Park ties course record, wins Manulife Classic
06/08/2014 2:39 PM
06/08/2014 4:44 PM
Waterloo, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Inbee Park dropped birdie after birdie on her way to a final-round 10-under 61, giving her a 3-shot victory at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic.
Park, who entered the day two shots off the lead, made 10 birdies in her final round and she finished at 23-under-par 261 for the tournament at Grey Silo Golf Course. Park's 61 ties the course record set by 2013 champion Hee Young Park. It was also the lowest final-round score by a winner in LPGA Tour history.
"I didn't really think about the 59," Park said. "You know, all I thought about was just, you know, trying to bring that trophy home. Yeah, just I knew there was a lot of birdies and the way I played today was everything seemed like it was trying to go in. Even if I didn't make it, it was still close."
The win is Inbee Park's first on the LPGA Tour this season coming the week after losing the world's No. 1 ranking to Stacy Lewis. The win was Park's 10th victory overall on tour.
Park outlasted Cristie Kerr, who also had an impressive day with an 8-under 63. Kerr finished in sole possession of second place at 20-under 264.
Shanshan Feng (68) started the day with a 2-shot lead, but she could not keep up with the other low scores as she finished in third at 18-under 266.
Belen Mozo (65) and Lydia Ko (66) tied for fourth place at 16-under, while world No. 1 Stacy Lewis (63) and Michelle Wie (69) tied for sixth at 15-under 269. Wie began the day tied with Park two shots back of the lead, but she struggled making putts all day and settled for a 2-under for the round.
Hee Young Park (68) concluded her tournament at 13-under 271, tying her for 10th.
Inbee Park started off her day with one of her eight pars before knocking in a birdie on the par-4 second. She would make birdie on Nos. 4 and 5, followed by back-to-back birdies on seven and eight.
After making the turn, Park birdied 10, parred 11 and then rattled off three straight birdies starting at No. 12. She would make three straight pars from 15 before closing out the tournament with a birdie on the par-5 18th.
"Obviously my last win on the LPGA Tour was last year about this time a year ago and it sure felt really longer than a year," Park said. "I came really close a few times but I couldn't hold the trophy for last year, so just really happy that I finally got that down."
Kerr started the day at minus-12 before shooting up the leaderboard with birdies on one, five, six and nine. After the turn, Kerr made birdie on Nos. 10, 12, 16 and 18, putting her in second place for the tournament.
Lewis was another player to go very low in the final round as she drained nine birdies to go along with one bogey on No. 7.
Feng started her round off well, making birdie at No. 1. She would add just three more birdies and a bogey the rest of the round, however, and was unable to catch Park.
The LPGA will take the next week off before heading to North Carolina for the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst No. 2, which is playing host to the men's U.S. Open this week. Park is the reigning U.S. Women's Open champion and she will look to make it two straight tournament victories when she defends her U.S. Open title at Pinehurst No. 2.
NOTES: Park became the 10th different player to win on the LPGA Tour this year ... Seventeen-year-old Ko could have moved into the No. 1 spot in the world with a victory an eighth-place or worse finish from Lewis ... Suzann Pettersen jumped out to a quick start in her final round, making four straight birdies. She would level off, however, finishing the day with a 66 and was minus-14 for the week.