August 21, 2016
Congratulations :Korea’s Inbee Park wins Gold in Rio Olympics 2016
by Steve DiMeglio, USA TODAY
Rio de Janeiro
Korea’s Inbee Park–The Gold Medalist at Olympics Rio 2016
Steady as she goes, stoic in nature, Inbee Park of South Korea rarely lets anything knock her off balance.
Damaged left thumb? No biggie. Wind gusts that sent capybaras scurrying for cover? Ho-hum. Dealing with the pressure of winning a gold medal? Got it covered. And cracking after messing up the 10th hole? Hardly.
Park, who hadn’t finished a tournament since April and had not played an LPGA tour event in two months because of an injured left thumb, captured the gold medal with sterling play Saturday in the women’s golf tournament at Olympic Golf Course.
The former world No. 1 and winner of seven major championships was an unflappable front-runner the last three rounds and capped off her victory with a final-round 5-under-par 66 to polish off women’s golf’s return to the Olympics for the first time in 116 years.
A Silver for Lydia Ko of New Zealand
At 16 under for the tournament, Park was five shots clear of silver medalist and world No. 1 Lydia Ko, who birdied the last hole to shoot 69 and finish one stroke ahead of bronze medalist Shanshan Feng, who shot 69.
A large and boisterous Korean contingent met Park on the first tee and cheered her on through 18 holes. When Park tapped in for par on the final hole, she raised both arms to the sky in a rare show of emotion and saluted the crowd.
China’s Shanshan Feng–Bronze for her
“This is definitely one of the special moments in my golfing career and in my whole life. It feels great,” said Park, who earned entry into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier this year. “Representing your country, winning the gold, it’s so special. It’s just really all I’ve wanted. I’m just happy.
“ … Somewhere in my heart, after I made the decision to play, I really believed in myself that I can do it. If I didn’t have a trust in myself, I wouldn’t be playing this week.”
The Americans were shut out of the medal ceremony. Stacy Lewis, who double-bogeyed the par-5 18th on Friday, closed with a 66 and finished at 9 under, just one stroke out of a playoff for the bronze. Gerina Piller started the day two shots back but bogeyed her first two holes and shot 74 to finish in a tie for 11th at 6 under. Lexi Thompson shot her best round of the week, a 66, and finished at 3 under and in a tie for 19th.