2015 RICOH Women’s British Open
August 2, 2015
YOUNGEST PLAYERS TO WIN 7 PROFESSIONAL MAJORS
Inbee Park became the third youngest golfer, male or female, to win seven career major victories. She now ranks tied for 7th on the career major list with Juli Inkster and Karrie Webb. Only Patty Berg (15), Mickey Wright (13), Louise Suggs (11), Annika Sorenstam (10), Babe Zaharias (10) and Betsy Rawls (8) are ahead of her on the list.
|Tiger Woods||26 years, 3 months, 15 days|
|Mickey Wright||26 years, 8 months, 1 day|
|Inbee Park||27 years, 0 months, 21 days|
|Jack Nicklaus||27 years, 4 months, 29 days|
PARK CLINCHES ROLEX ANNIKA MAJOR AWARD WITH WIN IN SCOTLAND
Inbee Park completed the Career Grand Slam on Sunday at Turnberry and also added another accomplishment to her long list of successes. With her win, Park clinched the second-annual Rolex ANNIKA Major Award for excellence in major championships on the LPGA Tour. She earned 60 points for her victory to get to 138 total points and mathematically secured the award regardless of what happens at the season’s final major – The Evian Championship.
“Well, I just missed out on that award last year,” said Park. “I was really close and I couldn’t wrap it up last year. But obviously it’s a prestigious award. Annika is a legendary player. She’s my idol. That’s some kind of award she’s giving out that she’s made. It feels a great honor to put my name on that award. Yeah, it’s a great honor. I mean, I didn’t really think about it until you told me. But it’s another bonus, isn’t it.”
ANOTHER FINE SHOWING FOR KO
Lydia Ko opened the day three shots back of the lead in her bid to become the youngest major champion in LPGA history and when she poured in her third birdie in four holes at the 10th to get to 8-under-par for the tournament, it looked like Ko might just make a back-nine push to win her first major.
But when Lydia Ko found the bunker at the trouble, she came upon a horrible lie and double bogey ensued, derailing her bid for her first major championship.
“Whenever I went in the bunker this week, I didn’t have much of a chance,” Lydia Ko said. “And when that happens, you really don’t know how to think of it. But yeah, I’ve played really solid today and I felt really confident with my long game. I’ve been putting good all week.”
Win or not, Ko was pleased with her 3-under-par 69. In a final round where she posted five birdies and an eagle, it was hard to walk thinking that her tie for third, which ties her second best finish ever at a major, was anything but a solid building block going forward for the most precocious 18-year-old this game has ever seen.
“Yeah, you know, this is my best finish at the British Open,” Ko reminded the media. “I think it’s one of the toughest majors with all the elements outside the golf course. So, yeah, I’m super proud of my finish this week. I don’t know when or if I’m going to have a major win. I hope so, some time in my career. Just doesn’t need to be now. But because of the records, there’s a lot to say about it, but I’ve just got to try my best and that’s all I can do.”
Ko will undoubtedly win a major soon, but to win the British, it takes a little bit of luck and Ko never had any of that this week. She not only drew the toughest draw on Thursday and Friday but also a dreadful lie in the bunker on Saturday and Sunday that each resulted in a double bogey. Pars at the 1st on Saturday and 12th on Sunday and this might all be a different story, but Ko wasn’t about to play revisionist history when she exited the scorer’s tent.
“I played solid all week and started the week great, and yesterday and the day before it wasn’t working as well,” Lydia Ko said. “I managed to make my mistakes a little less. But I had a lot of fun and tried my best today. My mindset was only to be aggressive, and that might have cost me a double, but everything balances out. I had so much fun here this week and I’m going to take the positives.”
Outside of Park, Lydia Ko has to be the favorite at the season’s final major – The Evian Championship, her final bid at becoming the youngest major winner. In 16 majors starts, Ko’s now posted four top-10 finishes but it’s Evian where her best major finish came – a runner-up in 2013.
ANOTHER CLOSE CALL FOR RYU
So Yeon Ryu won the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open in only her third ever major championship start and if her results since are any indication, the next is on the way. She’s been too close too many times for that next to not be in the cards. In the 18 starts since that first major title, Ryu’s now posted seven top-five finishes with her tie for third Sunday.
Ryu’s game shows a consistency and mettle matched only by a few on Tour. Only Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis have matched Park’s consistency in majors this year with four consecutive top-20 finishes.
It comes with little surprise considering the fight and grit Ryu plays with. That was on full display Sunday when she posted back-to-back bogeys to drop to 2-under-par for the tournament. Instead of mail it in the rest of the way, she birdied six of the last 12 holes to post a 4-under-par 68 and tie for third.
“I’m really proud of myself to stay patient until I made a first birdie,” Ryu said. “Finally I made a birdie on 7 and another birdie on 8. So that kind of motivated me to, okay, I can do it and let’s keep it up. I never gave up. I still enjoy this weather and still enjoy this golf tournament. That’s how I finished strong.”
PETTERSEN FALLS SHORT
Suzann Pettersen came up short once again while in major contention and closed this week with an even-par 72 to finish five shots back of winner Inbee Park in solo fifth place. Pettersen has had recent woes in closing out on Sundays while in the mix at majors and trailed by one shot heading into the final round on two separate occasions last year at the Wegmans LPGA Championship and at this event at year ago. She shot a 76 and 75 respectively to falter missing out on her third major win. Pettersen was optimistic in her effort and wish to have had a few more putts drop.
“I had a fantastic week,” said Pettersen. “I don’t think I could ask for feeling any better. Obviously I could have had a few more putts drop. But I played great. Feel like the last two days, I haven’t quite capitalized on how good I’ve been playing, especially on the greens. But overall, a very good week and hats off to Inbee shooting 7 under today.”
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“My dad pretty much wants me to win every single week. For sure, parents, they always think the best for their daughters or sons. I mean, he wants me to do well in every single one but definitely British Open was something that I wanted, so I’m sure that was something he wanted, as well.” - Inbee Park on her parents support this week
ANOTHER FRIEND-FILLED CELEBRATION
The ritual is getting to be old hat for So Yeon Ryu, almost a weekly expectation at this point. At least a couple times a year, and particularly at major championships, Ryu finishes her round then comes over to celebrate her best friend’s win.
“Someone said she’s ‘Inbee-lievable,’” Ryu, a bridesmaid in Inbee Park’s wedding, said. “Who could expect she’d shoot 65 the last round? I kept looking at the leaderboard, and I’d say, ‘Wow, she’s on fire.’ She kept making birdies.”
Surprisingly, it was a win the No. 1 player in the world never expected and admitted as much in a refreshingly honest admission in her Wednesday press conference. Her form she said hadn’t been how she wanted and she was coming in off of her worst round of the year – the final round at the Meijer Classic – and hadn’t been able to find her form in her practice rounds either. She essentially admitted that without her putter catching fire, she didn’t think she stood a chance.
But slowly but surely, Park hung around all week with a 69-73-69 start but saved her best for last with a 7-under-par 65 on Sunday to overcome a three-shot deficit.
“I’m so happy for her, so proud of her, especially before she started the tournament she’s had an injured back so she had a rough patch,” Ryu said. “But here we go, she’s got the trophy so I’m really proud of her. Well, I don’t know only Inbee can do it. I think her putter was on fire.”
SHOW ME THE EAGLES
15 total eagles were made on Sunday at the RICOH Women’s British Open and players raised $15,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project as part of the season-long Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends.
In all there have been 176 eagles recorded in 2015, raising $176,000.
Wounded Warrior Project® Weekends is a season-long charity program that will be tied into the Race to the CME Globe. Each Saturday and Sunday at LPGA tournaments, CME Group will donate $1,000 to Wounded Warrior Project® for each eagle that is recorded. This amount will increase to $5,000 for each eagle during the weekend of the CME Group Tour Championship and a formal check will be presented to the Wounded Warrior Project® during the trophy ceremony at the CME Group Tour Championship. To get involved and learn more, visit woundedwarriorproject.org