U.S. Women’s Open: Inbee Park cruises to third straight major championship

USA TODAY Sports

Inbee Park won her third straight major championship of the season with a four-shot U.S. Women’s Open win at Sebonack Golf Club on Sunday.

“This is history. I’ve been in this situation and it’s hard,” Hall of Famer turned NBC broadcaster Annika Sorenstam said as Park put the finishing touches on her historic victory. “This is an incredible feat; I hope people understand that. She’s making it look easy but there’s a lot of work behind it.”

Park had a few hiccups in Sunday’s finale but the 24-year-old South Korean began the day with a four-shot edge over runner-up I.K. Kim, and that proved enough of a cushion that her final-round 2-over 74 was more than sufficient to get the job done.

With her victory, Park matched the legendary Zaharias as the only two players to win three straight majors to start the season. In the Babe’s day, she had only three majors to conquer in a year.

Park also joined Mickey Wright (1961) and Pat Bradley (1986) as the only other golfers to earn three major championships in the same season.

Her triumph, at 8-under for the week, also put Park in position to target the four-major Grand Slam with a win at next month’s Women’s British Open as well as take aim at an unprecedented fifth consecutive major title, with September’s Evian Championship elevated to elite status in 2013.

To put Park’s potentially historic achievements in perspective, Bobby Jones is the only golfer to grab the Grand Slam, according to the USGA. He won the U.S. and British Amateurs as well as the U.S. and British Opens in 1930.

Park’s win was also her third tour W in succession, her sixth of the year, and her second U.S. Women’s Open victory. She notched her first in 2008, when, at 19, she became the youngest player to win the prestigious event.

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