Park’s 2013 march matches other historic seasons
Inbee Park’s third consecutive major championship title at last week’s U.S. Open and her third straight LPGA victory have established one of the greatest seasons in LPGA history.
“I probably wouldn't get this kind of opportunity ever again,” Park said last week. “I know this year is a good opportunity for me. But I think one of my goals for my career was the Career Grand Slam, not the Grand Slam, but I think Career Grand Slam is good enough for me. I haven’t done that yet. It would mean so much if I could do the Grand Slam. But it takes so much hard work, and it takes a lot to do.
“I'm just glad that I can give it a try at St. Andrews. That's going to be a great experience. Whether I do it or not, I'm just a very lucky person.”
Consider a look at Park’s accomplishments by the numbers:
3: Park will be aiming for a fourth 2013 major championship – and her Career Grand Slam – Aug. 1-4 at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at St. Andrews, Scotland. It’s the only major championship she hasn’t won. (She won the Evian last year before it earned major championship status this year.) No professional, man or woman, has won four major championships in a calendar year. Only amateur Bobby Jones has won four major titles in a season, as he captured the 1930 U.S. Open and Amateur and British Open and Amateur titles, then the designated majors.
Only two players have held four major titles at the same time. In 1961-62, Mickey Wright won the 1961 U.S. Women’s Open by six strokes in July and the 1961 LPGA Championship by 10 strokes in October and began 1962 with playoff wins at the Titleholders in April and the Western Open in May to hold all four trophies. In 2000-2001, Tiger Woods won the 2000 U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship and began 2001 with a victory at the Masters Tournament.
In 1953, Ben Hogan won the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open but couldn’t compete in the PGA Championship because that event’s dates in early July conflicted with Hogan’s only career appearance in the British Open at Carnoustie.
These LPGA players have won three majors in a season:
- Babe Zaharias, 1950: Won the Titleholders in March by eight strokes; the Western Open in June by a 5 and 3 margin in the match-play final and the U.S. Women’s Open at Cherry Hills by nine). Only three majors were held in 1950.
- Mickey Wright, 1961: Wright won the Titleholders in April by one stroke, the U.S. Women’s Open in July by six and the LPGA Championship in October by 10. At the Western Open in early June, Wright finished third behind Mary Lena Faulk.
- Pat Bradley, 1986: Bradley won the Nabisco Dinah Shore, LPGA Championship and du Maurier Ltd. Classic. At the U.S. Women’s Open, she finished T5.
4: Park said on Sunday that she will play in the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic July 11-14 in Ontario, Canada (she turns 25 on July 12) and the Marathon Classic presented by Owen Corning and O-I July 18-21 in Sylvania, Ohio before returning home to South Korea and on to St. Andrews. She has won three consecutive LPGA starts and is on the verge of the LPGA’s consecutive wins mark of four.
Here are the most consecutive LPGA wins (four) in scheduled events:
- Mickey Wright, 1962 (Heart of America Invitational, Aug. 9-12; Albuquerque Swing Parade, Aug. 17-19; Salt Lake City Open, Aug. 23-26; Spokane Open, Aug. 31-Sept. 3)
- Mickey Wright, 1963 (Alpine Civitan Open, May 10-12; Muskogee Civitan Open, May 16-19; Dallas Civitan Open, May 23-26; Babe Zaharias Open, May 31-June 2)
- Kathy Whitworth, 1969 (Orange Blossom Open, March 13-17; Port Charlotte Invitational, March 20-23; Port Malabar Invitational, March 27-30; Lady Carling Open, April 17-20)
- Annika Sorenstam, 2001 (Welch’s/Circle K Championship, March 8-11; Standard Register PING, March 15-18; Nabisco Championship, March 22-25; The Office Depot Hosted by Amy Alcott, April 12-14)
- Lorena Ochoa, 2008 (Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 27-30; Kraft Nabisco Championship, April 3-6; Corona Championship, April 10-13; Ginn OPEN, April 17-20)
Here are the most consecutive wins in tournaments participated (five, includes a missed tournament or multi-year streak):
- Nancy Lopez, 1978 (Greater Baltimore Classic, May 12-14; Coca-Cola Classic, May 19-21; Golden Lights Championship, May 26-29; did not play Peter Jackson Classic, June 1-4; LPGA Championship, June 8-11; Bankers Trust Classic, June 16-18)
- Annika Sorenstam, 2004-2005 (2004 Mizuno Classic, Nov. 5-7; 2004 ADT Championship, Nov. 18-21; 2005 MasterCard Classic honoring Alejo Peralta, March 4-6; 2005 Safeway International Presented by Coca-Cola, March 17-20; 2005 Kraft Nabisco Championship, March 24-27)
6: Park has won six times this season in 13 starts. The record for most wins in a season is 13 by Mickey Wright in 1963.
281: Park has already accumulated 281 points in the Rolex Women’s Player of the Year race compared to 92 for second-place Stacy Lewis. In order to make up the 189-point differential and make a race at the end of the season, 2012 Player of the Year Lewis would need to win at least six tournaments or the two remaining major championships and two other tournaments and finish higher than third in another – with Park accumulating no points.
In the Rolex points system (with no ties), 30 points are given for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth; six for fifth, five for sixth, four for seventh, three for eighth, two for ninth and one for 10th. Double points are awarded at major championships.
$2,106,827: Park has surpassed $2 million in earnings for the second time in her career. The LPGA record for earnings in a season is $4,364,994 by Lorena Ochoa in 2007.
Webb, Creamer cuts streaks at 56
Karrie Webb and Paula Creamer are tied for making the most consecutive cuts on the LPGA at 56. Webb hasn’t missed a cut since the September 2010 NW Arkansas Championship and Creamer since the 2010 season-ending LPGA Tour Championship.
Jiyai Shin’s cuts streak ended at 48 at the U.S. Women’s Open, dating back to the 2010 LPGA Tour Championship.
Beatriz Recari’s cuts streak stopped at the U.S. Women’s Open at 46 when she missed the cut with rounds of 81-71. Recari played in 62 consecutive LPGA tournaments, dating back to the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational, without a missed start before taking a break at the Bahamas tournament in late May.
Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y., the site for the 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship Aug. 14-17, becomes the 16th course to host the major championship. The first course was Orchard Ridge Country Club in Ft. Wayne, Ind., in 1955. The tournament has also been played in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maryland, South Carolina, Ohio, Delaware and New York. … Early in the week of the U.S. Open, four LPGA players participated in the CVS Caremark Charity Classic in Rhode Island. Morgan Pressel teamed with Jay Haas to finish third, six strokes behind the winning team of Steve Stricker-Bo Van Pelt. Russell Henley-Juli Inkster finished T5, Peter Jacobsen-Lexi Thompson T7 and Billy Horschel-Annika Sorenstam 10th.