Date: August 03, 2015
Author: Golf Australia

Inbee-lievable Park lands career slam

The final round of the British Women’s Open might not have gone to Minjee Lee’s script, but she had front-row tickets to history overnight.

Playing alongside Inbee Park, Lee simply couldn’t find her winning rhythm on another windswept round at Turnberry.

But the Perth teen will have learnt plenty watching up close the world No.1 playing one of the more extraordinary major championship rounds to swoop for a three-stroke victory.

The field looked as though it might be chasing overnight leader Jin Young Ko in vain for much of the round.

But Park would simply not be denied, overcoming two early bogeys to equal the tournament’s best 65 with a withering closing run.

So Yeon Ryu completed a Korean trifecta with a fine 68 to share third with New Zealand’s Lydia Ko at eight under.

Lee, 19, faded from contention midway through the round, but clung on gamely to finish ninth – her best major finish in her eighth try.

Victorians Stacey Keating (78) and Su Oh (74) each had their moments, but finished 10 over and 12 over, respectively.

But the day belonged to Park, who at 27 completed what is regarded by the LPGA Tour as the “career grand slam” with a win in at least four of the five major championships.

Only the Evian Championship, which she also won before it had “major” status, now stands between the 27-year-old and the “super slam”.

Trading blows with Lee in the early chase for JY Ko, Park made bogeys on the fourth and fifth to remain five under as Ko poured it on to charge to 12 under with birdie on the 10th.

Park then struck. Four straight birdies from the seventh hole put her within reach, then a sensational eagle on the par-5 14th put the heat on Ko who bogeyed the 13th behind her.

When Park (-12), Ko’s idol and mentor, played arguably the shot of the tournament to within 1m on the 16th for birdie, the pressure became too much for the 20-year-old.

Ko dumped her approach to the 16th into the burn at the front and the resultant double-bogey ended the contest as she fell back to -9.

It was Park’s seventh major, leaving the reserved Korean battling to find a new mission after staggeringly winning the past six of those in just the past 14 events.

“That’s been the goal of my career, and I’ve achieved it at the age of 27,” Park said.

“So I don’t know what the next goal will be, but I’ve got to set some kind of goal.

“It just seemed so far and so hard that I couldn’t achieve the grand slam, and I’m here and I’ve finally done it. It just felt easier.”

She’s only the seventh player ever to complete the career grand slam winner, and second youngest to do so behind Mickey Wright.

“There’s many more tournaments, many more majors and many more things to do, so I’m sure I’ll find something to do.”

Queenslander Karrie Webb, who also has seven career major wins, is the only person to have achieved the “super slam” of all five modern majors.

Lee was valiant, but simply couldn’t buy the putt that would have turned momentum.

The Perth ace made three birdies in her opening seven holes, but they were offset by a wayward drive on the fifth cost her a double-bogey.

Lee had several putts lip out on the front nine, but bogeys on the 12th, 15th and 16th ultimately proved too much from which to recover as her final-round 73 left her four over, tied with British pair Amy Boulden (71) and Mel Reid (72).