Park wins British Open
South Korea’s Inbee Park has become just the seventh woman golfer to win the traditional career Grand Slam.
The world number one carded a course record equalling 65 in the final round to win the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Trump Turnberry Resort and in the process joined an elite group comprising Pat Bradley, Juli Inkster, Annika Sorenstam, Louise Suggs, Karrie Webb and Mickey Wright who have all won at least four different majors.
The 27-year-old from Seoul has also won the Evian Masters in 2012, when it was considered a Major on the Ladies European Tour, but a year before it was awarded Major status by the LPGA and renamed the Evian Championship in 2013.
Park started the final round in a share of fifth place three shots behind leaders Jin-Young Ko and Teresa Lu but began her chase with four birdies in a row from the seventh. She was a stroke behind Ko after she eagled the 449-yard par five 14th hole, making a putt of 25 feet and then birdied the 372-yard par four 16th to lead for the first time in the championship on 12 under par.
After Ko bogeyed the 13th and double bogeyed the 16th, putting her second shot into the burn, Park was three strokes clear as she waited in the clubhouse for the final two groups to finish.
She sealed her seventh Major victory, worth £298,534, by three strokes when Ko finished with par on the last two holes. It was her fourth title this season and the 16th win of her ten year career.
“This is something I’ve been dreaming of all my life, all my career, all this year. This is something I really wanted and to finally reach my goal is a relief and I’m so happy with everything at the moment,” Park said on ladieseuropeantour.com.
“I didn’t feel that comfortable coming into this week but to overcome a lot of things and win the championship is phenomenal.”
Fellow South Korean Ko (71) was second, with compatriot So Yeon Ryu (68) and New Zealand’s Lydia Ko (69) tied for third on eight under par.
On Ko’s performance in her first major championship, Park commented: “She is a very talented girl and she was holding up well out there. All four days she played fantastic. I know her well and she is from the same management company as me so I had dinner with her earlier in the week. I got lucky. She could have played better golf but the golfing gods were on my side.”
Second round leader Suzann Pettersen from Norway (72) finished in fifth place on seven under par, with Teresa Lu from Chinese Taipei a stroke further behind in sixth and Sweden’s Anna Norqvist tied for seventh with Mika Miyazato of Japan.
Amy Boulden from Wales and Melissa Reid from England shared ninth place with Australian Minjee Lee on four under par and Maria McBride, who is a European Vice Captain for The 2015 Solheim Cup, ended 12th.
Spaniard Luna Sobron finished tied for 13th and followed in the footsteps of Rebecca Hudson, Michelle Wie, Melissa Reid, Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Hedwall among others by winning the Smyth Salver awarded to the leading amateur.
The 21-year-old from Majorca, who is studying business at university in Madrid, intends to compete on the Ladies European Tour (LET) Access Series to try to qualify for the LET before turning professional at the end of the year.
A shot further back on level par, England’s Hannah Burke tied for 17th place while earlier on the final day, Danish Ladies European Tour rookie Nanna Koertz Madsen equalled the course record of 65 and tied for 21st on one over par.
At three over par, Solheim Cup hopeful Caroline Hedwall tied for 28th with Russian Maria Balikoeva, while fellow Ladies European Tour star Charley Hull from England tied for 31st place. Next year, the 40th edition of the championship will be played on the Marquess’ Course at her home golf club of Woburn.
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