Stats and Stuff: Park's nine-month roll

Inbee Park
Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Inbee Park of South Korea hits out of a fairway bunker on the second hole during the final round of the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Mission Hills Country Club on April 7, 2013 in Rancho Mirage, California.

Park's nine-month roll
           
Inbee Park has had quite a run since last summer. That's when the 24-year South Korean broke a four-year victory drought where she doubted her own ability. Now, she has won four times since last summer. Here's a look at how Park has risen to No. 2 in the world:

• Park has five career LPGA wins, including four since July 29, 2012. She won the Evian Masters and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in 2012. In her first start this year, she captured the Honda LPGA Thailand in late February and came back with a second major championship title at the Kraft Nabisco. Park's first career win was the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.

• In 2012, Park recorded 10 top-10 finishes in a row, including two wins. She finished 2012 by making 12 top-10 finishes in 15 starts. To date, she has a run of 14 top-10s in 20 starts.

• Park has made 27 consecutive cuts since missing the cut at the 2012 season-opening Handa Women's Australian Open.

Salas continues her excellent play
           
Lizette Salas continued her excellent play this season last week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship, despite finishing with a final-round 79 while standing in second place entering the final round.
           
The 79 and ensuing T25 finish ended a streak of 13 consecutive rounds at par or better for the former Southern Cal golfer. It also broke a run of two consecutive top-10 finishes.
           
Much of her new-found success can be attributed to new caddie Greg Puga, who comes from a similar Mexican-American background. Puga was a caddie at Bel Aire Country Club in Los Angeles when he won the 2000 U.S. Mid-Amateur and played in the 2011 Masters Tournament. Puga has known Salas since he was a teaching pro and she a fast-rising junior at Azusa Greens Golf Course.

"Now I'm just much more confident and these last three weeks being in contention, that's been a boost of confidence," Salas said. "What I think about is I have nothing to lose out here.  I'm not really supposed to be out here, but - by my story. So I have nothing to lose and I'm going to go out there and give it my all and if not, there is the next shot, if not there is another tournament."

Low Amateur again

Lydia Ko finished tied for 25th in last week's Kraft Nabisco Championship, her third consecutive Low Amateur finish in a major championship. Ko finished T39 at last summer's U.S. Women's Open and T17 at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

"Low am was one of my goals coming in so I'm very happy and excited to get low am," said Ko. "I think I played really well out there but thought I struggled with my putting but when I look back to it, I only missed one or two within nine feet. So it was just the birdie putts I was struggling with. I finished well and that is the biggest thing for me."


Etc.

           
South Korea's prominence on the LPGA continued last week at the Kraft Nabisco Championship: Inbee Park (first), So Yeon Ryu (second), Haeji Kang (T5) and Jiyai Shin and Hee Young Park (T7). … Stacy Lewis is busy during an off week on the LPGA schedule. She is due to visit the Masters in Augusta, Ga., on Wednesday to accept the Golf Writers Association of America's Player of the Year award during the organization's annual dinner. "It's been crazy," said Lewis. "I expected to get the attention at the tournaments and at the course, but I've been surprised at things off the course, just going into a Walgreen's or a CVS and getting recognized, it's kind of surprising, so it's definitely been a little bit of an adjustment." … The LPGA's next stop is April 17-20 (Wednesday to Saturday) at Ko Olino Golf Course in Hawaii for the LPGA Lotte Championship. The Champions Tour comes to nearby Kapolei Golf Course (six miles to the west) in September. Both events began last year. … Beatriz Recari has played in 58 consecutive LPGA tournaments, dating back to the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational. Recari has not missed a cut in 39 straight LPGA tournaments, going back to the September 2011 Navistar LPGA Classic.


Topics: Stats and Stuff, Park, Inbee, Salas, Lizette

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