I Got You, Babe! Inbee Park Matches Zaharias By Winning First Three Majors Of The Year

Inbee Park (click to enlarge)

If world #1 Inbee Park felt the pressure of golf history weighing down upon her, she didn’t show it outwardly. The 2012 Vare Trophy and LPGA Money List winner went about the business of capturing the 2013 US Women’s Open with the same calm disposition she collected the titles at the first two Majors of the year, the Kraft Nabisco Championship and Wegmans LPGA Championship. In doing so, Inbee put her name beside Babe Zaharias as the only two players in LPGA history to win the first 3 Majors of the calendar year. It’s also her 6th title of the year overall. She will have the opportunity to become the only golfer in history to win four Majors in the same year during the Modern Era when she tees it up at the 2013 Ricoh Women’s British Open, a tournament where she finished 2nd in 2012. Fittingly, her quest for history will take place at the Old Course at St. Andrews, the home of golf.

Inbee Park (click to enlarge)

With her father watching her win a Major for the first time in person, Inbee didn’t have her most scintillating round. What she did was manage her lead. It was up to the rest of the field to catch her. They couldn’t. The goal of the USGA was to have a course set-up that identified the best player. That’s exactly what happened. Inbee used the first three days to separate herself from the field at 10-under. A final round 2-over dropped her to 8-under, but that was still more than she needed to best the field. She didn’t make every putt on Sunday, but she made what she needed.

Inbee Park (click to enlarge)

It’s not meant to look this easy. Sometimes special players come along and defy the reality of how difficult it is to win golf tournaments, especially Majors. Tiger had his Tiger Slam. Micky Wright won four in a row over 2 years. In the pre-Modern era, Bobby Jones won the “impregnable quadrilateral”  by triumphing at all four Majors in 1930. Also, note that 2 of those 4 were amateur events, then counted as Majors. Inbee is seeking to become the first to win a professional Grand Slam in one calendar year. Unfortunately, scheduling issues prevented Ben Hogan from attempting to win the Grand Slam in 1953 after he was unable to compete in the PGA Championship after winning the Masters, US Open and The Open Championship (British). Although no LPGA player has won four Majors in a single calendar year, as mentioned before Mickey Wright won four in a row over two years, like Tiger did on the PGA. Also, in 1950 when Babe Zaharias won the first 3 Majors of the year, those were the only 3 Majors played that year. Similarly, in 1974 there were only 2 Majors played. Sandra Haynie won both of them. But when people conceptualize a Grand Slam, they generally mean 4 Majors. In fact, if Inbee wins the Ricoh Women’s British Open, many will consider that a Grand Slam. But, there are actually 5 Majors this year on the LPGA, with the elevation of the Evian Masters to Major status. In a way, I wish this were 2012. That way, if Inbee won the British but lost Evian, it would still mean she won every Major. Now, some are saying that a win at the British would be a Grand Slam while adding the Evian would be a Super Slam. I won’t waste too much on debating that right now but I will say that if Inbee wins at St. Andrews, she would be the odds on favorite to win Evian where she is the defending champion.

Inbee Park showered with champagne by 2012 US Women’s Open champion Na Yeon Choi and 2011 US Open champion So Yeon Ryu

We are witnessing history. I hope mainstream sports outlets, not just the golf media, give Inbee the respect and coverage she deserves. As I have said before, forget Tiger, Phil or Rory, if this were ANY PGA player, they’d get godlike treatment going into the PGA Championship. One a side note, not only have we seen dominance by Inbee, this is the 10th straight LPGA Major won by an Asian player. 7 of those 10 victories are by South Korean women. The last 3 US Women’s Opens have also been won by South Korean players; Inbee Park-2013, Na Yeon Choi-2012 and So Yeon Ryu-2011. Add Inbee’s win in 2008 and Eun Hee Ji’s in 2009, and South Koreans have won 5 of the last 6 US Women’s Opens. Much, if not most, of the wave of Korean success on the LPGA can be traced back to Se Ri Pak’s career defining victory at the 1998 US Women’s Open. With 14 of the 27 points needed and a ton of momentum, Inbee Park joins Jiyai Shin as the only 2 Korean players with a realistic shot of joining Se Ri in the Hall of Fame.

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ALL PICS CLICK TO ENLARGE

INBEE PARK

IN KYUNG KIM

CASIE CATHREA (low amateur)

JODI EWART SHADOFF

SO YEON RYU

AI MIYAZATO

JESSICA KORDA

AYAKO UEHARA

MIKA MIYAZATO

MORGAN PRESSEL

STACY LEWIS

PAULA CREAMER

ANGELA STANFORD

Pos Name 1 2 3 4 Today Total Strokes Purse
1 Inbee Park 67 68 71 74 +2 -8 280 $582,500
2 I.K. Kim 68 69 73 74 +2 -4 284 $350,000
3 So Yeon Ryu 73 69 73 72 E -1 287 $217,958
T4 Paula Creamer 72 73 72 72 E +1 289 $127,972
T4 Angela Stanford 73 68 74 74 +2 +1 289 $127,972
T4 Jodi Ewart Shadoff 70 69 74 76 +4 +1 289 $127,972
T7 Brittany Lang 76 69 73 72 E +2 290 $94,357
T7 Jessica Korda 70 71 76 73 +1 +2 290 $94,357
T9 Shanshan Feng 71 75 75 70 -2 +3 291 $79,711
T9 Brittany Lincicome 72 72 74 73 +1 +3 291 $79,711
T11 Anna Nordqvist 68 74 77 73 +1 +4 292 $69,432
T11 Ai Miyazato 76 70 72 74 +2 +4 292 $69,432
T13 Lexi Thompson 75 69 76 73 +1 +5 293 $61,477
T13 Karrie Webb 73 73 73 74 +2 +5 293 $61,477
T15 Lindy Duncan 71 73 75 75 +3 +6 294 $54,755
T15 Catriona Matthew 70 75 74 75 +3 +6 294 $54,755
T17 Mariajo Uribe 70 76 76 73 +1 +7 295 $47,784
T17 Haeji Kang 71 73 77 74 +2 +7 295 $47,784
T17 Na Yeon Choi 71 77 72 75 +3 +7 295 $47,784
T20 Lizette Salas 68 72 82 74 +2 +8 296 $37,920
T20 Jennifer Rosales 70 76 76 74 +2 +8 296 $37,920
T20 Morgan Pressel 73 74 75 74 +2 +8 296 $37,920
T20 Karine Icher 70 72 77 77 +5 +8 296 $37,920
T20 Cristie Kerr 72 72 74 78 +6 +8 296 $37,920
T25 Casie Cathrea 75 73 79 70 -2 +9 297
T25 Hee Kyung Seo 75 74 75 73 +1 +9 297 $27,548
T25 Chella Choi 73 75 76 73 +1 +9 297 $27,548
T25 Julieta Granada 74 76 73 74 +2 +9 297 $27,548
T25 Ha-Neul Kim 66 77 78 76 +4 +9 297 $27,548
T25 M.J. Hur 75 71 75 76 +4 +9 297 $27,548
T31 Meena Lee 71 79 77 71 -1 +10 298 $21,434
T31 Gerina Piller 73 76 76 73 +1 +10 298 $21,434
T31 Christina Kim 75 75 74 74 +2 +10 298 $21,434
T31 Mika Miyazato 72 77 74 75 +3 +10 298 $21,434
T31 Caroline Hedwall 68 75 79 76 +4 +10 298 $21,434
T36 Lydia Ko 72 76 79 72 E +11 299
T36 Dewi Claire Schreefel 76 71 77 75 +3 +11 299 $18,263
T36 Ayako Uehara 75 75 73 76 +4 +11 299 $18,263
T36 Soo-Jin Yang 72 72 79 76 +4 +11 299 $18,263
T36 Thidapa Suwannapura 75 74 73 77 +5 +11 299 $18,263
T36 Kristy McPherson 74 75 72 78 +6 +11 299 $18,263
T42 Jane Park 73 76 76 75 +3 +12 300 $15,430
T42 Mo Martin 74 74 77 75 +3 +12 300 $15,430
T42 Ryann O’Toole 72 73 78 77 +5 +12 300 $15,430
T42 Stacy Lewis 71 76 75 78 +6 +12 300 $15,430
T46 Pornanong Phatlum 71 77 76 77 +5 +13 301 $13,544
T46 Sarah Jane Smith 71 76 76 78 +6 +13 301 $13,544
T48 Austin Ernst 75 74 82 71 -1 +14 302 $12,287
T48 Azahara Munoz 73 74 73 82 +10 +14 302 $12,287
T50 Doris Chen 74 74 79 76 +4 +15 303
T50 Laura Diaz 76 74 76 77 +5 +15 303 $10,715
T50 Amy Yang 74 72 78 79 +7 +15 303 $10,715
T50 Maude-Aimee Leblanc 69 77 77 80 +8 +15 303 $10,715
T54 Yueer Cindy Feng 72 77 79 76 +4 +16 304
T54 Jenny Shin 78 71 78 77 +5 +16 304 $9,693
T54 Caroline Masson 71 74 81 78 +6 +16 304 $9,693
T57 Carlota Ciganda 76 72 82 75 +3 +17 305 $9,211
T57 Amy Meier 74 72 82 77 +5 +17 305 $9,211
T59 Brooke Henderson 71 76 83 77 +5 +19 307
T59 Caroline Westrup 74 76 78 79 +7 +19 307 $8,875
T61 Eun-Hee Ji 73 77 83 75 +3 +20 308 $8,574
T61 Natalie Gulbis 70 78 76 84 +12 +20 308 $8,574
63 Cindy LaCrosse 74 74 82 79 +7 +21 309 $8,313
T64 Nelly Korda 73 77 79 81 +9 +22 310
T64 Moira Dunn 78 72 77 83 +11 +22 310 $8,089
T64 Becky Morgan 75 73 79 83 +11 +22 310 $8,089
67 Danah Bordner 73 74 82 83 +11 +24 312 $7,890
68 Jackie Barenborg Stoel 75 74 82 82 +10 +25 313 $7,746
T69 Christel Boeljon 77 74 MC MC 151
T69 Paz Echeverria 69 82 MC MC 151
T69 Sandra Gal 76 75 MC MC 151
T69 Juli Inkster 72 79 MC MC 151
T69 Char Young Kim 75 76 MC MC 151
T69 Rachel Rohanna 74 77 MC MC 151
T69 Kris Tamulis 75 76 MC MC 151
T69 Yani Tseng 76 75 MC MC 151
T69 Alison Walshe 77 74 MC MC 151
T69 Lindsey Wright 73 78 MC MC 151
T69 Je-Yoon Yang 70 81 MC MC 151
T69 Sun Young Yoo 77 74 MC MC 151
T81 Christi Cano 74 78 MC MC 152
T81 Katie Futcher 78 74 MC MC 152
T81 Megan Grehan 78 74 MC MC 152
T81 Vicky Hurst 79 73 MC MC 152
T81 Nicole Jeray 75 77 MC MC 152
T81 Lorie Kane 77 75 MC MC 152
T81 Pernilla Lindberg 76 76 MC MC 152
T81 Beatriz Recari 81 71 MC MC 152
T81 Emily Tubert 74 78 MC MC 152
T81 Momoko Ueda 73 79 MC MC 152
T91 Nicole Castrale 78 75 MC MC 153
T91 Sophie Gustafson 78 75 MC MC 153
T91 Mina Harigae 77 76 MC MC 153
T91 Katherine Hull-Kirk 73 80 MC MC 153
T91 Kyung Kim 71 82 MC MC 153
T91 Sydnee Michaels 78 75 MC MC 153
T91 Ji Young Oh 79 74 MC MC 153
T91 Hee Young Park 76 77 MC MC 153
T91 Caroline Powers 73 80 MC MC 153
T100 Chie Arimura 76 78 MC MC 154
T100 Jamie Hullett 78 76 MC MC 154
T100 Ilhee Lee 76 78 MC MC 154
T100 Annie Park 79 75 MC MC 154
T100 Suzann Pettersen 76 78 MC MC 154
T100 Giulia Sergas 79 75 MC MC 154
T100 Jiyai Shin 76 78 MC MC 154
T100 Karen Stupples 75 79 MC MC 154
T108 Irene Cho 77 78 MC MC 155
T108 Birdie Kim 78 77 MC MC 155
T108 Tiffany Lua 76 79 MC MC 155
T108 Brooke Pancake 74 81 MC MC 155
T108 Miki Saiki 75 80 MC MC 155
T108 Gabriella Then 77 78 MC MC 155
T114 Carly Booth 78 78 MC MC 156
T114 Hee-Won Han 80 76 MC MC 156
T114 Tiffany Joh 75 81 MC MC 156
T114 Danielle Kang 74 82 MC MC 156
T114 P.K. Kongkraphan 76 80 MC MC 156
T114 Belen Mozo 78 78 MC MC 156
T114 Stephanie Sherlock 78 78 MC MC 156
T121 Katy Harris 78 79 MC MC 157
T121 Jennifer Johnson 76 81 MC MC 157
T121 Stacey Keating 76 81 MC MC 157
T121 Jessica Shepley 77 80 MC MC 157
T121 Mariah Stackhouse 78 79 MC MC 157
T121 Nicole Zhang 77 80 MC MC 157
T127 Emily Childs 77 81 MC MC 158
T127 Kirby Dreher 77 81 MC MC 158
T127 Felicity Johnson 83 75 MC MC 158
T130 Alexandra Kaui 78 81 MC MC 159
T130 Se Ri Pak 78 81 MC MC 159
T130 Macarena Silva 79 80 MC MC 159
T130 Hannah Suh 80 79 MC MC 159
T134 Aimee Cho 81 79 MC MC 160
T134 Mariel Galdiano 80 80 MC MC 160
T134 Taylore Karle 78 82 MC MC 160
T137 Shannon Aubert 81 80 MC MC 161
T137 Chelsea Harris 81 80 MC MC 161
T137 Amelia Lewis 78 83 MC MC 161
140 Erica Herr 77 85 MC MC 162
T141 Kelli Bowers 84 79 MC MC 163
T141 Mikayla Harmon 79 84 MC MC 163
T141 Catherine Matranga 78 85 MC MC 163
T141 Janice Moodie 84 79 MC MC 163
145 Sally Watson 82 82 MC MC 164
T146 Kendra Little 77 88 MC MC 165
T146 Elena Robles 77 88 MC MC 165
T148 Alice H. Kim 89 77 MC MC 166
T148 Tiffany Tavee 85 81 MC MC 166
150 Christine Song 78 89 MC MC 167
151 Karinn Dickinson 86 82 MC MC 168
152 Elizabeth Schultz 78 91 MC MC 169
153 Izzy Beisiegel 84 86 MC MC 170
T154 Yoon-Kyung Heo 79 WD WD WD 79
T154 Candie Kung 79 WD WD WD 79
156 Michelle Wie 80 WD WD WD 80
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5 thoughts on “I Got You, Babe! Inbee Park Matches Zaharias By Winning First Three Majors Of The Year

  1. Pingback: 2013 US Women's Open, Sebonack GC, Southampton, NY - Page 18 - LPGA Tour Forum

  2. Not only have the Korean ladies won the last 3 USWO Championships, they’ve also finished 1st and 2nd all three years (on top of sweeping 1st, 2nd, and 3rd this year).

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