ST. ANDREWS, SCOTLAND (AP) - Inbee Park says her bid to become the first golfer to win four straight professional majors in the same season is now “almost impossible.”
Even in good scoring conditions Sunday morning at St. Andrews, Park couldn’t get a putt to fall. She wound up with a 2-over 74 in the wind-delayed third round of the Women's British Open and was nine shots behind 54-hole leader Morgan Pressel.
“I really think it’s almost impossible to do,” Park said about staging a big rally Sunday afternoon. “There’s not many holes left to play now. This golf course, it is playing tough for me. The greens are getting firmer. It’s tough to hit the ball close to the pin. You have to hole long putts here, but it doesn’t seem to be going in.”
It didn’t get any better in the fourth round when the 25-year-old South Korean opened with a double bogey.
Nothing summed up her third round like the 18th hole.
The 25-year-old South Korean had a 10-foot birdie putt that looked good all the way until it dipped around the left side of the cup. Park shook her head and, after tapping in for par, continued shaking her head as she walked over to her caddie.
On Saturday, Park was 1-under through four holes when the third round was suspended by 65 kph (40 mph) gusts that moved balls on the greens. Sunday morning presented a better chance to score. It was calm when the round resumed. A 43-person maintenance staff used mowers on the green, but the blades were raised so that only the dew was removed. The greens were not cut in case of more high wind.
She made bogey on No. 6 and dropped two more shots coming back, while leaving several putts short.
“Today nothing wanted to drop,” Park said. “I didn’t strike the ball bad at all today. It was good conditions for scoring, and I didn’t really take advantage. You get days like that. It’s OK. You can’t play good every day.”
And even if she doesn’t win the Women's British Open, she still has three majors she can cherish this year _ the Kraft Nabisco Championship in April, followed by the LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women’s Open.
Since the modern version of the Grand Slam began in 1960 _ Bobby Jones won two professional and two amateur majors in 1930 _ Park was the only player to win the first three majors of a season. The only other pro to do that was Babe Zaharias in 1950, when the LPGA Tour only had three majors.
Ben Hogan won three majors in 1953, though the British Open at Carnoustie was held one week after the PGA Championship. Hogan couldn’t play the PGA Championship, physically because of his battered legs and logistically because Open qualifying was the same week as the PGA.
Tiger Woods won the final three majors of 2000 after tying for fifth in the Masters.
Woods, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Annika Sorenstam each got halfway to the Grand Slam and couldn’t get the third leg.