The Norman Transcript

July 2, 2013

Park can make more history at St. Andrews

By Rachel Cohen
The Associated Press

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Inbee Park hoped to win a Grand Slam.

A career Grand Slam, that is. The single-season variety was just too outlandish.

Yet she’ll head to St. Andrews next month for the Women’s British Open with a chance to become the first player to go 4 for 4 in majors — whatever that may be called, now that there are five majors in a year.

“Whether I do it or not, I’m just a very lucky person,” Park said Sunday after winning the U.S. Women’s Open for the second time.

Park’s four-shot victory at windy Sebonack would seem to bode well for Scotland, though the world’s top-ranked player has won in pretty much every situation this season on the way to six titles, including all three majors and three straight tournaments overall.

Park talked Sunday about how calm she felt, and Annika Sorenstam could only marvel. Sorenstam was the last player to try to win the year’s first three majors, in 2005, and she didn’t come close at the U.S. Women’s Open.

“I was NOT calm,” she said with a laugh.

“I know the pressure you can feel, the expectations,” Sorenstam added. “She’s handled it beautifully. Nothing seems to faze her.”

Brad Beecher, Park’s longtime caddie, said he’s never seen her angry or emotional on the course.

“I think it’s because I feel the happiest when I’m at the golf course,” Park said. “I feel calm when I’m on the golf course. I think I’m just a much better person when I’m on the golf course.”

She’ll head home to South Korea for a rare visit before the British. Park knows she won’t get much time to herself there, but she wants to share her success with the fans who wake up in the middle of the night to watch her play.

St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, seems only appropriate as the spot for where Park could make history, Sorenstam said.

Park will just have to keep not thinking about that on the course.

“If I knew what I was doing,” Park said, “I think I wouldn’t be able to stand.”

Beecher said she’ll glance at leaderboards but excels at not worrying about what other players are doing. The rest of the field, though, will have a hard time not noticing if Park quickly pulls in front again.

“You don’t even know if she has a pulse out there half the time,” said Paula Creamer, who tied for fourth at Sebonack. “Doesn’t matter if it’s a good shot or a bad shot, I think I’ve seen her actually smile maybe 10 times.”

The only player to win the year’s first three majors had been Babe Zaharias in 1950 — and there were only three then.

“After Annika retired I didn’t think anybody would ever do it,” said Angela Stanford, another of the players who tied for fourth, nine strokes behind Park.