Inbee Park, the world’s top-ranked player, waited 68 holes to tie the lead and 70 to take it outright. When she did seize it with a birdie on the 16th hole, she wasn’t letting it go with her 12-under-par 276 at Turnberry edging Jin-Young Ko by three shots. Park’s 7-under-par 65 not only enabled her to seize the championship trophy at the RICOH Women’s British Open but also the career grand slam, winning her seventh major championship and 16th LPGA tournament. For players who have won four different majors available in their careers, the LPGA acknowledges them as having completed a Career Grand Slam.
“Greatest day of my life yet for sure,” Park said. “It was a great day of golf today. I played great golf out there. Even though I made a couple early mistakes, I was able to hold on really well on the back nine. Obviously got a little bit lucky today. The golfing God was on my side for sure.”
Park tied the round of the championship Sunday with a 7 birdie, 1 eagle performance that saw her storm into contention with four consecutive birdies from holes 7-10 and close it out later with an eagle on 14 and birdie on 16 as Jin-Young Ko, who had led for much of the day three groups behind her, left it in the water in front of the green on 16 to seal up the victory for Park.
“I was a little overthinking, and then I was a little bit nervous,” Jin-Young Ko said of the shot that came up short on the 16th.
The problem for Park now becomes what’s her next goal? Park’s just one tournament shy of completing the Super Slam, winning all five LPGA majors, a feat only completed by Karrie Webb, but she won the Evian Championship before it was designated a major. Therefore, the career grand slam had always been her goal. It was the only missing trophy from her mantle, but with that completed here at the British, a tournament that had eluded her in her eight previous tries, she now has to return to the drawing board.
“That’s been the goal of my career, and I’ve achieved it at the age of 27,” Park said. “So I don’t know what the next goal will be, but I’ve got to set some kind of goal. Just seemed so far and so hard that I couldn’t achieve the Grand Slam, and I’m here and I’ve finally done it. It just felt easier.”
Perhaps the most amazing statistic in the career of a 27-year-old that’s already become a legend in the game is her recent major record. Of the last 14 major championships, Park’s won six.
As only the seventh player ever to complete the Career Grand Slam winner, and second youngest ever to do it, there’s no telling what records ultimately may fall when Park’s done playing.
“There’s many more tournaments, many more majors and many more things to do,” Park said, “so I’m sure I’ll find something to do.”
- RACE TO CME GLOBE