Inbee Park finishes runner-up at Aronimink
Inbee Park fell just short of history at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, but her very solid year on the LPGA Tour continued this week at Aronimink Golf Club.
Park shot a 5-under-par 65 Sunday, her lowest round of the week, but ended up five shots back of Sei Young Kim’s winning total.
“It was a great day out there today. I couldn't ask for a better day. I probably left a couple of birdies out there, but I feel like I didn't make much mistakes at all with ball-striking. But Sei Young was just really untouchable, and she played really, really good golf today,” said Park.
“That's how a champion plays a final round, so it was good to see that.”
The LPGA Tour Hall of Fame member has won three KPMG Women’s PGA Championships in her career (all in a row, from 2013-2015) and was looking to match Mickey Wright’s record total of four.
Park said she woke up with a sore neck Sunday morning and her physiotherapist was not on site, so, she said with a laugh, she relied on a massage from her husband to start feeling better.
Park said the golf course was set up smartly on Sunday. You could spin the ball near most of the pins and give yourself a birdie opportunity, she said, but when you didn’t execute on the shots needed a bogey would come “straight away.”
“You can lose a lot of shots really quickly and you can make up some shots with some great shots. You get rewarded for great shots,” said Park, who made no bogeys Sunday but was her typical surgical self tee-to-green. She hit 16/18 greens in regulation and missed only one fairway.
Park has played a lot of golf with Kim – Kim was also there to spray Park with water after her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory in 2015 – and said it turned into a bit of a match-play situation with her fellow South Korean on Sunday.
“I [saw] the leaderboard and it just kept going lower and lower and lower and I'd make birdies she makes birdies, I'd make birdies, she makes birdies, and as like, ‘come on,’ Park said with a laugh. “It was just fun to have that kind of race.”
This is Park’s sixth top-10 finish of the year on the LPGA Tour, highlighted by a victory at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. She said this result, coupled with her fourth-place finish at the AIG Women’s Open, gives her a lot of confidence for the final major championship of the season.
With fewer opportunities on the schedule due to COVID-19, Park said she was keen to compete this week at Aronimink. She ended Sunday with a runner-up, and even more motivation to take things across the finish line next year at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship.
“I really wanted to compete in this week, and that's why I, pretty much, came over for this stretch of the weeks in the U.S., and being able to play this week on this golf course. [It] was a great opportunity and a great experience,” said Park. “I really love this golf course and I love how I played it, and this golf course was just perfect.”