Las Vegas, Nevada (October 15, 2012)–It got pretty quiet for Inbee Park for a few years following her break through victory at the 2008 U.S. Women's Open. Park, who won Nevada state championships playing for Las Vegas' Bishop Gorman High School, was destined to be the LPGA Tour's next big star. By becoming the youngest champ in Open history–19 yrs, 11 months–she only added to the expectations. But she went several years before landing in the winner's circle again, which she has now done twice in 2012. Her most recent win, at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia, also moved her up to fifth in the Rolex World Rankings. –By Brian Hurlburt, Follow @LVGolfInsider.
Park was a high school and junior golf phenom while living in Las Vegas (she has since moved away), and made her LPGA Tour debut at the Takefuji Classic which was played in Las Vegas at the historic Las Vegas Country Club. In fact, in her first appearance at the event, in 2004, she finished tied for eighth. She was 15 years old at the time. She played in the Takefuji Classic two more times, finishing fifth in 2005 and tied for 35th in 2006. She was still an amateur for each of her appearances at the Takefuji, an event which is no longer played in Las Vegas.
Want to play golf in Las Vegas, the home of more than 30 pros who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses? Click now for our official guide to Las Vegas golf courses. Featured course: Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort, the home to three Pete Dye Las Vegas golf courses. Click now for the official Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort website and to find out about free replays.
After her win, Park reflected on the state of her golf game. “I think my golf has improved, everything, hitting the ball, chipping, putting,” Park told the media. “Everything has really improved. I worked really hard on my swing. I've been hitting it very solid all year. So, yeah, that gave me a lot more birdie chances.”
Park fired rounds of 69-68-65-67 at Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club to earn the victory. It was her second win in her last six starts. Park is now fifth in the Rolex World Rankings trailing Yani Yseng, Stacy Lewis, Neon Choi, and Shanshan Feng. Park has now earned more than $4.9 million during her career. Click now for the official LPGA.com article and photos of her victory.