ST. ANDREWS, Scotland –Inbee Park breathed a sigh of relief walking off the 18th green Sunday at the Ricoh Women’s British Open.
She fell short in her quest to become the first man or woman to win four consecutive professional major championships in a single season, but she seemed lightened by the load of pressure she felt falling away from her.
“Just glad it’s over,” Park said after a disappointing 78 in the final round. “I just had a great experience. I might not have won this week, but I’ve learned.”
Park said she was glad it was over because of all the pressure that had built on her, but that she relished the experience.
“I am really relieved now,” Park said. “I enjoyed this week, every moment I was here, but it’s tough to be the center of everything for a week. I feel exhausted.”
Park can still become the first man or woman to win four professional majors in a season with the LPGA designating the Evian Masters as a major for the first time this year. That's scheduled next month.
After Saturday’s suspension of play due to high winds, Park played 32 holes on Sunday. She was in a hole at day’s starting, beginning seven shots behind the leader, Na Yeon Choi.
Park’s famously gifted putting skills didn’t help her over the final two rounds. She went cold on the greens. She took a staggering 40 putts in her 78 in the last round with a four putt on the first green. She shot 74 in the third round with 36 putts.
“Tough greens to read, tough greens to judge,” Park said.
“It’s been mostly putting this week that I had trouble with. I had a lot of three putts and even a four putt.”
Park said she will go home to South Korea the next two weeks and take a few days to rest. She’s also waiting on word whether one of the two offers she made to buy a house in Las Vegas will be accepted.
“Might get good news, but nothing confirmed yet,” she said.
Park said she leaves St. Andrews with rich memories.
“I’ve done something amazing this season, winning three in a row,” she said. “It was a great experience, and I will never forget it.”