Inbee Park won the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday to make history with titles in the year’s first three majors.
The world’s top-ranked player finished at 8 under to win by 4 strokes. Her 2-over 74 in the final round was more than enough, with Sebonack’s trying conditions keeping any rivals from making a run. Only three players were under par for the tournament.
Fellow South Korean I.K. Kim also shot 74 for her second runner-up finish at a major.
No player had ever won the first three majors in a year with at least four.
“I’m just very glad to put my name in history,” Park said.
Ahead by 4 strokes at the start of the round, Park birdied the ninth and 10th holes to extend her lead. She has won six times already this year, including three straight tournaments. Park added a second U.S. Women’s Open title to another historic victory in 2008, when she became the event’s youngest champion at age 19.
So Yeon Ryu, the 2011 U.S. Women’s Open champion, shot 72 to finish third at 1 under. South Korean players took the top three spots and have won the last five majors.
With lashing wind and devilish greens, Sebonack was a classically troublesome U.S. Women’s Open course. And once Park built a lead, nobody could mount a charge.
She certainly wasn’t going to make enough mistakes to come back to the field. Park predicted Saturday that shooting even par in the final round would be enough, and she sure was right.
All of four players were under par Sunday — though that was still more than the third round, when only Park accomplished the feat.
Kim birdied No. 2 to pull within 3 strokes; she couldn’t claw closer. And when she bogeyed the fourth hole, the deficit was back to 4.
Park bogeyed the sixth and seventh, but so did Kim.
The only player to win the year’s first three majors was Babe Zaharias in 1950, back when there were only three.
Up next is the Women’s British Open at St. Andrews on Aug. 1-4.
Bill Haas won the AT&T National on Sunday and joined some distinguished company.
Haas pulled away from a crowd of contenders with three straight birdies, two key pars and one good hop out of the rough.
It led to a 5-under 66 on a muggy day at Congressional and a 3-shot win over Roberto Castro.
As many as six players had a share of the lead at some point until Haas rolled in a 10-foot birdie putt on No. 8. Worried about a splotch of mud on his ball, he hit his approach to just inside 12 feet for birdie on the par-5 ninth, and then hit a 5-iron to 10 feet for another birdie on the 10th.
Haas led by at least 2 shots the entire back nine, though he never allowed himself to think about winning until he stood over a 3-foot par putt on the 18th hole and realized he had three putts to win.
Kenny Perry won the Senior Players for his first major title, overtaking Fred Couples with a final round of 6-under 64.
Perry finished his four rounds in 19-under 261 at Fox Chapel, 2 shots ahead of Couples and Duffy Waldorf.
Perry was runner-up in the 1996 PGA Championship and 2009 Masters Tournament while playing as a regular on the PGA Tour. He tied for second in the Senior PGA Championship last month.
Sunday, the 52-year-old Kentuckian took control late in the round. He hit close to the pin on Nos. 16 and 17 for tap-in birdies to break free from Couples and Waldorf.
Couples began the day with a 2-shot lead but missed a handful of short putts, opening the door for Perry.
Paul Casey made a 50-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole and won the Irish Open by 3 strokes.
The 35-year-old Englishman trailed by 4 shots entering the final round. He closed with a 5-under 67 that featured a stretch of five birdies in six holes from No. 8 to No. 13. He finished at 14-under 274 in winning his 14th career title.
Casey was sidelined at the start of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury from a snowboarding accident. This is his first win since the 2011 season-opening Volvo Champions in Bahrain.
England’s Robert Rock (71) and third-round leader Dutchman Joost Luiten (74) shared second at 277.