Park wins U.S. Women's Open by two
BEDMINSTER, N.J. — All week long, Sung Hyun Park was in the shadows like a lioness stalking her prey. She emerged Sunday night to be crowned the U.S. Women's Open champion.
The 23-year-old South Korean fired a 5-under-par 67 at the Old Course at Trump National Golf Club to win the 72nd edition of the oldest major championship in women's golf. She completed the 72 holes at 11-under 277.
Seventeen-year old Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea, who was trying to become the second amateur to win a Women's Open title, finished second after a 1-under 71 for a 9-under 279.
Choi held the lead alone at one point and also shared the lead. With three holes left, her chance for victory vanished when her tee shot at the par-3 16th found the water.
Mi Jung Hur and 2011 Women's Open champion So Yeon Ryu, both of South Korea, tied for third at 7-under 281 after rounds of 68 and 70, respectively.
Shanshan Feng of China, who led heading into Sunday, remained on top for portions of the final round and was alone in second place, two shots off the pace, coming to the 72nd hole.
Feng watched Park complete her round before finishing with a triple bogey for a 6-under 282, tied for fifth place with Carlota Cignada of Spain and Jeongeun6 Lee of South Korea.
Park was competing in just her second Women's Open. She held the 36-hole lead last year at Corde Valle before finishing tied for third, one shot out of the playoff between Anna Nordqvist of Sweden and American Brittany Lang, the eventual champion.
Park was seven shots off the pace midway through the championship before a 67 on Saturday moved her into contention. She started the final round three shots off the pace and made the turn after a 34. A birdie at 12 gave her a share of the lead with Choi and Feng. She took the lead alone after she birdied 15 and Choi found the water at 16.
NOTES: Sung Hyun Park collected a check for $900,000 from a record $5 million purse. She becomes the eighth South Korean player to win a total of nine Women's Opens since 1988. Inbee Park won the Women's Open in 2008 and '13. Seven other players have won one each. ... Marina Alex finished as the low American in the field at 4-under 284. The 27-year-old Alex grew up in Wayne, New Jersey, less than 40 miles from Trump National. She joined the LPGA Tour in 2014. .... U.S. President Donald Trump attended Sunday's finale. Five protesters (four women, one man), staged a demonstration beneath his box that overlooked the 15th green and 16th tee. They were protesting the USGA's decision not to move the championship from Trump National.