April 8, 2013 in Sports

Park rolls to second major win

Associated Press

(Full-size photo)

Inbee Park doubled her lead to six strokes on the opening hole Sunday and ran away with the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage, Calif., for her second major title.

The 24-year-old South Korean player made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first, while playing partner Lizette Salas had a double bogey for a three-stroke swing.

“That made my day much easier, that’s for sure,” Park said. “I holed a long one on the first hole. A birdie start is always a good thing. That gave me a lot of confidence.”

The 2008 U.S. Women’s Open winner at Interlachen, Park closed with a 3-under-par 69 at Mission Hills to finish at 15-under, four strokes ahead of fellow South Korean player So Yeon Ryu.

“It had been a while since I won a major,” Park said. “It feels very special. This week, I played very solid. Today and all week, I played very good.”

Park celebrated the victory with the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond, and jumped from fourth to second in the world with her fifth LPGA Tour title and ninth worldwide win. South Korean players have won three straight majors and Asians have won eight in a row.

Norway’s Suzann Pettersen and Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall tied for third at 9 under. Hedwall finished with a 68, and Pettersen shot 69.


Martin Laird tied the course record with a 9-under-par 63 to hold off Rory McIlroy at the Texas Open in San Antonio to earn his first win in more than two years.

Laird began the day four shots behind leader Billy Horschel, but posted a bogey-free round to finish 14-under overall and earn the third win of his career, his first since the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2011. The Scottish golfer entered the week having missed four of eight cuts this year.

McIlroy, the world’s No. 2, began the day at 6 under before posting a 66 to finish two shots back and finish second – his best finish of the year.

Horschel shot a 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for third with Jim Furyk and Charley Hoffman.

Furyk eagled the par-5 18th from 104 yards out to jump into third. The former U.S. Open winner had only four holes of practice on the Greg Norman-designed Course at TPC on Wednesday before rain washed him out, but he posted a final-round 69 to close out a steady week.

Horschel, who was second at last week’s Houston Open, was seeking his first PGA Tour win.

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