Park prevails at U.S. Women’s Open
The Associated Press | July 01,2013
Inbee Park waves to fans as she walks up the 18th fairway during Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Women’s Open at the Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Inbee Park won the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday to make history with titles in the year’s first three majors.
The world’s top-ranked player finished at 8 under to win by four strokes. Her 2-over 74 in the final round was more than enough, with Sebonack’s trying conditions keeping any rivals from making a run. Only three players were under par for the tournament.
Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim also shot 74 for her second runner-up finish at a major.
No player had ever won the first three majors in a year with at least four.
“I’m just very glad to put my name in history,” Park said.
Ahead by four strokes at the start of the round, Park birdied the ninth and 10th holes to extend her lead. She has won six times already this year, including three straight tournaments. Park added a second U.S. Women’s Open title to another historic victory in 2008, when she became the event’s youngest champion at age 19.
So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 champion, shot 72 to finish third at 1 under. South Korean players took the top three spots and have won the last five majors.
The only player to win the year’s first three majors was Babe Zaharias in 1950 when there were only three. The women now have five majors, so Grand Slam might not quite be the right term if she wins all of them. Up next is the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews on Aug. 1-4. The Evian Championship is Sept. 12-15 in France.
Park also became the second player to win the U.S. Women’s Open after victories in her previous two tournaments. Mickey Wright did it in 1964.
BETHESDA, Md. — Bill Haas won the AT&T National and joined some distinguished company.
Haas pulled away from a crowd of contenders with three straight birdies, two key pars and one good hop out of the rough. It led to a 5-under 66 on a muggy day at Congressional and a three-shot win over Roberto Castro.
As many as six players had a share of the lead at some point until Haas rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 8. Worried about a splotch of mud on his ball, he hit his approach to just inside 12 feet for birdie on the par-5 ninth, and then hit a 5-iron to 10 feet for another birdie on the 10th.
Haas led by at least two shots the entire back nine, though he never allowed himself to think about winning until he stood over a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole and realized he had three putts to win.
Haas has won at least one PGA Tour event in each of the last four years, joining Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose. And with a half-dozen players trying to win for the first time on tour, Haas kept a high pedigree of winner at the AT&T National. In the seven-year history of the tournament, Rose was the lowest-ranked player to win at No. 35 in 2010 at Aronimink.
Haas, who finished at 12-under 272, entered the week 29th.
The 31-year-old won for the fifth time in his career, and this was the first one with Tiger Woods on the property — not to play, but to hand out the trophy. Woods sat out this week with an elbow injury and won’t play again until the British Open.
SENIOR PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP
PITTSBURGH — Kenny Perry won the Senior Players Championship for his first major title, overtaking Fred Couples with a final round 6-under 64.
Perry finished at 19-under 261 at Fox Chapel, two shots ahead of Couples and Duffy Waldorf. The 52-year-old Perry opened with a 71 and shot consecutive 63s in the next two rounds.
Perry was runner-up in the 1996 PGA Championship and 2009 Masters while playing as a regular on the PGA Tour. He tied for second in the Senior PGA Championship last month.
Couples closed with a 68, and Waldorf shot 64.