Where most professionals failed Sunday, South Korea’s Inbee Park converted a birdie on the difficult par-4 12th at Las Colinas Country Club on her way to a three-shot win at the Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout.
It was Park’s second victory in three seasons at the event, and she pulled into second place on the LPGA’s Race to CME Globe list behind New Zealand’s Lydia Ko.
Park pocketed $195,000 for the win and boosted her career earnings to more than $10.7 million.
The 12th hole proved to be key for the entire field Sunday afternoon.
Park played her approach to within 3 feet of the hole, but none of the other top-10 finishers were able to get within 20 feet.
The birdie created the separation Park needed to put the round in cruise control.
“I hit a bad chip on No. 10, and felt like I wasted an opportunity to get some distance there,” Park said. “And then my tee shot on No. 11 was kind of a result of thinking about the last hole.
“But I hit a great shot on No. 12, and that really got me going on the back nine.”
Although at times visibly frustrated with her swing, Park was steady in her bogey-free round of 65, hitting her first 15 greens and using only 28 putts to get through the final round.
The win was a sharp contrast to three weeks ago at the Lotte Championship in Oahu, when Sei Young Kim holed her second shot on the first playoff hole to beat Park.
This time, Park shut the door with a closing birdie.
“I was thinking about that and knew it could happen, so I was pushing hard on the final hole,” she said.
Hee Young Park, also of South Korea, tied for second with American Cristie Kerr, with each firing a 66 to try and apply some final-round pressure.
Lexi Thompson and Maria McBride finished tied for fourth at 11 under.
“It’s a lot harder to get a ball close on No. 12, because it’s not as a dry as it used to be,” Kerr said. “I hit my shot on 12 right where I wanted it, but just didn’t get the kick I wanted.
“Really, the entire back nine is kind of old-school and difficult.”
Kerr played the final three holes at 3 under.
Park, though, was flawless. She converted another birdie at No. 15 and just missed a chance at 16 before the knifing approach at 18 stopped just a foot from the hole.
Fort Worth’s Angela Stanford shot a 2-under 69 to finish alone in sixth, while Canadian Brooke Henderson struggled to a 2-over 73 and finished tied for 13th.
Henderson, the 17-year-old who had to qualify Monday in order to get into the field despite a third-place finish last week in California, led after 36 holes Friday.
Current Solheim Cup captain, Juli Inkster, backed up a disappointing third-round 73 with a 67 on Sunday to finish tied for seventh alongside Karrie Webb and defending champion Stacy Lewis.
Final leader board
-15 Inbee Park
-12. H. Young Park
-12 Cristie Kerr
-11 Maria McBride
-11 Lexi Thompson
-10 Angela Stanford
-9 Juli Inkster
-9 Stacy Lewis
-9 Karrie Webb