Rookie Sung Hyun Park wins US Women’s Open in front of Trump

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — In the end, it was just a regular golf tournament in which the best player won, topping it off with a clutch shot on the final hole. That was possibly the greatest surprise of the U.S. Women’s Open, which could have gone any which way because President Donald Trump was attending. Ultimately, it went rather quietly to Sung Hyun Park.

There had been concerns that Trump would be the Distraction in Chief to golfers. He was not, at least not for Park, a 23-year-old LPGA Tour rookie who never even noticed the chief executive Sunday as she shot a second consecutive 5-under-par 67 to finish at 11-under 277 and earn her first major championship.

Instead of this being a circus or a logistical debacle, it was a smooth event with a solid winner. Park received a double thumbs-up from Trump as she walked past his skybox near No. 15 after saving par with a big-time chip and tap-in on No. 18.

“I saw the president yesterday and somehow I thought he was going to come back today. But I didn’t actually get to see him,” she said through an interpreter. “When I was approaching the 15th hole, all I was focusing on was to capture a birdie.”

She got it and added another on No. 17. Park hit her third shot long on the par-5 18th hole, but used the chipping practice she has done over the past week to get close for an easy par. She won by two shots over countrywoman Hye-Jin Choi, 17, who was trying to become the first amateur in 50 years to win the Open, but hit into the water on the 17th and made double bogey. She finished with a 71.

Shanshan Feng of China, the leader after each of the first three rounds, made only one birdie and triple-bogeyed the 18th for a 75 to tie for fifth, five strokes back.

For the eighth time in 10 years, it was won by a South Korean. The silver trophy has become a golden idol in that country, so it was no surprise that Park and her mother, Keum Ja Lee, had a long hug and a good cry.

“She stood right in front of me and she said, ‘I am so proud of you, Sung Hyun.’ At that moment, it really dawned on me. I guess I really won the championship,” Park said.

Her nickname in Korean translates to “Shut your mouth and attack,” a reference to her playing style. But her caddie David Jones described her this way: “Shy but very thoughtful and caring underneath.”

Jones immediately received a text from his college roommate, Ricky Elliott, the caddie who helped Brooks Koepka win the men’s U.S. Open last month.

Park credited her caddie for keeping her focused, as champions usually do. For her, it was a dream week, not a nightmare. “It’s almost,” she said, “like I’m floating on a cloud in the sky.”

Just Posted

Red Deer College waiting for feds to finalize marijuana legalization

Like businesses, Alberta and municipal governments, Red Deer College is waiting for… Continue reading

Class size only part of the problem say Central Alberta teachers

Though the Alberta auditor general’s report points out that classroom sizes continue… Continue reading

Lacombe County promoting crime prevention measures

County pushing Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design principles

Red Deer doctor concerned about patient transfers to rural hospitals

Family physician says the move creates less incentive for expansion at Red Deer hospital

Fire permit season begins in March

Earlier springs in last few years prompted Alberta government to move up fire permit season

WATCH: Red Deer’s River Bend upgrades officially open

River Bend Golf and Recreation Area is the latest venue to be… Continue reading

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

As Olympics wrap up, still no coverage in North Korea

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — While hundreds of millions of the world’s… Continue reading

Supplier to NHL’s Calgary Flames breathes again as B.C. wine ban suspended

VICTORIA — The operators of a small British Columbia winery that landed… Continue reading

Canada’s men’s hockey team beats Czechs to win Olympic bronze

GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada’s men’s hockey team has won the… Continue reading

Duncan apologizes for behaviour after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of — Canadian ski cross racer Dave Duncan is… Continue reading

In Pyeongchang, maintaining Olympic venues relies on a poor, aging workforce

GANGNEUNG, South Korea - Hockey players from Finland were circling with the… Continue reading

Trudeau’s fashion missteps highlight what not to wear on vacation

TORONTO — The traditional garb that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his… Continue reading

Stores make push in scan and go tech, hope shoppers adopt it

NEW YORK — Shoppers at self-checkout lanes scanning all their groceries after… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month