After reaching the three-win plateau for the first time this season on the Korean Ladies Professional Golf (KLPGA) Tour, Park Ji-young revealed her insatiable appetite for victory.
“You have to paddle when the water comes in,” said Park, who came from behind to win the final round of the KB Financial Star Championship, the fourth major of the season on the KLPGA Tour, at Bulakstone Golf Club (Par 72) in Icheon-si, Gyeonggi-do, on Tuesday, “and I want to win more.”
Park, who made her debut in 2015, had won four tournaments before last year, but only one each year.
“I wanted to win so much, but I’m happy to have won two for the first time this year and then three,” Park said, adding, “As many as possible.” When asked how many wins she would like to win in a season, she laughed.
She also hid her desire to win a major.
In her ninth year on the KLPGA Tour, Park has never won a major championship.
She had 10 top-10 finishes in majors, including a runner-up finish at the 2017 KB Financial Star Championship, but never won.
“I think the reason I didn’t win was that I was too aggressive because I wanted to do well in the majors,” Park said.
“I realized once again that you have to play smart in majors,” she said, “and I thought I would protect myself as much as possible today and take my chances when they come. I was able to hold on and that’s what led to my victory.”
“I want to win more majors,” Park said, hugging the KB Financial Star Championship trophy, “and I want to put my name on it once more,” adding that she hopes to win back-to-back titles.
Park made two birdies and one bogey on the day on a challenging course that allowed only the winner to go under par.
A par save on the 14th (par-4) set the stage for her victory, while a birdie on the 15th (par-5) was the deciding factor.
On the 14th hole, my tee shot went right and my ball almost went over the cart path and into the woods.
She dropped the ball in the rough, just barely stopping on the cart path, but couldn’t see the green.
“When I was told that my tee shot was still alive, I was just walking and trying to save par,” Park said. “I couldn’t see the green, but I was thinking about putting it on the green.”
After sinking a long putt to save par, Park then dropped her third shot two meters short of the hole for birdie on the par-5 15th to take a two-stroke lead.
“Lee’s ball rolled a lot when she hit the green first, so I dropped it a little short and it stuck in the hole,” Park said. “I tried not to think about winning after the birdie. The 16th, 17th and 18th holes were all difficult, so I didn’t relax because I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
“I only felt relieved when I put the ball on the green with my third shot,” said Park, who was still two shots ahead when she stepped onto the tee of the 18th (par-5), adding, “I was so eager and focused that my head hurt after the match.”
Park, who has won three titles this season after winning one each year, said she improved her game because her driving distance, which decreased last year, increased again and her short game improved.
Park, who has been a long hitter since her rookie year, said, “I lost 10 to 15 yards because I wasn’t hitting it accurately. As I corrected my swing, I recovered the distance I had lost,” she said, explaining, “I had more birdie opportunities and better scores as I attacked the greens with a shorter club than before.”
Park, who believes in “paddling when the water comes in,” also expressed his desire to win the individual title.
He was crowned Rookie of the Year in 2015 but has never won another individual title.
“I would love to win the grand prize and the lowest stroke award, but there is still a lot of season left. I believe that if I do my best, my chances will come,” said Park. 토토사이트