Park sets sights on another ti­tle

Two-time tour­na­ment win­ner is di­aled in go­ing into the U.S. Women’s Open

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY BOB LENTZ

In­bee Park’s fo­cus sharp­ens dur­ing ma­jor cham­pi­onship weeks, and the South Korean is di­aled in for the U.S. Women’s Open.

Park is back atop the rank­ings for the third time in her ca­reer and leads the LPGA Tour with three vic­to­ries this sea­son. But the ma­jors have been where she has flour­ished. Her first win came at the 2008 Women’s Open, and she has six ma­jor ti­tles over­all in­clud­ing five of the last 12.

When the cham­pi­onship kicks off Thurs­day morn­ing, Park will face stiff com­pe­ti­tion in the 156player field that in­cludes nine pre­vi­ous cham­pi­ons, in­clud­ing last year’s win­ner, Michelle Wie. Other win­ners in­clude Na Yeon Choi (2012), Paula Creamer (2010), Laura Davies (1987), EunHee Ji (2009), Cristie Kerr (2007), Birdie Kim (2005), So Yeon Ryu (2011) and Karrie Webb (2000, 2001) .

Other play­ers to watch in­clude 18-year-old New Zealan­der Ly­dia Ko, who spent time ranked first on the LPGA Tour this sea­son be­fore be­ing over­taken by Park. Brit­tany Lin­ci­come won the ANA In­spi­ra­tion in April in Cal­i­for­nia and fel­low Amer­i­can Stacey Lewis fin­ished sec­ond to Wie in the Women’s Open last year. Stand­out South Korean rookie Sei Young Kim had her cad­die re­moved from the cham­pi­onship by the United States Golf As­so­ci­a­tion for tak­ing photos of in­ter­nal notes on the course setup.

Park favours the pres­sur­ized at­mos­phere of the ma­jors and will­ingly in­creases her prepa­ra­tion for the tour’s premier events.

“That’s the tour­na­ment that you put 100 per cent of your energy and strat­egy and ev­ery­thing,” Park said of the tour’s five ma­jors.

“When I come to ma­jor cham­pi­onships, I work ex­tra hard and I try to look at the course a lit­tle bit bet­ter.”

Park said she’s boosted by pre­vi­ous wins in ma­jor tour­na­ments.

“Hav­ing good re­sults helps, that gives me a lot of con­fi­dence go­ing into other ma­jor cham­pi­onships think­ing that I’ve done good on ma­jor cham­pi­onships so I can do well in another good one,” she said.

AP PHOTO

In­bee Park hits a tee shot off the 11th tee dur­ing a prac­tice round for the U.S. Women's Open golf tour­na­ment at Lan­caster Coun­try Club in Lan­caster, Pa., Wed­nes­day.

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