Park Captures Third Win of 2018
Sung Hyun Park fired a final round 4-under par, 68 to share the lead with Lizette Salas at 23-under to end regulation on Sunday. The two headed to No. 18 for a sudden death playoff. It took only one hole for the Republic of Korea native to defeat Salas and earn her third victory of the season at the Indy Women in Tech Championship Driven by Group 1001.
Park, who was the first player to win the Rolex Rookie of the Year and Rolex Player of the Year awards in the same year since Nancy Lopez achieved the feat in 1978, is projected to take over the most prestigious title of them all. The current world No.4 is projected to overtake Ariya Jutanugarn at No. 1 in the Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings following her win in Indianapolis. It’s a position Park held once before for a week in November 2017.
She was the fourth Korean player to reach No. 1 in the history of the rankings (Jiyai Shin, Inbee Park, So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park) when she held the position in 2017. Only 13 players have reached No. 1 since the rankings debuted in February 2006.
Salas Plays Well, Falls Short in Playoff
It was not the result that Lizette Salas wanted but she should be happy with her play over the last four days in Indianapolis.
Salas had a lot of positives to take away this week and can head into next week’s CP Women’s Open knowing she’s playing well and comfortable with her game.
“I fought from day one. I don't know, I played better than what I expected, obviously. It just shows that I'm a fighter, I don't give up,” said Salas. “I wasn't intimidated by my playing partners hitting it past me. I knew my game would speak for itself.”
“And just I stuck with positives; I stuck with my game plan. And a couple putts could have dropped, but you just got to roll it. And, yeah, I'm just really proud of myself for keeping -- keeping patient and staying focused. And so, yeah, a lot of positives.”
Sung Hyun Park is a “tough competitor” according to Salas. She knew she had to stick to her game in order to beat her in the playoff.
“I just -- I stuck with my instincts, I stuck with what -- what strong parts of my game I had. And I could have gone for it with driver, but I was comfortable with 3-wood. And I gave myself a good number. I gave myself a chance,” explained Salas.
“And hitting it in the rough on 18 in regulation, I could have freaked out, I could have done a lot of other things, but I stayed patient, and I hit the shot I wanted. And all I could ask for is an opportunity, and I know that sounds -- I know it sounds – yes, cliche, but that's how you win golf tournaments. You got to give yourself opportunities. And I was given, and I just -- it didn't drop, and it wasn't my time. So just got to go back to work and have a week off to stay with my family. And I will be back, though, for sure.”
She’s not complaining about a runner-up finish; she sees the momentum it gives her heading into the rest of the season.
“I kind of gave myself a little time off in the middle, so my batteries are recharged. I think this week is going to -- probably going to have a chip on my shoulder just to prove to myself that I could win again. And I had the game,” said Salas.
“I have been out here seven years, and I feel like I can play for seven more. And I'm not as young as I used to be, but I can still hang in there and play with these gals. And my confidence is there. And this might draw me back a little bit, but I'm going to -- I'm going to rise to the challenge again, and I will be back, for sure.”
Henderson Hit the Gas on Sunday
Brooke Henderson was only aiming for a 6-under today but hit the gas early with a birdie on her opening hole followed by birdies on four, six, seven and nine to make the turn at 5-under.
The world No.16 got off to a fast start and said she was trying to make additional birdies on the back nine to keep her foot on the gas.
“I was able to do that,” said Henderson. “To shoot minus 9, 63, I think is my lowest round all year, so I'm really happy. And I definitely shot up the leaderboard, so it's always a good sign.”
It’s perfect timing for Henderson to put together a top round ahead of a trip back to Canada next week for the CP Women’s Open.
“Yeah, it's definitely good to have momentum going back there, and definitely will be an exciting week,” said Henderson. “So I'm looking forward to getting back and being with the hometown crowd, and hopefully have a solid week up there.”
Henderson said it’s always nice to go home.
“Regina is super far away from where I actually live, but at the same time all the Canadians kind of cheer for every Canadian, and it's kind of a special bond that they have with all the Canadian players out here on the LPGA tour, so they will definitely be cheering a lot for us,” said Henderson.
Angel Yin Eagles 18th