Park In-Bee won the women’s PGA Championship in New York on Sunday, her third straight victory in a women’s major, returning the South Korean star to No.1 in the world.
Park, 26, finished with a five-under-par 68 at Westchester Country Club in Harrison for an impressive 19-under for the tournament and a five-shot victory over compatriot Kim Sei-Young.
Australia’s Karrie Webb (72) ended tied for seventh at nine-under but a massive 10 shots behind Park, while compatriot Minjee Lee (67) finished with easily her best round to be tied for 13th at six-under.
Park joined Swedish great Annika Sorenstam as the only players to win three successive editions of the tournament, formerly known as the LPGA Championship, rebranded this year in a collaboration between the LPGA and the PGA of America.
And the 26-year-old did it in commanding fashion, rolling in her fifth birdie of the final round at the 18th hole.
“I don’t know what word can describe how I feel right now,” Park said. “I’m so thrilled and so honoured to be in this position … I do things that I can’t even believe.”
Kim, who started the day two strokes behind Park, tried to keep the pressure on, but a string of four birdies in a row ended with a double-bogey at the par-five ninth that proved too much to overcome.
The rookie – who shocked Park in a playoff at the Lotte Championship this season – finished with a two-under 71 on the par-73 Westchester Country Club’s West course for 278.
American Lexi Thompson, who nabbed eight birdies in her first 13 holes, finished in third on 280 after a seven-under 66.
With her sixth major title, Park is assured of returning to number one on the world.
She’ll supplant 18-year-old New Zealander Lydia Ko, whose missed cut on Friday was a first in her precocious pro career.