Sung Hyun Park finishes her climb with US Women's Open title

NZ golfer Lydia Ko makes spectacular comeback in second round at US women's Open

NZ golfer Lydia Ko makes spectacular comeback in second round at US women's Open

Park Sung-hyun won her first major title in dramatic fashion by claiming the U.S. Women's Open at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey on Sunday.

The 23-year-old South Korean displayed an all-around complete game in a closing round 67 that left her at 11-under-par 277, two strokes ahead of Choi. Playing in her first Open, Park led after 36 holes, was in second after 54, but closed with a 74 to finish tied for third, two strokes out of the playoff between Brittany Lang and Anna Nordqvist. She hit her second shot at the par-4 17th about six feet from the cup and made birdie to take a two-shot lead at 11-under.

"As compared to last year, I could say that I played probably a little bit more relaxed", said Park, who shot 4 over across the final two days of last year's U.S. Women's Open to slip into third place. The 51-year-old McCarron made up a six-shot deficit in the final round to capture his first major on the PGA Tour Champions. "I was sorry I could only get one birdie for them".

Third-round leader Patrick Rodgers shot a 70 to finish one shot back.

"She is definitely an experienced player", the teenager said.

She didn't become the first amateur in 40 years to win the U.S. Women's Open, either.

Choi reacts after missing a putt on the first hole during the final round of the US Women’s Open. Source Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters
Choi reacts after missing a putt on the first hole during the final round of the US Women’s Open. Source Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters

Her tee shot at the 140-yard hole disappeared into the water as she went at the pin tucked tight to the right side - and with it went her hopes of the win as she recorded a double-bogey five. This was the second straight year she was the low amateur at the U.S. Open. But with her victory, Park virtually locked up the rookie award and threw herself into the mix for top player honors, moving into third place. She started the final round three shots off the pace and made the turn after a 34.

"Earlier on the 18 hole, my mind basically went blank", Park said.

"I was putting well on the back nine today".

A birdie on the par-five first proved to be her last of the day, but none of those with holes remaining look likely to catch the 27-year-old.

Sung Hyun Park gained a reputation in her native South Korea as being an aggressive player, so aggressive that fans there gave her a nickname that loosely translates in English to "Shut your mouth and attack". "And, you know, I'm not surprised that she won this week because I was just talking to my friends, I said, 'As good as she is, she's going to win anytime.' So, yeah, I'm happy about her, for her". Park played the weekend in 67-67 after an opening-round 73.

"I think one of the most hard things is to to stay focused and keep that concentration level up", she said, "because I know that once you lose it, your playing is going to go just sideways". "I thought I hit a really good putt", he said of No. 18.

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