From Park to overdrive en route to round of 63 at Lotte Championship

Dave Reardon and Jason Kaneshiro, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser
·4 min read

Apr. 18—Inbee Park went on a final-round rampage at the LPGA Lotte Championship on Saturday. She shot a 9-under-par 63 at Kapolei Golf Club. And at the rate she was going at the end, Park might have crushed par even further if she'd been allowed to keep going after 18 holes.

Park played the final six holes in 6 under, with birdies on the last three. She finished the tournament at 21 under, tied with three others for second place, seven shots behind runaway winner Lydia Ko.

This, after Park shot 71 in Wednesday's first round and feared she'd be done on Thursday.

"I was like 70th and I thought I really need to play well to make the cut now, " she said. "The course was just really score-able, and I didn't feel like the course was that score-able, but I was just looking at the scoring and really, that really got my confidence up."—RELATED :—RELATED :—PHOTOS :

Several players said they had to adjust to Kapolei after playing this tournament at Ko Olina the first eight years.

"I just thought (after the first round ) that if everybody is making this many birdies I think I can too, " Park said. "If I could have started a little bit earlier that could've been really nice."

The same could be said for her round Friday ; Park was even for the day until her birdie on No. 5.

Shin goes low too Jenny Shin also shot 63 to shoot up the leaderboard on Thursday.

She thought she might get an advanced scouting report when she told her boyfriend the tournament was moving from Ko Olina Golf Club down the road to Kapolei.

"I told him we were playing Kapolei and he said, 'I grew up on that golf course.' So I was like, 'Tell me all about it, '" Shin said with a laugh. "But turns out it's not that different from Ko Olina, so I played my game and it worked out."

Shin was 10 under through three rounds and finished tied for sixth. She went into No. 18 needing a birdie to match the tournament's single-round record, and dropped to her knees when her 23rd putt of the day slid by the cup. She made her par to finish her low round of the season.

"Oh yeah, that last putt I wanted it so badly and I hit it a little bit too firm and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, '" Shin said.

"I didn't really know where I was coming down until the last few holes, I was starting to count and I said I really need to birdie the last two holes, and I did that yesterday so thought it totally could be a possibility."

Shin birdied her first three holes of the day and had a run of four in a row midway through her round. She signed her scorecard while the leaders were early on the front nine and she spent much of the afternoon tied for second.

"Looking back at my round (Friday ) afternoon, I was like I left a lot out there and I still shot 5 under par, I think 10 under par is completely doable, " Shin said. "When I saw myself over the putts, I was like, 'Today is it. I'm gonna go as low as I can.'"

Another flag Lydia Ko is the eighth player to win a Lotte Championship, and they represent seven different nations. Ko is a New Zealand citizen. Canada (Brooke Henderson in 2018 and 2019 ), the United States (Michelle Wie in 2014 and Cristie Kerr in 2017 ), Australia (Minjee Lee in 2016 ), South Korea (Sei Young Kim in 2015 ), Norway (Suzann Pettersen in 2013 ) and Japan (Ai Miyazato in 2012 ) are the other countries represented.

Ace for Lee Jeongeun Lee carded the second hole-in-one of the tournament on the 165-yard eighth hole on Saturday.

Lee, not to be confused with Jeongeun Lee6, recorded her ace with a 5-iron. She went on to finish with a round of 4-under 68 and at 13 under for the tournament.

Amy Yang had the first hole-in-one of the week at the 12th hole in the second round on Thursday.