Saturday, 23 September, 2017

Park Sung-hyun wins US Women's Open by two strokes

Lydia Ko shoots from the 18th fairway during the US Women's Open GETTY IMAGES Lydia Ko shoots from the 18th fairway during the US Women's Open
Kayla Schwartz | 17 July, 2017, 14:30

Hye-Jin Choi is a 17-year-old from South Korea who is trying to become the first amateur to win the U.S. Women's Open in 50 years.

The South Korean fired a five-under 67 in the final round at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey to finish at 11 under.

With the victory, Park won her first major title and the 900-thousand US dollars top prize.

President Donald Trump watched the final round from a viewing tent behind the 16th tee.

But that dream died on the shortest hole of the course when she pushed her tee shot on the 147-yard 16th into the water and wound up with a double bogey. While there were plenty of gawkers and a few quiet protesters, the golf took the focus, especially on the back nine, where Park, Choi and Feng all shared the lead at 9-under.

At the time, it was a three-horse race that also included Shanshan Feng, who led after each of the three previous rounds.

"I did pretty well until the last hole", Feng said, per Ron Sirak of the LPGA's official website.

PGA EUROPE: Rafa Cabrera Bello birdied the first hole of a playoff with Callum Shinkwin to win the Scottish Open in Irvine, his first title in 5½ years.

The all-business Park plays with a poker-face intensity and crushes the ball with a flowing power swing that takes dead aim at her target.

Sunday, she became the eighth Korean over the last 13 years to win this tournament, playing brilliantly down the stretch while while turning one remarkable story into another as she finished with an 11-under-par 277.

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As for Choi, how cool was it to see the caddie for one of the players in the final twosome at the U.S. Women's Open hauling around a stand bag, just like the ones used by most other teenagers?

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.

"Well, it would be nice if I could get the money, but I think my primary goal was to come here and compete", Choi said.

From there, she chipped to within three feet and made the putt to save par. "I wanted to believe in myself again for the final two rounds and I did".

"The first two days didn't go as well as I thought they would", said Park, a South Korea resident, through an interpreter.

Saturday at the US Women's Open was all about defence.

Feng, the overnight leader, fell back to six under and a share of fifth with a triple-bogey eight on the closing hole.

Park's 2016 successes booked her an LPGA Tour card for 2017 and she has not let herself down, with four top ten finishes preceding her maiden major win.

"I really didn't pay attention to the weather and just concentrated on every shot".

South Koreans held the next six spots on the leaderboard, with 17-year-old world amateur number two Choi Hye-Jin and Amy Yang sharing second on 208 after third-round 70s. She added four birdies and two more bogeys in her final 15. "The experience I had a year ago has helped me become better". It's a greater honor for me. So Yeon Ryu, the world's No. 1 player, had a 70 and tied Mi Jung Hur (68) for third at 281.

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