Inbee Park makes history by winning US Women's Open for 3rd straight major title

  • Article by: RACHEL COHEN , AP Sports Writer
  • Updated: July 1, 2013 - 6:57 AM
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Inbee Park of South Korea held the championship trophy after winning the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament at Sebonack Golf Club on Sunday in Southampton, N.Y. Park has made history with titles in the year's first three majors.

Photo: Frank Franklin II, Associated Press

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SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Inbee Park set many golfing goals. Etching her name alongside Babe Zaharias was never one of them.

Yet now they're the only two players to win the first three majors of the year. Park became the first to accomplish the feat in the modern era Sunday with her second U.S. Women's Open title.

"Trying to put my name next to hers means just so much," Park said. "I would think I would never get there; it's somewhere that I've never dreamed of. But all of a sudden, I'm there."

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.

Zaharias won the year's first three majors in 1950 — back when there were only three. Now there are five, so Grand Slam might not quite be the right term if Park wins all of them.

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 to another historic U.S. Women's Open victory in 2008, when she became the event's youngest champion at age 19.

"I didn't know what was going on at that time," Park said. "I played very good golf then, but I didn't know what I was playing for, and that was just my first win. It was a great championship then, but now I think I really appreciate more and I really know what this means."

So Yeon Ryu shot 72 to finish third at 1 under. South Korean players took the top three spots and have won the last five majors.

Ryu and Na Yeon Choi, the last two U.S. Women's Open champs, sprayed Park with champagne after she made her final putt on the 18th green.

With lashing wind and devilish greens, Sebonack was a classically troublesome U.S. Women's Open course. And once Park built a lead, nobody could mount a charge.

She certainly wasn't going to make enough mistakes to come back to the field. Park had just 10 bogeys and no double bogeys in four rounds.

She predicted Saturday that shooting even par in the final round would be enough, and she sure was right.

All of four players were under par Sunday — though that was still more than the third round, when only Park achieved it.

Kim birdied No. 2 to pull within three strokes; she couldn't claw closer. And when she bogeyed the fourth hole, the deficit was back to four shots.

Park bogeyed the sixth and seventh, but so did Kim.

Kim had what would have qualified as a sensational week if not for Park, finishing at least three strokes better than everyone but the player currently dominating the sport.

"You can obviously feel for someone like I.K. Kim who would be winning any other U.S. Open on this golf course if it weren't for Inbee," said seven-time major champion Karrie Webb.

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St. Louis - WP: L. Lynn 4 FINAL
Washington - LP: J. Zimmermann 3
Toronto - WP: M. Buehrle 5 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 0
LA Angels - LP: C. Wilson 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 5
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 4
Minnesota - LP: K. Correia 4 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: B. Chen 5
Cincinnati - LP: T. Cingrani 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: E. Jackson 8
Houston - LP: C. Qualls 3 FINAL
Oakland - WP: D. Otero 4
Milwaukee 6 Bottom 8th Inning
Pittsburgh 7
Atlanta 4 Top 9th Inning
NY Mets 3
NY Yankees 1 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 14
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 0 FINAL
Miami - WP: H. Alvarez 7
Chicago WSox 1 Top 6th Inning
Texas 5
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 6th Inning
Colorado 3
Arizona 4 Bottom 5th Inning
Los Angeles 8
San Francisco 1 Top 5th Inning
San Diego 1
Brooklyn 94 FINAL
Toronto 87
Golden State 109 FINAL
LA Clippers 105
Atlanta 101 FINAL
Indiana 93
Memphis 0 1st Qtr 9:33
Oklahoma City 8
Chicago 3 FINAL(OT)
St. Louis 4
Columbus 3 3rd Prd
Pittsburgh 3
Minnesota 0 1st Prd 17:43
Colorado 0
Houston 0 FINAL
Philadelphia 0
New England 1 FINAL
Chicago 1
San Jose 0 FINAL
Colorado 0
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
D.C. 1 FINAL
Columbus 1
Toronto FC 1 2nd Half 44:55
FC Dallas 1
Montreal 0 2nd Half 44:55
Sporting Kansas City 1
Portland 0 1st Half 44:55
Real Salt Lake 0
Seattle 9:30 PM
Chivas USA

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