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On this Day: Inbee Park wins 7th major title

Park completed the Grand Slam with her win in 2015. (Photo: Getty Images)
Female golfers from South Korea have been the dominant force in women's golf for much of the last 20 years, with 12 of them winning a collective 25 major championship titles since and including Se Ri Pak’s breakthrough in 1998 to become the first from her country to claim a major at the LPGA Championship.

A steady stream of South Koreans to win at the elite level would follow the trailblazing Pak but it is the now 29-year-old Inbee Park who heads the Koreans in terms of the most major championship career titles, the last of her seven victories coming on this day at the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Turnberry in 2015 when defeating fellow countrywoman Ko Jin-Young.

Park won her first major in 2008 when a surprise winner of the US Open (her first LPGA Tour title) as a 19-year-old, becoming the youngest player to do so at that point.

It would take nearly five more years before Park would claim a second major when successful at the Kraft Nabisco in 2013, beginning a run of six major championships victories in her next 14 attempts.

On that final day in 2015, however, Park came from three shots off the 54-hole pace of Jin-Young and Taiwan’s Teresa Lu, her final round of 65 three shots better than any other player on that day.

Not only did Park claim her 7th major, but she completed the Grand Slam as it was then known, being at least four different major championships.  

“It feels great to hold the British Open trophy finally,” said Park after her win. “I’ve given it a few cracks and it's just been so hard. Obviously the luck was on my side this week all week but to overcome a lot of the tough tasks this week and become a champion at the end of the week is such great feeling.

“Every (previous) major was very, very special to me. But to wrap it up with the British Open is just much more special. Because every time I come to the British Open, everything seems so hard: The wind, the rain, the tee times.

“Sometimes I play well, but I've just got the wrong side of the draw or just got stuck with the wind or the cold weather. There's so much that I had to overcome in the Women's British Open, and it always felt so hard before I've finally done it.”

Park has gone on to play a further six major championships, recording four top-10s while doing so but missed three more due to a thumb injury that threatened to derail her career.

Park was forced from the golf course in June of 2016 as a result of the injury but returned to win the Olympic Gold Medal in Rio in August, recording, arguably, the greatest performance of her career because of her lack of play leading into the historic return of golf to the Olympics.

Taking another six months off to fully recover, Park was back in action in February of this year and won her second start back on the LPGA Tour.

Park is not without hope of adding yet another major this week when she tees it up at the Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns but even if she adds another major to her already stunning resume, it will be hard to top the significance of August 2, 2015.


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