Monday, July 1, 2013

The Most Dominant Golfer In The World Right Now Is Inbee Park

♫ You’re the best
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down
You’re the Best
Around ♫

The Most Dominant Golfer In The World Right Now Is Inbee Park
by Monte Burke 

Do I win the award for the most obvious headline of 2013?

Champagne showers for Inbee Park
Inbee Park won her third straight women’s major golf tournament yesterday at the Sebonack Golf Club in Long Island, a young and ferocious course that played very tough for most of the field. Only three players finished under par for the tournament, and Park was the only one who truly looked comfortable all week, finishing at -8 and winning by an easy four strokes. With her victories at the Kraft Nabisco tournament and the Wegmans LPGA Championship, Park is just one win away from the Grand Slam.

Whoops. Make that two wins away. This year the LPGA adds a fifth major tournament to the mix—the Evian Championship. LPGA commissioner, Mike Whan, has never been shy about changing things up, but what a year to do so. Park will now have to win next month’s Women’s British Open (which will be played at St. Andrews, by the way), then the Evian in September.

Inbee Park won the U.S. Women's Open to become just the second player
in LPGA history to win the first three majors of the year.

Babe Didrickson Zaharias won the first—and only—three women’s majors in 1950. On the men’s side, Bobby Jones won a Grand Slam in 1930. But if Park were to accomplish the five-win Grand Slam, it could go down as perhaps the greatest feat in golf history.

No. 1 - Kraft Nabisco Championship
on April 7th, 2013
Park is South Korean. She came to the U.S. for schooling, attending UNLV. She now lives in California. She has an easygoing demeanor on the course. Her swing—very deliberate on the up-take—is deceptively powerful.

At age 24 she is absolutely dominating women’s golf. She’s won 6 of the 13 tournaments she’s entered this season, including the last three in a row. And she’s the greatest asset the LPGA has now. Commissioner Whan has done a great job turning around the LPGA, getting more television time for tournaments and settling the sponsors and playing calendar. But Park’s quest will bring some serious—and still-needed—buzz.

No. 2 - LPGA Championship on June 9th, 2013
After all, the difference in the purses on the men’s and women’s tours is staggering. Total TOT +0.37% purse for the U.S. Women’s Open was $3.3 million. For the men’s U.S. Open? $8 million. Park took home $585,000 for winning the championship. Justin Rose won $1.4 million for winning the men’s version. Park has made $7.3 million in her career. Tiger Woods made $13 million in on-course earnings last year alone.

And what about Park and her potential as a spokeswoman/superstar?

The folks over at debated that point this morning, seemingly coming to the conclusion that she neither emotes enough nor looks enough like Anna Kournikova to ever become a fan-favorite and an endorsement superstar. (Park’s current endorsements include Srixon Golf, Fila and Panasonic ).

I disagree. My take: If she keeps winning—and especially if she wins the Grand Slam—all of that will take care of itself. — Forbes

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