(Reuters) - Inbee Park will feel as if “the whole world is watching me” when the South Korean attempts next week to become the first golfer of either gender to win four majors in one season.
The 25-year-old has already lifted the U.S. Women’s Open and LPGA and Kraft Nabisco Championship trophies this year and will write a fresh page in the record books if she can add the British Open title at St Andrews.
Park knows all eyes will be on her when she tees it up at the home of golf on Thursday.
“I’m trying to get used to the pressure,” the world number one said in a news release. “I think I had very good practice at the U.S. Open (last month).
“I felt a little bit of pressure there but I handled it very good so that has given me a lot of confidence coming into the British Open.
“It just feels very awkward to me at the moment,” added Park. “Pressure is not the easiest thing to handle on the golf course.
“I feel like the whole world is watching me. I have never got that kind of attention before.”
Park has won six tournaments this year and, even if the young Korean fails to achieve an unprecedented fourth consecutive major victory, she will be satisfied with her golfing year.
“If I don’t win any more I’m very happy with my season,” she said. “How could you ask for more?
“Wanting more majors, wanting more wins, almost feels like I’m being too greedy.”
LPGA Tour commissioner Mike Whan praised the way Park was handling the explosion of interest in women’s golf as a result of her 2013 exploits.
“This is a player who was 26th in the world a year and a half ago and I don’t think she was featuring in a lot of conversations back then,” said Whan.
“Now, literally, she can’t walk off the golf course without doing three interviews on the way to her car.
“As I tell her, our job is to drive you nuts and get you out there when the media wants to talk to you. Her job is to know when to say ‘no’,” added Whan.
“I think she’s finding that balance because right now she has to say ‘no’ based on the historic run she’s trying to make.”
Whan gave an insight into the hectic media schedule that Park undertook after her four-stroke victory at the U.S. Open in New York last month.
“We took her to New York City for the day and I think over the course of eight hours she did 20 different mediums, a lot of them outside of the game of golf,” said the LPGA Tour commissioner.
“When you try to do truly historic things, whether you are a male or female, it garners an audience that’s bigger than just golf fans.
“Inbee’s doing a great job in accepting the role that comes with her performances.”
Reporting by Tony Jimenez; editing by Ken Ferris