Park Makes History, Wins U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack

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UPDATE: 5:50 p.m.

South Korean golfer Inbee Park made history on Sunday evening in Southampton, becoming the first golfer in more than 50 years to win three consecutive women’s golf majors. Park won the 68th U.S. Women’s Open when she tapped in a par putt on the 18th hole at Sebonack Golf Club. She won by four strokes over fellow South Korean I.K. Kim. Paula Creamer finished at 1-over par, the lowest scoring American.

It is her second U.S. Women’s Open title. She won in 2008, when she was just 19.

She will look to become the first woman to ever win all four major tournaments in August when she competes in the British Women’s Open Championship at historic St. Andrews Golf Club in Scotland.

UPDATE: 4:03 p.m.

Inbee Park is putting more distance between herself and the rest of the field as she closes in on what would be a third consecutive major championship. Park was even on the day through 10 holes to sit at 10 under par for the tournament. The next closest player, I.K. Kim of South Korea, sat at 4 under for the tournament, 2 over for the day, through 10 holes. Jessica Korda, So Yeon Ryu and Jodi Ewart Shadoff were all tied for third at even par. Korda is 1 under for the day through 13, Ryu is 1 over through 11, and Ewart Shadoff is 3 over through 11.

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

The USGA has provided its course set-up notes and weather forecast for the day. Low clouds and areas of fog with only a few peeks of sun will dominate the day. Southerly winds will be around or less than 10 miles per hour through the first half of this morning and then become sustained between 10 and 15 miles per hour by this afternoon with a high wind gust near 20 miles per hour possible again. Greens are running at 11.10 on the Stimpmeter, a speed achieved on most greens with a single cut and roll, while some had a double cut, but no roll. Only limited watering was done to address dry spots on the greens and fairways. Today’s total yardage is 6,658.

ORIGINAL STORY

Unless Inbee Park has a monumental collapse and someone else catches fire, there probably won’t be much drama this afternoon in the final round of the 68th U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack.

The 24-year-old South Korean—who has won the last two major tournaments in women’s golf—put even more distance between herself and the rest of the field yesterday, carding a 71 to go 10 under par for the tournament. She posted rounds of 67 and 68 in the first two days.

If Park can hold on and win, she will make history, becoming the first female golfer since Babe Zaharias in 1950 to win three consecutive major championships.

I.K. Kim, also of South Korea, sat in second place at 6 under after posting a 73 yesterday, while Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England was third at 3 under with a 74. So Yeon Ryu (73) of South Korea and American Angela Stanford (74) were tied for fourth at 1 under, while Americans Paula Creamer and Jessica Korda were tied for sixth at 1 over.

The leaders won’t tee off until this afternoon. Australian Karrie Webb (+3) and American Cristie Kerr (+2) will go off at 12:30 p.m., followed by Americans Brittany Lincicome (+2) and Brittany Lang (+2) at 12:41; Ai Miyazato (+2) and Korda (+1) at 12:52; Creamer and Standford (1:03), Ryu and Ewart Shadoff (1:14) and Kim and Park (1:25).

Park showcased her resiliency yesterday. After three straight bogeys on the 11th, 12th and 13th holes, she roared back with birdies on 14 and 15, made par on 16 and 17, and then birdied 18 to maintain her commanding lead. Ewart Shadoff, meanwhile, had a tough finish to her round yesterday, bogeying both 16 and 17 before making par on 18.

While Park’s fine play at the end of her round meant there wasn’t much fierce competition yesterday, 20-year-old Jessica Korda provided a little drama when she fired her caddy, Jason Gilroyed, in the middle of her round. Korda, who made the cut along with her younger sister, 14-year-old Nelly Korda, pressed her boyfriend, Johnny DelPrete, into service for the rest of the round.

Korda explained, in limited detail, what happened in the her post-round press conference.

“[We] had a couple of disagreements here and there, and I wasn’t in the right state of mind…,” she said. “It’s a U.S. Open. It’s tough out there. It just wasn’t working out. That’s all I’m going to say to that.”

Korda said that it was a tough decision for her to make, but she also added that her boyfriend will have caddie duties today as well.

The Korda sisters are the daughters of Petr Korda, the former professional tennis player who won the Australian Open in 1998. The elder Korda is caddying for his younger daughter, Nelly, in the tournament.

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