The Korea Herald


Korean rookie rallies for 2nd career LPGA win

By Yonhap

Published : Aug. 28, 2017 - 09:32

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South Korean rookie sensation Park Sung-hyun has rallied for her second career LPGA victory in Canada.

Park, world No. 4, overcame a four-shot deficit to win the Canadian Pacific Women's Open in Ottawa on Sunday (local time). She fired a bogey-free final round of seven-under 64 at the par-71 Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club to finish at 13-under 271, beating fellow South Korean Lee Mi-rim by two strokes. Park took home a winner's check of $337,500 to overtake South Korean Ryu So-yeon for first place on this year's money list at a little over $1.87 million.

Park, 23, won the US Women's Open, the oldest major in women's golf, last month for her maiden LPGA win.

Park Sung-hyun of South Korea poses with the champion`s trophy after winning the Canadian Pacific Women`s Open on the LPGA Tour in Ottawa on Aug. 27, 2017. (AP-Yonhap) Park Sung-hyun of South Korea poses with the champion`s trophy after winning the Canadian Pacific Women`s Open on the LPGA Tour in Ottawa on Aug. 27, 2017. (AP-Yonhap)

She is the third multiple winner on the LPGA Tour this year, joining two other South Koreans: Kim In-kyung (three wins) and Ryu So-yeon (two victories).

With Park's victory, South Koreans have won five consecutive LPGA events, a streak that began with Park's US Women's Open win.

Overall, South Koreans have combined for 13 wins in 23 LPGA tournaments this year.

The record for the most wins by South Korean players in an LPGA season is 15 from 2015, when there were 31 tournaments. There are 34 tournaments this year.

Park started the day at six-under, four strokes back of the co-leaders -- Nicole Broch Larsen and Mo Martin. The South Korean started her rally with a birdie at the par-four third, the first of her seven birdies on the day.

Park made the turn at 10-under and dropped in three more birdies to finish at 13-under.

Park later called her final round "perfect."

"I think it was a perfect game today," she was quoted as saying on "There were no mistakes today, and I think it was perfect."

Park said because she is a rookie, she doesn't worry about every shot and approaches all of her shots with confidence.

"My confidence made me do well this year," she said. "I just stayed really patient because I've been hitting the ball really well all week but not many putts were falling."

Lee, who won the Kia Classic in March, shot a three-under 68 to finish alone in second place. She recorded two eagles in the final round.

Chun In-gee, leader after two rounds and just one off the lead through 54 holes, shot a 70 on Sunday to tie for third place at 10-under. Kim Hyo-joo, who finished tied for eighth at nine-under, was the fourth South Korean inside the top 10.

Park dominated the Korea LPGA Tour last year by winning seven times and setting the single-season earnings record with more than 1.3 billion won ($1.15 million). She played in a select few events on the LPGA Tour but still made enough money to earn full-time status for 2017. And she is now a shoo-in for the Rookie of the Year honors.

Prior to the Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Park was leading the points race for the top rookie award with 1,135 points, with Angel Yin of the United States a distant second at 511 points.

Rookies are awarded 150 points for tour victories, 80 points for runner-up finishes, 75 points for third place and so forth. Points are doubled at the five major tournaments. There are 11 tournaments, including one major, remaining this season.

Park also has a chance to win the Player of the Year. Ryu is the current leader with 150 points, and Park, with her latest win, moved to 130 points.

Players earn 30 points for each victory, followed by 12 points for finishing second and nine points for ending in third. Points are doubled at major championships.

Including her two victories, Park has had seven top-10s in 17 starts this year. She has never missed a cut. (Yonhap)