An­nie Park wins ShopRite for first LPGA Tour ti­tle

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

GAL­LOWAY, N.J. (AP) — An­nie Park won the ShopRite LPGA Clas­sic for her first LPGA Tour vic­tory, clos­ing with an 8-un­der 63 on Sun­day for a one-stroke vic­tory over Sakura Yokomine.

The 23-year-old Park, from Le­vit­town, New York, had an ea­gle and six birdies on a cloudy day over the Bay Course at Stock­ton Seav­iew to com­plete 54 holes at 16-un­der 197, a stroke off the tour­na­ment record.

“I can’t de­scribe in words how I feel,” Park said. “It’s my first win out on tour. I mean, ev­ery win is very spe­cial, but just hav­ing my fam­ily out here, my friends sup­port­ing me, it’s just — all the fans, my friends back home, I would like to thank all of them. With­out them and hav­ing that sup­port, I prob­a­bly wouldn’t have been here to­day.”

Park be­gan the year with con­di­tional sta­tus on the LPGA Tour, but her sea­son came around in April at the LPGA Medi­heal Cham­pi­onship in San Fran­cisco. She qual­i­fied on Mon­day, tied for 18th and won more than $17,000 to im­prove her sta­tus on the pri­or­ity list.

“It’s been a crazy first half of the year,” she said. “Came into the year with hav­ing par­tial sta­tus and juggling be­tween the Symetra Tour and the LPGA Tour. I think that Medi­heal tour­na­ment re­ally got it go­ing, Mon­dayed in, had a great first two rounds, got reshuf­fled into the mix. And hav­ing this first win, it’s been crazy.” Park used a long put­ter. “I switched to it this Jan­uary, and it’s ac­tu­ally helped me out a lot,” Park said. “I’ve al­ways strug­gled with putting. I like it, but it’s also kind of hard be­cause it’s longer and heav­ier. It took a while for me to get used to the put­ter, but I re­ally like it.”

Yokomine, the win­ner of 23 events on the Ja­pan LPGA Tour, flirted with a 59 but parred the par-5 18th for a 61 to tie the course record.

New Jer­sey na­tive Marina Alex was third at 14 un­der after a 64. She made a hole-in-one at the par-3 17th.

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