BEDMINSTER, N.J.—Syun-Hung Park knew her time to win a major would soon come. She finished third at the US Women’s Open last year, falling off the pace after leading the first 36 holes.
After shooting a 30 on the back nine and an overall 5-under 67 this year’s US Women’s Open Saturday, her chances greatly increased. Sunday afternoon, it predictably came all together.
Park shot another 5-under 67 and finished 11-under 277 to capture the 72nd annual tournament at Trump National Golf Course.
The 23-year-old South Korea resident finished the day with six birdies Sunday and 18 overall in four rounds. She began the day three strokes behind Shanshan Yeng, who began the day 9-under and led the first three rounds.
Park stayed on the heels of Feng all afternoon and she tied for the lead when she birdied the 15th holes. Shen then took the lead on 17 with a birdie to reach 11-under.
But Park stole the show when she chipped on the green at 18 from nearly 100 yards out. Her shot gently rolled down hill and stopped a few feet from the cup. She sank the shot to finish with a par. It also placed the pressure on Feng to hit the pin from over 100 yards on her next shot to stay even.
But Feng’s shot went wide and she eventually triple-bogied on the hole to finish 6-under and tied for fifth and overall.
“I did pretty well until the last hole,” Feng said. “Overall, I think I had a great week. Coming into this week I had no expectation at all.”
Park won her first US major and has been a multiple champion in Korea. She remained optimistic to overcome a slow start through the first two rounds that saw her shoot a 1- under 73 and a two-under 70.
“I didn’t have two good rounds to begin the tournament,” said Park through a translator. “But I still had confidence in myself. My caddie really helped me determine my shots.
“I came in to the tournament more confident after what happened last year. After the third day, I was pretty confident with everything. Now I am here excited and happy.”
After Park’s third shot bounced wide on 18, she admittedly was nervous.
“When I came to my fourth shot, my mind just went blank,” she said. “My caddie kept telling me to calm down and told me that I have been through this before. I did calm down and hit it well.”
Hye Jyn Choi, a 17-year-old amateur in the field, shit a 1-udner 71 in the final round and finished second overall with a 9-under 279. M.J. Hur and So-Yeon Ryu, who were both in contention the past two days, finished tied for third with a 7-under 281.
Marina Alex, who played collegiately at Vanderbilt, was the top American finisher as she finished tied for 11th with a 4-under 284.