The Queen Bee is back at the U.S. Women’s Open. The 2008 and 2013 champion Inbee Park is making her 15th overall and 14th consecutive start at the major championship. She’s one of 13 past winners in the field, and one of 27 USGA champions competing at the famed Olympic Club, which is hosting its first U.S. Women’s Open. Park has an unbelievable record in the major; since 2007, she’s recorded seven top-10 finishes along with her two wins and agreed her game shines when under the pressure as she gears up for the challenge of Olympic.
“I think it's just my game really suits the tough golf courses, and probably I'm pretty calm on the golf course too. Whatever happens on the golf course, I kind of manage myself to stay calm no matter what happens,” said Park. “This golf course definitely needs some patience. The course is going to play tough. It's going to be windy, cold, and we're going to have to hit some fairways on this golf course. Otherwise, you don't have much shot.”
When Park won in 2008 at Interlachen Country Club, she became the youngest to ever win a U.S. Women’s Open, a record that continues to stand. It was the first of her 21 victories on the LPGA Tour, along with the first of seven major titles. Now an LPGA Hall of Fame member, Park knows she’s changed as a person and player since her first appearance in the major in 2004. In Monday’s practice round, Park played with Tsubasa Kajitani, the 17-year-old winner of the 2021 Augusta National Women’s Amateur, and reflected upon the experience beside the Japanese teen.
“I think since my first U.S. Open, I think it's a lot of things has changed. My first U.S. Open, I was an amateur, so I had nothing to be afraid of. I played just a practice round with Japanese girl amateur, I think, and really reminded me of my first U.S. Open. She just looked nothing to be scared of on this golf course and just bombing the balls. I kind of envy that, and I don't think I'll be able to ever do that again,” said Park. “I'm definitely a different player than I was 15 years ago. A lot more mature, a lot more calm on the golf course. Probably I don't really get surprised with a lot of things on the golf course anymore.”