One of the LPGA’s top talents, Sung Hyun Park, admits she has had a little trouble with early-season play so far in her young career. It wasn’t until the fifth event of the year, the ANA Inspiration, that she logged her first top-20 finish in 2018. In the 2019 season, the current world No.2 finished T-21 in her first event. But in Singapore at the HSBC Women’s World Championship, Park put an end to what looked like was becoming a trend by shooting a final-round 64 at Sentosa Golf Club to win by two shots over Australia’s Minjee Lee. It’s the sixth LPGA win for the 25-year-old from South Korea.
“I didn’t think I would win this fast, and I’m really happy,” Park said. “I used to have a tough beginning in the last years, and this first win was so fast, I think I will play really comfortably the rest of my season.”
Park began the final round four shots behind world No.1 Ariya Jutanugarn. But Park started her round with three straight birdies, setting an early tone. Jutanugarn, meanwhile, stumbled with a double-bogey at the fourth hole and never found her rhythm, ultimately shooting a final-round 75. Park continued her strong play, making two more birdies and her lone bogey of the day to turn with a four-under 32, before posting four birdies on her back nine to cap a 15-under 273 total for the week.
Lee’s chances ended when she didn’t birdie the par-5 13th hole then bogeyed the next to fall to 13-under.
Park cited her focus as the reason for her win. She said that she held her umbrella low throughout the round not just to protect herself from the sun, but to narrow her field of vision, allowing her to concentrate on the task at hand.
Even after the win, Park remained locked in on what’s ahead in 2019: “No change on my goals this season,” Park said. “I still have four more wins to go.”
Beyond her ability to stay hyper-focused, Park also gave credit to Tiger Woods for the victory.
After a successful career on the Korean LPGA Tour, Park joined the LPGA Tour in 2017. Her popularity is obvious by the number of fans who travel from South Korea to watch her play around the world. Her fans call her by a few nicknames, one of which being Tiger – after her idol. Both Park and Woods are sponsored by TaylorMade and they met for the first time at a TaylorMade shoot in February.
“If Tiger is watching this interview,” Park said in her post-win press conference, “then I would want to say that because we met, you gave me such a good energy, that made me win this tournament.”