All one needs to do, is look at Inbee Park’s scorecard for Sunday’s final round of The North Texas Shootout to find why she won the golf tournament, and why she is the Rolex Ranked number one player on The LPGA Tour. The 24 year-old from Seoul South Korea shot a bogey-free -4 under par 67 to win her third tournament this year.
Park got her day going with a birdie on the first hole, and ended it in championship fashion with birdie at the 18th hole. With no mistakes during her round, and her putter warming up, she was able to take advantage of a couple of mistakes by third round leader, Carlota Ciganda. Ciganda took a two-shot lead into the final round of this unique two-cut format, but mistakes at 14, and 15 would leave the 23 year-old Spaniard in second place, One stroke back.
After a bogey at the 14th hole, Carlota misjudged the wind going into the 15th hole, and the ball trailed into the water to the right of the green. She was unable to get up and down, and the mistake would prove to be difference between a win, and a second place finish. Ciganda got close, but will have to take the experience of playing next to a champion like Park on to the next opportunity that I am sure will come.
Inbee Park has been spot on all season, but she seemed to find her pace at The Kraft Nabisco Championship three weeks ago, and appears to have a death-grip on the number one ranking, refusing to let up.
“Today coming into the final round, I was two shots back, and I didn’t really think about winning so much,” Park said. “The front nine I was given a lot of birdie chances out there, and nothing seemed to be going in, so I was a little bit frustrated.
“But on the other hand, Carlota was putting really good and she was playing really almost perfect. She wasn’t making any mistakes until No. 14 and she played very good today, except for a couple of holes. And until No. 13 I thought I wouldn’t have a chance because Carlota was really playing solid. So yeah, I was just trying to be really patient out there, and finally a couple dropped for me at the end.”
The final round at The Las Colinas Country Club saw the cream come to the top. Last weeks winner at The LPGA LOTTE Championship, Suzann Pettersen got in the picture, shooting a 66 on Sunday to finish alone in third place.
Hee Young Park shot one of the low rounds of the day, and moved up 24 spots to get into a tie for fourth with fellow South Korean So Yeon Ryu. The 48th ranked Park shot a -7 under par 64 bogey-free round but was too far back at the start of the day to get in a position to win. She ended up at -9 under par, four shots back.
Texas resident, and the number two ranked, Stacy Lewis carded a 66 on Sunday, and also moved up 26 position and into a tie for seventh place. Lewis has struggled since the first round of the Kraft Nabisco, but seemed to get it going again in Texas. Maybe that was the finish she needed to get her game back on-track and begin putting some pressure on Park for the Rolex lead.
My pick for the week, Na Yeon Choi fell on hard times in the final round Sunday, and went on a bogey run at the start of the back nine. She shot a +1 over 72 on the day, and ended her inaugural Shootout tied with Lewis, and two others for seventh place.
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