Park takes 'Big Three' honors in Rd. 1 at Tiburon


NAPLES, Fla. – Inbee Park took honors again in the Big Three pairing Thursday at the CME Group Titleholders.

Rolex world No. 1 Park, No. 2 Suzann Pettersen and No. 3 Stacy Lewis played together in the first round at Tiburon.

Park shot 4-under-par 68, Lewis 71 and Pettersen 72.

It was the first time they have all been paired together since the first two rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack, where Park beat Pettersen by a cumulative 19 shots and Lewis by 12.

That beating sparked bold answers from Lewis and Pettersen. Lewis won the very next major, the Ricoh Women’s British Open, and Pettersen won the final major of the year, the Evian Championship.

The trio didn’t exactly light it up early on Thursday at Tiburon.

“It was definitely some boring golf,” Lewis said.

Lewis birdied the final two holes to get under par. She holed a 6-footer at the 17th and a 15-footer at the 18th.

“It was a bit frustrating, but definitely ended on a good note,” Lewis said. “Making those last two birdies was huge.”

The Big Three have combined to win 13 of 27 LPGA events this year and all of the majors. They won’t be paired together again Friday with the LPGA re-pairing after every round.

There’s a lot at stake still for the trio. Pettersen can overtake Park as Rolex No. 1 with a win or second-place finish, depending on how Park finishes. All three are still in the running for the money-winning title and the Vare Trophy for low scoring average.

Lewis will be paired with Lydia Ko and Chella Choi (9 a.m.).

Park goes off with Sun Young Yoo and Brittany Lang (10:28 a.m.).

Pettersen goes off with Michelle Wie and I.K. Kim (9:33 a.m.).