July 2, 2007–Led by 18-year old In-Bee Park, a former golfer at Las Vegas high school Bishop Gorman, the contingent of five women golfers representing the Las Vegas golf region at the US Women's Open at Pine Needles in North Carolina, all had solid finishes. Park shared the lead after the second round before finishing in 4th, while Natalie Gulbis, a resident of Lake Las Vegas Resort who lives on the fairways of Las Vegas golf course Reflection Bay Golf Club, battled her recent back-pain issues to finish in a tie for 35th. She spent part of the weather delay on Friday e-mailing a Las Vegas golf writer who was inquiring about the tough course, and the status of her back. "My back is better, thanks," she pounded out on her Blackberry. "I am doing about two or three hours of rehab daily … a combination of electric stimulation, laser for pain and inflamation, manual soft tissue and stretch, ice heat and also rehab to strenghten the core."
Other Las Vegas golfers making the cut included Charlotte Mayorkas (t35), amateur Jennie Lee (t39) and Erica Blasberg (t39).
Gulbis went on to write that "My swing is affected (by the back). I am trying to work on my posture, take 3-4 back swings, and swing at 80%. And stay out of the rough. (However) I am planning to play a full LPGA and professional schedule."
Park, who just recently turned professional, is known for her success on the American Junior Golf Association Tour, and other success at the national and international junior level. But she showed she had the game to stay with the best players in the world, even if the jump from junior golf to the pros was huge. "Those events (juniors) were a little different because I was in the lead a lot of times in my junior years, but this is definitely the first time in the professional years and this is the best tournament I've ever had yet," Park told the assembled media following the second round. "I'm really not used to this place right now as a professional.
"It's really different. There is a lot of competition out here. If you shoot over par here, you're just out of there. And juniors it's really different. You're playing against friends. It's really friendly and everything. It's really different out here, it's a lot more competitive and a lot going on."
Park, whose name means "good queen" in Korean, lives in Las Vegas, and specifically came to the United States to pursue a golf career. "That's definitely the reason I came to the United States," said Park, the 2002 American Junior Golf Association Player of the Year. "There (are) not many golf courses in Korea, as in the United States. It was more expensive to play out there than here. I wanted to play in competition, more in the competition out here. I really wanted to get on the LPGA Tour."
Complete transcript of In-Bee Park's press conference … now.