Park clinches US Women's Open for first major title
- Author: Rogelio Becker Jul 17, 2017,
Jul 17, 2017, 18:37
The 23-year-old, who won seven times on the Korean LPGA Tour in 2016, then went on to post three more birdies at 12, 15 and 17 before getting up and down for par on 18 to secure his first LPGA Tour victory.
Choi, the reigning Australian Amateur champion, was also the low amateur at the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open in Adelaide in February.
Park, who finished third at the Open past year, had the best round of the day as she fired six birdies on the back nine to finish with a 30 and an overall 5-under 67.
However, Park tied for the lead with a 20-foot gain on the 15th.
In her US Women's Open debut past year, Park led by two shots after 36 holes but closed with back-to-back 74s and settled for a share of third. "It's nearly like I'm floating on a cloud in the sky", Park said through an interpreter after signing for 11-under 277. Second-ranked Ariya Jutanugarn and two-time Open champion Inbee Park also missed the cut. I didn't want to make any changes and just go out there and be myself.
Feng, who was the leader after the first three rounds and carried a one-shot edge into the final 18 holes, triple bogeyed the final hole.
That third one came on the ridiculously hard 17th, extending her lead to three strokes and all but guaranteeing the LPGA rookie her first pro championship of any kind.
Choi is trying to become the first amateur to win the U.S. Women's Open since Catherine Lacoste of France in 1967.
"I was trying to squeeze that distance, and maybe that extra effort somehow ended up in the missed shot", Choi said. Park then extended her lead to two with a 6-foot birdie putt at No. 17, one of just four birdies on the day on that hole. "At 18. I hit it really close and finally made a birdie".
"I look back, I should be happy actually about my result", she said, "because coming into this week I had no expectations at all". "I just - I wanted to bring out my "A" game".
"I think compared to a year ago, I could say that I played probably a little bit more relaxed", said Park.
Experience worth more than money, says US Open runner-up Choi
If you are looking for a weakness in Park's game, you'll have trouble finding one. Feng, from China, had a 75 to drop into a tie for fifth at 6 under with Spain's Carlota Ciganda (70) and South Korea's Jeongeun6 Lee (71).
Park completed 72 holes at 11-under 277 for her first win on the LPGA Tour, which she joined this year.
That put the Olympic bronze medal victor two clear of Korean trio Hye Jin Choi (69), Jeongeun Lee (69) and Amy Yang (71).
Park is the first Korean player to earn her LPGA privileges in that particular route.
Park - who found water on the 72nd hole at her maiden US Women's Open appearance past year before finishing third - ensured there would be no such mistakes this time.
She has played steady throughout the week, shooting 69-69-70 in the first three rounds.
The 21-year-old from Kettering is six shots adrift of Feng going into the weekend.
The South Korean fired a five-under 67 in the final round at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey to finish at 11 under. Golfers battled through a two-hour rain delay Thursday that forced 39 of them to finish their rounds early Friday morning.
The par meant that Feng needed an eagle on 18 to tie. She led after 36 holes in this event previous year and finished third, two shots out of a playoff.