Inbee Park showed why she was the top ranked player in women’s golf this week.
Park overcame a slow start on Friday and then took down So Yeon Ryu on the first playoff hole to win the Walmart Northwest Arkansas Championship at 12-under at Pinnacle Country Club.
Both Park and Ryu make birdie on the final hole of the tournament to force the playoff hole. Park then again made birdie on the par-5 No. 18 to take home the $300,000 prize for first place.
“This is one of my favorite stops,” Park said. “The people are just so nice here and the course was in great condition this year. The greens were rolling very pure so I was able to put really well on this golf course and played very solid the last three days.”
Former Arkansas Razorback Stacy Lewis fired an even par round of 71 to finish in a tie for fourth at 10-under. Lewis made birdie on No. 18 but her double bogey on No. 7 proved to be too much to overcome.
“I’m pretty disappointed,” Lewis said. “I had one bad swing on No. 7 but other than that I played pretty solid. The fans were so great out here today and I really wanted to do it for them but it is all a learning experience and it was a nice little finish there too. You can’t ask for much more. I finished top-5 and still played pretty decent today.”
Mika Miyazato finished third with a three day total of 202 while I.K. Kim, and Lydia Ko tied for fourth with Lewis. Ko is a 16-year old amateur from New Zealand. Lewis and Kim each won $93,539. Suzann Pettersen and Paula Creamer finished in a four way tie for seventh at 9-under.
“Second is great,” Ryu said. “Feels great to be back but Inbee is a great player and also we are really close friends so I am really happy Inbee won. But I’m going to keep going to make a win.”