Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Golf roundup: Park wins US Women's Open for first LPGA Tour victory

Golf roundup: Park wins US Women's Open for first LPGA Tour victory

She would easily be the youngest U.S. Women's Open victor ever, topping champion Inbee Park, who was 19 years 11 months and 17 days old when she won in 2008.

With two holes remaining, Park shared the lead with Choi, a 17-year-old from South Korean who was attempting to become the youngest-ever victor of the premier title in women's golf, and just the second amateur to win the championship, joining 1967 victor Catherine Lacoste.

A year ago, at CordeValle, Park had the 36-hole lead but closed with a pair of 74s to finish two strokes out of the playoff between Brittany Lang and Anna Nordqvist. But with a third-round 67, she moved into fourth, three back of Feng and now with a chance for a Sunday charge to claim the title. Her performance over the four days at Trump National suggests she will flourish as a professional when she makes the switch.

However, Park tied for the lead with a 20-foot gain on the 15th.

She stretched clear of the field on the back nine thanks to birdies at the 12th, 15th and 17th and then held her nerve at the 18th with a superb up and down from the back of the green to salvage par. Park finished at 11-under 277 for a two-stroke win over Choi.

"But I knew that, you know, on the last hole, I mean, when [Park] made the putt and people went like insane", said Feng, who led after the first, second and third rounds before stumbling Sunday. Inbee Park won the Women's Open in 2008 and '13.

"I did not have the best first and second rounds so I wanted to believe in myself in the remaining rounds", added Park, whose nickname Dak Gong means "shut up and attack".

Shinkwin had to settle for second and a place in next week's British Open at Royal Birkdale, while Frenchman Matthieu Pavon also grabbed a spot with a final-round 66 that saw him finish three strokes adrift of the leading duo.

Choi's 279 was the best by an amateur in the Open, four shots better than the old mark by Grace Park in 1999.

"Then on 18th I was like, "let's hit them little more closer" and I hit it to three feet and finally I made a putt". I am so thankful and happy.

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"Well, I mean it will be nice if I could get the money", Choi said through an interpreter.

"The last shot on the 18th hole, the fourth one, I think I said this earlier out on the 18th hole, my mind basically went blank", she said.

After she snaked through a sea of fans above the 18th green, she walked by Trump's viewing area and looked up to see the president approaching the front window. Feng, from China, had a 75 to drop into a tie for fifth at 6 under with Spain's Carlota Ciganda (70) and South Korea's Jeongeun6 Lee (71).

Sung Hyun Park, the top rookie on the LPGA Tour, was 6 under after a 67.

Remarkably, eight of the top 10 players on the final leaderboard were Korean, including world No.1 So Yeon Ryu who'll extend her buffer at the top of the rankings.

In the end, the 17-year-old amateur didn't become the youngest player to win a women's major. She birdied Nos. 8, 11 and 16 and just missed another on the final hole.

The 21-year-old from Kettering is six shots adrift of Feng going into the weekend.

Shanshan Feng opened a two-shot lead Friday after two rounds of a U.S. Women's Open that got its first visit from a sitting president.

Inside the ropes, players battled puzzling greens and moody weather.

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