Sunday’s Final-Day Recap
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park held off a surging Catriona Matthew, sinking an 18-foot birdie putt on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff at the Wegmans LPGA Championship to capture her seventh-career victory and third major championship. Matthew shot a final-round 4-under 68 to force a playoff with Park, who finished with a 3-over 75 including 3 bogeys in her last six holes. Park has won the first two majors of the 2013 season, having also captured the Kraft Nabisco Championship back in April.
“I didn't know that I was going to be able to do it today,” said Park. “I was hitting the ball everywhere today on the final round. It just made my day so much tougher. But just putting my name on the Wegmans LPGA championship trophy just means so much to me. And this is my third win in a major championship. So that means a lot. And getting a lot closer to my goals set for my golf career.”
It was a marathon of a day on Sunday at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, NY. The final 36 holes of the major championship had to be played on the final day of the event after rain postponed the start of the event a day.
Park started the third round sitting one shot behind second-round leader Morgan Pressel, who looked to take command of the lead early on in the round thanks to three consecutive birdies on Nos. 7, 8 and 9. But Park got things going on the back nine, carding four birdies and no bogeys to finish the third round with a one-shot lead. Pressel bogeyed the 10th and 12th holes and trailed Park by one with 18 holes to play.
A 25-minute break separated the two rounds for the leaders and Park did not waste much time to extend her lead. She birdied the fifth hole to extend her lead to two shots, but followed it up with bogeys on the 6th and 8th holes. After hitting her second shot into a tree on No. 8, Pressel battled back with a birdie of her own for a two-shot swing that created a tie atop the leaderboard at 7-under-par..
The makings looked to be in place for a back-nine duel between Pressel and Park but Pressel would drop shots on Nos. 10 and 12 while Park birdied the par 5 11th hole and held a three-shot lead with six holes to play.
The South Korean would find herself in trouble in the rough on the remaining holes and opened the door for the Scotland native, Catriona Matthew, to make a move two groups ahead of her. Matthew birdied the 17th hole and made a solid two-putt par on 18 to finish at 5-under. She then waited to see how the final groups played out.
“The last I looked at the scoreboard, Inbee had a solid lead, so I was quite surprised when suddenly I looked at the leaderboard on 18 and two putts would get me in a playoff,” Matthew said. “When I started today the last round I probably didn't realize I could win. So to play well and get into the playoffs was obviously pretty good. Obviously when you get into it, it's pretty disappointing but overall pretty good week.”
Park bogeyed Nos. 14, 16 and 18 to drop to 5-under and was faced with a playoff with the 19-year Tour veteran, although she found a way to come through with a victory.
“I could have made one more putt maybe on 17 or 16, but I've made some amazing up‑and‑downs before that,” said Park. “So I mean bogeys were bound to come with the way I've been striking the ball today. I mean if you miss the fairways here, you really can't avoid bogeys here. And I knew that I had good plans, but I really didn't expect to win with the way I was playing today. I mean I was really trying to be calm, and you know, not to get mad even if I don't win.”
Topics: KPMG Women's PGA Championship