Inbee Park is ready to the answer challenge of added length on a stout Atlanta Athletic Club
Inbee Park, the second-ranked player in the world, will tee it up this week at the KPMG Women’s Championship seeking her eighth major title. Here’s an eye-opener: nobody else in the 156-player field has won more than two. Experience is a wonderful thing.
Park already is a three-time winner of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, the
second oldest major in women’s golf (dating to 1955). She made a great run at a fourth LPGA title last autumn at Aronimink Golf Club outside Philadelphia, closing with a sizzling 65, only to be edged by Sei Young Kim (63).
With summer rains frequently falling on Atlanta in recent weeks, the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club will feature plenty of length this week. Fairways that will not run as fast as usual will add to the overall challenge of a course measuring 6,740 yards.
Aronimink was long, too. Park, who ranks 148th on the LPGA in driving distance (243.69 yards), always seems to rise to a good challenge.
“It's probably going to play a little long, and I'm going to be hitting a lot of long clubs in that I have to concentrate on,” Park said. “Obviously, nobody says it's easy to hit long clubs, but you've got to work with what you have.”
Park said she hit 3-wood into the water-protected, par-3 15th hole on Tuesday, which was playing about 220 yards. At 32, she’s a long way from Phil Mickelson in distance and in age (Mickelson is 51), but she did watch with interest as he broke a long major-less streak of his own at last month’s PGA Championship.
“Definitely, it's a good inspiration,” she said. “When Phil Mickelson wins at his age, and I think when you see someone play like that, it's always a great thing to watch. It's like magic. It definitely gives you a lot more courage to go out and play well. So, yeah, I'm really excited for the week.”