BEDMINSTER, N.J. – The best player this week won the U.S. Women's Open, making up for a bad weekend in this event a year ago.
Sung Hyun Park shot her second straight 5-under 67 on Sunday and won a final-round battle with front-running Shanshan Feng and teenage amateur Hye-Jin Choi at Trump National Golf Club for her first LPGA Tour victory.
Park, of South Korea, birdied the 15th to move into a tie for the lead and the 17th to open a two-shot edge after a Choi double bogey ended her chance of becoming the second amateur to win the event.
Park finished at 11-under-par 277, two shots better than Choi, who shot a closing 71.
It was a far cry from a year ago, when Park hit into the water on the 18th hole at CordeValle in California and missed a playoff with eventual winner Britanny Lang and Anna Nordqvist by two shots.
"The experience was definitely worth it, because based on that good experience that I had last year, I think I was able to garner the championship this year," Park said through an interpreter.
President Donald Trump arrived Friday and became the first sitting president to attend a Women's Open, seeing parts of the final three rounds. There was a small but peaceful protest after he arrived at his box near the 15th green shortly after 3 p.m.
Park needed a fine chip from over the green on the par-5 18th hole to save par and win the $900,000 top prize from the $5 million event.
Walking to the scoring tent to sign her card, she got a thumbs-up from Trump from his box.
"Well, to be honest with you, I still cannot believe that it is actually happening," said Park, who is the leading rookie on the LPGA Tour. "I almost feel like I'm floating on a cloud in the sky. Of course, I did have many winnings in other tournaments, but winning here at U.S. Open means so much more."
Choi, 17, was low amateur for the second straight year.
Top-ranked So Yeon Ryu and fellow South Korean Mi Jung Hur tied for third at 7 under. Feng, from China, had a 75 to drop into a tie for fifth at 6 under with Spain's Carlota Ciganda and South Korea's Jeongeun Lee.
Marina Alex of nearby Wayne, N.J., was the top American finisher at 4 under. It was the worst finish in the Open for the top American since Paula Creamer was seventh in 2012.
Choi was the story for most of the final round. She had a two-shot lead with nine holes to play and needed a 5-foot birdie at 15 to regain a piece with Park, who had made a 20-footer in the group in front of her.
The 139-yard, par-3 16th over water ended Choi's hopes. Her 7-iron landed in the water to the right of the hole. She ended with a double bogey and basically lost her chance of winning.
"At the time I felt that all this work, hard work I put together was going to disappear, so I was bit disappointed but I had to refocus," said Choi, who birdied the final hole.
Choi's 279 was the best by an amateur in the Open.