Published On: Sat, Aug 20th, 2016

Park leads wire-to-wire, captures Rio 2016 gold in women's golf

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Inbee Park completed a wire-to-wire victory Saturday at Rio 2016, firing a final-round 5-under 66 to run away from the field and win the first gold medal in women’s golf in 116 years.

Thanks to a thumb injury, the 28-year-old South Korean entered the tournament with questions as to the state of her game. She hadn’t made a cut on the LPGA Tour since April, and played sparingly in the last two months.

Park answered all of those questions emphatically over the four rounds, finishing at 16-under par, five shots clear of Lydia Ko in second. The world No. 1 birdied the 18th hole to capture the silver medal for New Zealand, while China’s Shanshan Feng completed the podium with a bronze.

Low rounds were possible Saturday on a much calmer day in Rio, as evidenced by Russia’s Maria Verchenova’s course-record 62. Starting the final round with a two-stroke advantage, Park wasted no time pulling away from the field with four birdies in her first six holes.

A bogey on the 10th would cut her lead to just three, but the seven-time major champion responded with two birdies on the final stretch to finish with her third 66 of the week.

With rumors swirling about possible retirement to start a family, this could be the last time the golfing world sees Park in the Olympics. If that’s the case, she’s leaving in the best way possible.

Leaderboard

Pos. Player To Par Score
1 Inbee Park (KOR) -16 66
2 Lydia Ko (NZL) -11 69
3 Shanshan Feng (CHN) -10 69
T4 Stacy Lewis (USA) -9 66
T4 Harukyo Nomura (JPN) -9 65
T4 Hee Young Yang (KOR) -9 67
T7 Brooke Henderson (CAN) -8 67
T7 Minjee Lee (AUS) -8 67
T7 Charley Hull (GBR) -8 68

Notables

Lewis‘ up-and-down play in Rio continued Sunday with a 5-under 66 to land in a tie for fourth place. The top American’s 63 in round two was the second-lowest score of the tournament, but a third-round 76 virtually guaranteed she wouldn’t be on the podium.

Same for Canada’s Henderson, who closed nicely with a 4-under 67, but was taken out of contention by a 75 in windy conditions Friday. She would finish in a tie for seventh with Charley Hull of Great Britain and Australia’s Minjee Lee.

Gerina Piller of the United States began the day just two strokes off the lead but ballooned to a 74 and finished in a tie for 11th, while fellow American Lexi Thompson finished at 3-under par, tied for 19th.

Tweet of the Day

Park has had one of the most successful golf careers of all time, but dominating the Olympics put her in some rare company, according to some:



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