Late collapse costs Park a victoryGrace Park was bitterly disappointed after failing to produce her second LPGA title of the season Sunday at the Samsung World Championship at Big Horn Golf Course in Palm Desert, California.
She finished in second place, recording a 15-under 273, three strokes behind winner Annika Sorenstam of Sweden.
It was the sixth second-place finish of the season for Park; her only tour victory this year came at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April.
Park was the leader through most of the tournament, shooting 10-under-par in the first round, five-under-par in the second.
She let up slightly in the third round, shooting one-under-par, but still holding on to her three-stroke lead. As the fourth round got underway, she momentarily lost and then recovered her lead, carrying the three-stroke advantage into the last six holes.
It was at this point that Park’s day took a turn for the worse. She bogeyed the 13th hole, while Sorenstam, playing in the group ahead of Park, chipped in for an eagle on the 15th, to move into a tie for top spot.
Sorenstam followed that up with a birdie on the 17th hole to increase the pressure on Park. The South Korean collapsed, bogeying the final two holes and relinquishing any chance of victory.
The win on Sunday marks Sorenstam’s 54th LPGA Tour victory and her sixth title of the season.
When Park was asked if she had any comments, she replied: “Really, no comment. I fell apart and didn’t get it done.
“It doesn’t matter how close you hit it if you miss the putt, you’re just not going to get it done. It just kept happening after [the 12th hole],” Park said.
“The weather conditions made it tougher, but that’s no excuse for bad play. My putting was just horrible,” she added.
Park said she felt no pressure, even as Sorenstam began taking the play to her in the fourth round, putting the pressure on her to perform.
“I didn’t get any more aggressive because of the way she was playing. I just knew that when you have the No. 1 player just behind you, you expect her to come back,” Park admitted.
Among other Korean golfers on Sunday, Jang Jeong finished tied for sixth place at nine-under-par, and Ahn Shi-hyun was tied for eighth place at eight-under-par.
Kim Mi-hyun placed 10th at seven-under-par. Pak Se-ri propped up the 20-person field for the tournament, shooting 15-over-par to finish dead last.
by Limb Jae-un, Chung Jeh-won
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