LPGA.com counts down to the end of 2012 with the LPGA Tour's 12 top stories of the year. Join us as we look back at the year's most memorable milestones. Read about Inbee Park in Story No. 8.
Inbee Park, a summer to remember
The 2012 season will be one for the books for South Korea’s Inbee Park. Coming out of a four-year winless streak, she not only captured two victories but surrounded them with the most consistent stretch of golf the Tour saw this year.
It was slow start to the year in 2012 for Park, who didn’t tally a top-10 in her first nine events of the season. But the 24-year-old enjoyed a stellar second half, notching 10 consecutive top-10 finishes with two victories coming in the midst of her breakout run. It helped catapult her up to the top of the season lists, as she earned over $2.1 million in her final 15 events of the year. She not only topped the season-ending money list with $2,287,080, but also won the Vare Trophy for lowest scoring average (70.2) and was in the top-5 in seven other statistical categories.
It was the type of performance that many had expected to see sooner from Park, who when she won the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open at Interlachen became the youngest winner in the event’s history at 19 years, 11 months, 17 days.
“After all the ueful junior years and amateur years that I'd had, I thought I was going to be playing really good on the LPGA Tour and I was expecting a lot more from me, I think,” Park said. “ I think that was putting too much pressure on me, especially after U.S. Open. I was expecting a lot more from me and I think that kind of hurt me for the last four years.
“I've learned a lot the last four years about being a non‑Top 10 player and not winning for four years. I mean, that was a pretty tough times, but finally I'm here and this year my game's got much improved than last four years, so just happy that I'm here in my position. “
By the end of the 2012 season, Park added 12 top-10 finishes to her résumé, taking her total to 37 career top-10s in her six-year tenure on Tour. The South Korean native has grossed more than $5.2 million in career earnings and ended the season fourth in the Rolex Women’s Golf World Rankings.