With a round of 5-under 67, Sung Hyun Park rallied to win the U.S. Women’s Open by two over 17-year-old amateur Hye-Jin Choi. Here’s how Park won her first major title at Trump National Bedminster:
Leaderboard: Park (-11), Choi (-9), M.J Hur (-7), So Yeon Ryu (-7), Carlota Ciganda (-6), Shanshan Feng (-6)
What it means: A five-time winner in Asia, this is Park’s first victory in the United States. In less than two full LPGA seasons, she had already racked up nine top-10 finishes, four runner-ups, and a tie for third at last year’s U.S. Women’s Open at Cordevalle, where she held the 36-hole lead. Three back to start the day, she poured in six birdies against a lone bogey. As Choi was making double bogey at the 16th hole, Park was rolling in a birdie from 6 feet at 17, taking her from tied with two to go to up two with one to play. A tricky up-and-down from a tight lie long of the final green saved Choi her par, and her victory was secured when Feng failed to hole-out for eagle moments later. Park is now the seventh South Korean in the last 10 years to win the U.S. Women’s Open.
Biggest disappointment: The amateur Choi stood on the 16th tee tied for the lead. At 17 years old, she was three holes from perhaps becoming the youngest major champion in history. But her tee shot at the par-3 found the water and the resulting double bogey ended her chances. Nonetheless, a birdie at 18 and a mini-meltdown from Feng left her in solo second.
Expensive mistake: Unable to win and playing from roughly the same spot over the 18th green where Park had just saved par, Feng stubbed her chip shot and ran her fifth shot past the hole. She then three-putted for triple bogey, a round of 75, and a tie for sixth at 6 under.
Round of the day: After taking herself out of the tournament on Saturday, Minjee Lee rallied back from a third-round 77 with a Sunday 66, featuring five birdies across her final eight holes. The late rally bumped her up into a tie for 10th.
Shot of the day: Park’s delicate pitch from over the back of the 18th green. She one-hopped her ball into the bank and watched as it trickled towards the hole, settling a foot from the cup. She cleaned up for par and locked up her first major.
Quote of the day: “I wanted to believe in myself.” – Park