Beware a motivated Park In-bee at U.S. Women's Open

Tue Jul 7, 2015 7:48pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

LANCASTER, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - World number one Park In-bee is usually seen as the player to beat in women's golf majors these days, and now the Korean has extra motivation at this week's U.S. Women's Open.

Park, who has won five of the last dozen majors with no other rival notching more than one in that span, is coming off a missed cut and a poor putting week -- two rarities for the 26-year-old South Korean.

She gets a chance to make amends starting on Thursday at Lancaster Country Club in the year's third major.

"I putted really bad two weeks ago, and that definitely gave me somewhat like a wake-up call," Park told reporters on Tuesday. "I had a bad week and that definitely made me practice harder and gave me a lot more motivation coming into this week."

Not exactly comforting to the rest of the 156-player field that includes defending champion Michelle Wie and other former winners such as Choi Na-yeon (2012), Ryu So-yeon (2011), Paula Creamer (2010) and Cristie Kerr (2007).

Motivation combined with skill and confidence has been a winning formula for Park, who this season reclaimed the number one ranking from 18-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand.

"When I come to major championships, I work extra hard," said Park, who has six majors among her 15 LPGA titles.

"I like the atmosphere. I like the little bit extra pressure when we start the game. Obviously having good results helps. That gives me a lot of confidence."   Continued...

Jun 14, 2015; Harrison, NY, USA;   Inbee Park at the 11th during the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Westchester Country Club - West. Few golfers would describe Park In-bee's languid, truncated swing as "textbook," but after winning her sixth career major at the Women's PGA Championship on June 14, 2015, the South Korean is no doubt content to have played her way into the record books. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports/Files