PARK HOPES TO END SEASON ON HIGH NOTE
It has been an up-and-down year for Rolex Rankings No. 2 Sung Hyun Park, who entered her second Tour season off winning co-Player of the Year and solo Rookie of the Year honors in 2017. Park has three wins, including her second major victory at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. However, she also has seven missed cuts in her 23 tournament appearances, including three consecutive events in late May and early June.
That victory at KPMG, where she cried into her caddie David Jones’ shoulder following her winning putt, means so much more to the famously stoic Park given the struggles it took to get there.
“Whenever I feel like I'm not playing well, I kind of remind of the KPMG, that moment, and that makes me feel more confident,” said Park, who is fifth in the reset points for the Race to the CME Globe.
Her goal this week is simple – she wants to win the CME Group Tour Championship.
“Last year I also thought I really wanted to have a strong finish,” said Park, who tied for sixth in her CME debut last year. “That would be my goal still.”
GOALS ACHIEVED, BUT PERHAPS BIGGEST GOAL REMAINS FOR HENDERSON
It has been an exceptional 2018 season for Brooke Henderson with wins at the Lotte Championship presented by Hershey and the CP Women’s Open, as well as eight other top-10 finishes. However, her hunger to reach the top once again is as fierce as ever with one event remaining on the LPGA schedule.
“One of my main goals this year was to be in the top five coming into this event so I could have this opportunity,” said Henderson, No. 3 in the Race to the CME Globe. “Hopefully I can capitalize. I’m very happy with how everything has turned out this year, winning twice when the competition is so tough. I’m really happy to be back in this position.”
Set to make her fourth career start in the CME Group Tour Championship, Henderson has never finished outside the top-25 at Tiburon Golf Club, with her best showing of 13th coming in 2015. Like the past three years, Henderson is in position to challenge for the $1 million bonus prize that comes along with winning the Race to the CME Globe.
“It all starts Thursday with a good round, basically just have to go out and play good golf like I have all year,” said Henderson, who would capture that $1 million bonus with a win on Sunday. “You need to finish at least in the top-five or be in that final group on Sunday with a chance to win. This is right up there with all other majors and even the CP Women's Open, just because this is a big goal of mine to win the Race to the CME Globe.”
HATAOKA WRAPPING UP CAREER YEAR
Second-year player Nasa Hataoka has enjoyed a Cinderella year in 2018. After struggling through her rookie season and going back to Q School in 2017 to improve her playing status, the 19-year-old Japanese star broke through with a Rolex First-Time Win at the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship presented by P&G. That win marked the beginning of a new phase in Hataoka’s career and gave her reason to think even bigger.
“The goal was to at least win once,” said Hataoka. “Being able to win in Arkansas, that also gave me another thought to go ahead and wish for another one.”
That second win came two weeks ago, when Hataoka captured the TOTO Japan Classic in front of throngs of adoring fans in her home country.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON A MILLION DOLLARS?
When asked “what you would you do with a million dollars,” five different players gave five very different responses…
“I'm going to go eat. Eat a lot. No, you know, like, I mean, I never think about money because like when I go out here I think the best place I can be is here. I never think about money, how much I make. Just going to keep doing what I love to do. I love to support the kids in Thailand. Just going to keep doing that no matter how much I make anyway.”
“Maybe a (Mercedes) AMG.”
“I've been asked that the last three years, and I'm still not really sure. But just the opportunity to be here, I'm really grateful. Hopefully I can do something special this week.”
“Seeing all the houses on the golf course really inspires me to want one of those.”
Sung Hyun Park
“Every year I always go travel with just my friends, but if I win $1 million then I want to bring all of my family to somewhere warm to have fun.”