Park chases 3rd straight win at major

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Park chases 3rd straight win at major

Park In-bee aims to become the third female golfer in history to win a major tournament three years in a row, as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship starts on Thursday (local time) at Westchester Country Club in Harrison, New York.

The tournament, with a purse of $3.5 million, was originally known as the LPGA Championship. This is the first year it will be known as the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, after KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA joined forces. Park won last year’s tournament, the Wegmans LPGA Championship.

If Park, whose 14 LPGA Tour wins include five major trophies, takes the upcoming event, she will be the third female golfer to win a major tournament for three consecutive years, after Annika Sorenstam and the late Patty Berg.

Berg took the then-major Titleholder’s Championship from 1937 to 1939. She passed away in 2006 at the age of 88.

Sorenstam, the 44-year-old from Sweden, won the LPGA Championship from 2003 to 2005.

Park could also become the No. 1 in world rankings if she wins this week. The 26-year-old is just 0.1 points behind top-ranked Lydia Ko, who has amassed 10.77 points.

But the road to victory won’t be easy despite Korean golfers’ dominant performances this season. The Korean ladies won five of the first seven LPGA Tour events, but collected only two trophies in the last five events. Park, Ko and Kim Sei-young are the only three golfers with two LPGA Tour victories this season.

For the opening round, Park will tee off with Lexi Thompson and Suzann Pettersen.

Thompson, the 20-year-old American, is looking for her first victory since winning her first major, the Kraft Nabisco, early last year.

Pettersen, the 34-year-old Norwegian, enters this week red hot after winning the Manulife LPGA Classic last weekend. She has won two major titles in her career.

BY JOO KYUNG-DON [joo.kyungdon@joongang.co.kr]
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