Ex-world No. 1 Park In-bee earns 1st LPGA win in 16 months

March 6, 2017

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) — Former world No. 1 Park In-bee earned her first LPGA Tour victory in 16 months on Sunday in Singapore.

With a blistering final round, Park captured the HSBC Women’s Champions at Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong Course by one stroke over Ariya Jutanugarn. Park shot an eight-under 64 on Sunday, with nine birdies against one bogey, for the four-round total of 19-under 269.

This was Park’s 18th career LPGA win, and her first since November 2015, when she won the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Mexico to cap off a five-win season.

Park is the third straight South Korean to win on the LPGA Tour, following Jang Ha-na at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and Amy Yang at Honda LPGA Thailand.

In this Associated Press photo, Park In-bee of South Korea putts on the 11th hole during the final round of the HSBC Women's Champions golf tournament at Sentosa Golf Club's Tanjong Course in Singapore on March 5, 2017.

In this Associated Press photo, Park In-bee of South Korea putts on the 11th hole during the final round of the HSBC Women’s Champions golf tournament at Sentosa Golf Club’s Tanjong Course in Singapore on March 5, 2017.

Park was bothered by a left thumb injury most of the 2016 season and only played in the first half of the year. She did come back to win the Olympic gold medal in Rio de Janeiro but shut down for the rest of the year.

Park made her 2017 debut last week at Honda LPGA Thailand, where she finished tied for 25th.

Park began the final round in Singapore at 11-under, three shots off the lead held by Michelle Wie. After recording four straight pars to open the day, Park went on a tear, picking up seven birdies in an eight-hole stretch starting at par-five fifth.

The remarkable run took her to 18-under with six holes remaining, three shots ahead of the field. Park then picked up two more birdies at 14th and 17th to reach 20-under.

Park’s only blemish came at the final hole, where she committed her first bogey since the third hole in the third round. But she was still able to hold off Jutanugarn, who had a strong round herself with a 66 on seven birdies and a bogey.

 

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