Every once in a while, even the best players in the world can be humbled by the game of golf.
Inbee Park is an LPGA Hall of Famer, a seven-time major champion and an Olympic gold medalist, but the golf ball doesn’t know any of that.
On Saturday at the Hugel-Air Premia LA Open, Park was attempting to put a bow on a fantastic round of golf when disaster struck on the par-4 17th hole. Going out in 4-under par 31, Park strung together eight consecutive birdies and was hoping to snag another coming home.
She put herself in good position off the 17th tee, leaving herself 182 yards from the fairway on the long par-4. Trying to take something off her approach shot, Park’s lower body stalled, resulting in a chunked iron shot that would look more at home during a weekend hacker’s round than in one the last groups at a Tour event.
What separates Park from that weekend hacker’s game is her ability to recover from such a poor shot. Playing out of a penalty area and well below the surface of the fairway, she hit a great explosion shot and nearly holed out her par pitch to only drop one shot.
She would post a 3-under par 68 to sit four shots back of 54-hole leader Minjee Lee.
Park would fire a final round 1-under par 70 to finish in a tie for fifth place, six shots behind Lee, who won by four strokes.