Inbee Park’s assault on LPGA Tour history books continued in full step this weekend as the former No. 1 player thumped the field wire-to-wire at the Kia Classic, winning by five strokes in San Diego.
Park began the day with a 5-stroke lead, which grew to six as she made the turn with a clean 34 on the front nine at Aviara Golf Club. Mel Reid may have put it best Saturday night when asked about her chances of catching Park on Sunday: “She’s an unbelievable golfer and she’s going to be hard to beat. She doesn’t make any mistakes.”
It’s how Park has crafted one of the best careers that golf has ever seen. She rarely makes mistakes. And when she did trip up on Sunday — Park bogeyed the 12th and 13th — the event was already over. She bounced back dropping a 20-foot eagle putt on the 16th to move again to six shots up on the field.
Park polished off her 21st career victory on the LPGA Tour, moving her one spot closer to Se Ri Pak (25) as the winningest player from Korea.
“It was a great week this week,” Park said after the win. “It was my first week back out in three months or so. I played so good, I couldn’t believe how I was doing out there this week. I thought this week was kind of just a preparation for next week, but I exceeded so much more.”
The event was preparation for many LPGA pros as the first major championship of the year takes place this coming week at the ANA Inspiration in Rancho Mirage, Calif. Park’s “warmup” was cooled down as much as is viably possible by her fellow competitors, who chased onto the 18th green and doused her with champagne. She’ll continue her push for an 8th-career major championship in just a few days.