Monday, September 16, 2013

Park wins U.S. Open for third major of 2013

Park wins U.S. Open for third major of 2013

Joe Pantorno, The Sports Xchange June 30, 2013 7:00 PMThe SportsXchange

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. - Inbee Park was just a few holes from making history, and she appeared to be playing a practice round on Sunday. Park seldom shows emotion during a round of golf, but she finally cracked a smile walking toward the 18th green, with the U.S. Women's Open Trophy waiting for her.

In what became a two-player race, Park, the world's top-ranked golfer, beat out I.K. Kim by four strokes to win the 68th U.S. Women's Open at Sebonack.

The others who won three majors in a year were Babe Zaharias (1950), Mickey Wright (1961) and Pat Bradley (1986). Park joined Zaharias as the only players to win the first three majors.

It was Park's second U.S. Women's Open win of her career, the first coming in 2008. It also was Park's sixth straight LPGA Tour victory.

Park shot a 2-over-par 74 in the final round to finish at 8-under for the tournament.

Paired with Kim for the final round, Park parred her first five holes while Kim birdied two and bogeyed four in her first six holes.

"I had a really good chance out there," Kim said. "If I putted a little better this week I think I could've pushed it a little bit more."

Park merely limited her mistakes the rest of the way. She made par on six of the last eight holes. She also had bogeys on 14 and 15, but the cushion she had was more than enough.

Park finished with a par to a standing ovation on the 18th hole followed by a champagne bath from So Yeon Ryu and Na Yeon Choi.

"I started off well, had good up and downs. I had a good opportunity, but I made her [Park] comfortable," Kim said. "It was hard to make mistakes. It's disappointing but I was still pleased with how I played."

A consistent outing from Paula Creamer enabled her to tie Angela Stanford and Jodi Ewart Shadoff at 1-over for fourth place. Creamer, like Ryu, managed to stay even on on the final round, but Stanford shot 2-over and Shadoff 4-over.

"It's a top-10 [finish], so I'm not going to complain about that," Korda said after finishing tied for seventh. "This is my sixth U.S. Open, so I would say this one had, by far, the toughest greens and was the windiest."

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