PGA Women’s Championship a Historic Occasion for Women’s Golf
Inbee Park -Third in A Row Win
Inbee Park added to her already substantial legacy Sunday afternoon, and gave her sport a big boost at the same time.Park’s five-shot win over Sei Young Kim at the inaugural KPMG Women’s PGA Championship had significant historical implications.
Park becomes the sixth player to win this championship three times, joining a list that also includes four-time winner Mickey Wright, Kathy Whitworth, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam, and Se Ri Pak. She and Sorenstam are the only players to win this event three years in succession.
Only one other player has ever won a major three years running. That was Patty Berg who won three straight Titleholders from 1937-39, more than a decade before the LPGA was founded. In fact, Berg was still an amateur at the time.
“I feel extremely honored,” Park said, “and I can’t believe that I just did it. I mean, it has not really sunk down yet. It will probably after I sleep tonight. But yeah, this is really a great accomplishment in my career, and obviously there’s a lot more things to do from now on but this is definitely one of the greatest accomplishments I’ve ever had.”
This championship was a collaboration involving the PGA of America and the LPGA. The latter, fortunately, retained and carried over the records and history of the LPGA Championship, which was first played in 1955. The end result was a win-win for all concerned.
“This definitely really elevated our major championship for sure,” Park said. “This tournament’s been really a true major golf tournament for us, for the LPGA. The golf setup, the venue, everything, the facility, the fans, everything has just been phenomenal for us.”
Park has ties to the PGA of America. As an amateur she won the Junior PGA Championship twice. “It was just so cool for us to play in that event. Winning that event was obviously really special for me and that really inspired me into the game. Obviously now winning another PGA of America tournament is such an honor for me.”
Contesting this event on a stage like the West Course at Westchester Country Club was a major step forward for women’s golf as well. For some four decades, the course was the setting for the Westchester Classic, which at one time offered the richest purse on the PGA Tour.
Park’s performance (19-under par 273 for 72 holes), and the efforts of her peers left no room for doubt as to the strength and vitality of the women’s game. For the LPGA and for the game of golf in general, it was a weekend to savor.