last year, Ariya tied for fourth at the HSBC Women's Champions, which was won by South Korean Jang Ha Na. But that was before she started blazing a trail on the LPGA Tour.
It is clear now that she is no longer aiming to just make the cut or even the top 10.
She said: "I feel good about my game now, I'm definitely more confident coming in than last year.
"I will just focus on myself and my game. The one that is tough to beat is the course. It will be me against the course."