Inbee Park Shoots 61 With One Bogey on the Week

You know you’re game is getting pretty sharp when you shoot 69, 66, 65, 61 to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic by three over an equally hard-charging Christie Kerr and you only make one bogey…on the fourth hole…a distant memory. And given her final results, a fluke, an accident, a blip.

Kerr shoots 8-under 63 after saying Saturday that she was going to go low. But sometimes your best just isn’t enough:

“Yeah, I never looked at the scoreboard until I came off 17, you know, with a reachable par 5 to see where I was and I was three back and I was stunned because I was 7‑under for the day.  You’d think you’d be close.”

Can you imagine? You shoot what has to be one of the lowest rounds of the year and you lose by three?

This has given Inbee quite a bit of confidence. She won six times last year, three of them majors and hadn’t won since then. And so now she goes into the U.S. Women’s Open in two weeks, not only recharged, but as the defending champion.

It wasn’t that she was playing bad, it’s just that golf is circumstantial and she just wasn’t playing good enough:

“Just, you know, I played great golf, just not enough.”

Stacy Lewis had her own hard-charging 63, enough to give her a backdoor T6. She wasn’t even in the equation going into the final round:

“These first few days I felt like I played well, just didn’t score well.  Didn’t take advantage of the par 5s, which is what you have to do on this golf course.  So I knew it was out there, it was just getting some putts to fall early and, you know, luckily I did.”

She did, however, keep her just accomplished World No. 1 slot, a nice way for her to be going into the U.S. Open.

The leaderboard coming into the day was pretty impressive:

  • Shanshan Feng  (-15)
  • Inbee Park  (-13)
  • Michelle Wie  (-13)
  • Christie Kerr  (-12)
  • Lydia Ko (-11)

Shanshan’s 3-under wasn’t enough to hold off Inbee on a day like this and Michelle’s 2-under never got off the ground. Lydia had a very respectable 5-under but started from too far back.

And a final note. Jackie Stoelting, winner of the Golf Channel’s “Big Break Florida” and an exemption into the tournament, managed to make the cut, shoot even par for the four days and finish T71. Not the stuff of stardom just yet, but certainly the stuff of dreams for a young player believing that she can play at that level.

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