“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.”
It indeed took some miscues from Ciganda, who was the 2012 LET Order of Merit winner and the LET Rookei of the Year, for Park to capture her latest victory. The 22-year-old Spaniard held a two-stroke lead over Park following a birdie on the 10th. Trouble would then strike the young player on the 14th and 15th holes when she went bogey-double bogey to fall one shot back of Park.
On the par-4 14th, Ciganda hit her drive behind a tree. With 140 yards left to the pin, Ciganda tried to hit over the tree and ended up clipping a branch that resulted in her second shot coming up about 20 yards short of the green. Unable to get up and down, Ciganda’s two-stroke lead quickly became one. Then came even more problems for Ciganda on 15 when unsure about the left-to-right wind, she hit her second shot a little too far to the right and her ball bounced into the water. She would go on to make double bogey on that hole to fall to 11-under, one shot behind Park.
“I saw the ball bouncing on the green, so I thought that maybe it was there long,” Ciganda said of her approach into 15. “But when I was approaching the green, I could see that the wind was hard and the ball was in the water. So I mean I just tried to make up on that, and I missed my putt, so then it was a 6, and that was it. I think that was the key hole because until that time I think I was winning by two and then by one.”
Ciganda, who was trying to become the fourth Spaniard to win on the LPGA Tour, still had opportunities to catch Park. Her birdie putt on the 16th lipped out. Coming into the par-5 18th trailing by one, Ciganda drained a 15-foot-putt for birdie to tie Park at 12-under with the No. 1 player in the world facing a 4-footer for a birdie that would seal the win. And as she has does so many times recently, Park sank the putt to give her win No. 3 of the 2013 season.
The win in Texas helped Park maintain her hold on the No. 1 spot for a third consecutive week and continued what has been an impressive stretch of golf for Park dating back to last July’s Evian Masters. She has captured five victories in her last 18 starts and always seems to find herself in contention.
“It's always good to see my name on the top of the leaderboard almost every week,” Park said. “I mean not every week, but close to every week. Yeah, it always feels good, my game is ‑‑ it's really good to see my game is improving every week, every year, and just trying to take it step by step.”
Topics: North Texas LPGA Shootout