LPGA Classic: Inbee Park victorious with final-round 61
Matches Waterloo, Ont., course record for 3-stroke win
Despite periods of steady rain, Inbee Park was on fire.
The South Korean burned up Grey Silo Golf Course on Sunday, tying a course record of 10-under 61 to win the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic by three strokes at 23-under par.
Five birdies on the front nine and five on the back sealed the 10th career win and first this season for Park, who was two strokes off leader Shanshan Feng of China heading into the final round. Feng faltered on the day and was only able to shoot 3 under par 68 to finish at 18 under, slipping into third place.
Miami's Christie Kerr blew by Feng with a bogey-free round of 8 under 63 to finish at 20-under par.
All I thought about was just trying to bring that trophy home. I knew there was a lot of birdies and the way I played today everything seemed like it was trying to go in.- Manulife Financial LPGA Classic champion Inbee Park
Park will take home the $225,000 of the $1.5-million moving her up to fourth on the money list this season at $744,510. Kerr earned $136,903 and Feng $99,314.
The 25-year-old South Korean player had only one bogey in 72 holes, on the fourth hole in the first round. On Sunday, she played the front nine in 5-under 31 and added birdies on Nos. 10, 12-14 and 18.
"I didn't really think about the 59," Park said. "All I thought about was just trying to bring that trophy home. I knew there was a lot of birdies and the way I played today everything seemed like it was trying to go in. Even if I didn't make it, it was still close. It's the first time I putted really well in a while, so I was really happy that my putter's finally back.
"It seems like today I just put the putter head on my ball and it just wants to go in the hole. It was just one of those days where I really didn't need to try hard to make it go in. I just needed to really trust my break and just play my own golf."
Park admitted she peeked at the leaderboard from time to time, as she didn't really pull away from the pack until she birdied the 14th hole to go to 22-under par and stretch her lead to four strokes.
"I didn't really watch the board all the time," she said. "I watched a couple times and I knew everybody was having a good score. I didn't know where Christie was because she wasn't playing with me, but I always knew where Shanshan was."
Park ended a 20-event tour winless streak. Last year, she swept the first three majors and finished the season with six victories. She also won a Ladies European Tour event three months ago in China.
After a week off, the tour will resume play June 19-22 with the U.S. Women's Open at Pinehurst.
"Obviously, with the U.S. Open in two weeks, I think is a great confidence boost," Park said. "I think it's great timing."
Kerr finished with a 63.
"I never looked at the scoreboard until I came off 17, with a reachable par 5 to see where I was," Kerr said. "I was three back and I was stunned because I was 7 under for the day. You'd think you'd be close.
"But it was great, a great week. I did great with my focus. I played great. I can't complain."
China's Shanshan Feng, two strokes ahead of Park and Michelle Wie entering the round, had a 68 to finish third at 18 under.
Lydia Ko and Belen Mozo tied for fourth at 16 under. The 17-year-old Ko closed with a 66, and Mozo shot 65.
Lewis and Wie followed at 15 under. Lewis had a 63, and Wie shot 69.
"I just wanted to play well," said Lewis, the winner last week in New Jersey. "I've kind of had some frustrating rounds all week so I just wanted to put together a good round. Still, even left a few out there today, but it's just nice to see some putts go in kind of leading into the off week and into the Open."
Hee Young Park also shot a 61 last year in her victory at Grey Silo. She tied for 10th Sunday at 13 under, closing with a 68.