SINGAPORE (Reuters) - South Korea’s Park In-bee picked up a healthy win-double in one of the world’s biggest gambling cities on Sunday after a father-daughter wager helped her focus to success at the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore.
Before the tournament, the five-times major winner bemoaned the toughness of the notoriously tricky Serapong Course on Sentosa Island, home to one of the citystate’s two casinos, so much that her father said he would pay her $500 for every birdie she made.
In return, he wanted $1,000 for each bogey.
Unfortunately for the dad, his daughter went bogey free over four days to complete a wire-to-wire success at the $1.4 million restricted-field LPGA Tour event thanks to 15 pricey birdies.
“I took the bet thinking maybe even if I make bogey, he’s not going to take my money. I think it ended up really nicely,” a grinning Park told reporters after the 13th title of her career.
”It gave me extra motivation I guess. It’s so fun and something other to motivate and something else to concentrate on.
“I don’t think I can even believe myself that I didn’t make any bogeys for 72 holes. I mean, if I thought about bogeys, when am I going to make bogey, if I was afraid of the bogeys, I’d probably make bogeys.”
Park said she didn’t think her father would be paying up the $7,500 prize on Sunday.
“He ran out of money since yesterday. I‘m lending him money.”
The 26-year-old, though, said she was indebted to him and the rest of her family for their support in Singapore this week as she claimed one of the few titles to have previously escaped her clutches.
“Yeah, it’s good to have a family here and they are big energy,” Park added.
“This week just went so quick. I was just having dinner with them and chat with them. Every day went so quick, I didn’t have to think about so much golf when I‘m not on the golf course, so I think that was a big help.”
Starting the day with a two-shot lead over world number one Lydia Ko and American Stacy Lewis, Park remained cool and composed as the red-hot New Zealander drew level after only five holes.
Ko, 17, however, could not continue the momentum and struggled from the tee and with her putter as Park closed out a two-shot win. World number three Lewis was four back of the Korean.
Park was confident that after coming through victorious in the Sunday shootout between the top three women’s players she could wrestle back the world number one spot from Ko, who won the last two events in Australia and New Zealand.
”I think so, because I didn’t play so many times with Lydia, especially in the final round, I thought she doesn’t make any mistakes. But I definitely saw her making a couple of mistakes today and thought actually she is human.
“I’ll probably play a lot more with Lydia, a lot more often. I just can’t believe that I‘m playing with somebody who can’t even drink (alcohol).”
Editing by Sudipto Ganguly