Park Sung-hyun Wins US Women's Open to Claim Her 1st Major
17 July, 2017, 16:40
"But at that moment, I was telling myself I should just stick to how I usually practice".
SHANSHAN Feng snapped a run of 23 consecutive pars with a birdie at the 18th hole to reclaim a one-stroke lead after Saturday's third round at the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Golf Club.
Is it too early to start talking about Nancy Lopez?
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.
Park, 23, took her first LPGA triumph as a tour rookie.
Choi took the lead with a birdie on the seventh hole and had a chance to take a three-shot lead at the ninth, but her birdie putt slide by the hole.
It was a far cry from a year ago when Park hit into the water on the 18th hole at CordeValle in California and missed a playoff with eventual victor Britanny Lang and Anna Nordqvist by two shots. This time she had a pair of 67s on the weekend.
As Park walked off the 18th green, she walked passed a private box adjacent to the clubhouse where President Donald Trump, the first sitting president ever to attend the Women's Open, was watching and gave her a thumbs up. She led all players with 18 birdies, 12 of which came on her last 27 holes.
"I actually can not believe that even I am making this acceptance speech, that this is actually happening, but the fact that I guess my name is going to be engraved on it is unbelievable joy and happiness".
"I wanted to believe in myself again for the final two rounds and I did". And then she thanked her caddie, David Jones, for helping her stay focused and positive. "I don't see any weak part in her game".
England's Charley Hull recorded a level-par round of 72 which left her tied in 47th place, a shot behind compatriot Jodi Ewart Shadoff. She is also No. 16 in hitting greens in regulation and No. 14 in putts per GIR. But her downfall came on the par-3 16th, when her tee shot from 145 yards flared off short and right into the water.
Park, who birdied the 15th to move into a tie for the lead and the 17th to open a two-shot edge after Choi made a double bogey on the previous hole, finished at 11-under 277 for a two-stroke win. This year marked the second in a row that she was leading amateur in the U.S. Women's Open.
But what a brilliant show she put on trying.
From there, she chipped to within three feet and made the putt to save par.
Laying up at the par-5 18th was the smart thing to do given the margin she held, but she was long with her approach and the possibility of a bogey was still very much on the cards.
"I think compared to a year ago, I could say that I played probably a little bit more relaxed", said Park. It's a greater honor for me. But what really turned heads was her form in the majors, as she finished T6 in her maiden major before actually being in contention at the 2016 US Women's Open, going into the final round one stroke behind the leader.
On Sunday, Marina Alex finished T-11 to pick up 33 points and jumped over Mo Martin to No. 13 on the points list.
Sung Hyun Park overcame a three-shot deficit and the heartbreak of a near-win in last year's event to capture the 2017 U.S. Women's Open.
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