LPGA: Inbee Park En Route to Conquer the Grand Slam After LPGA Championship Win

Karla Villegas GamaFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2013

Inbee park won her third major title at last week's LPGA Championship.
Inbee park won her third major title at last week's LPGA Championship.Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It is no secret that Asian golfers have dominated women's golf in recent years, and Inbee Park continues this trend with her LPGA Championship win.

From 2010 to the present day, there have been 14 major championships in the LPGA, and only three players not born in Asia have won them: Stacy Lewis, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer.

Today, the world No.1 is Inbee Park, a 24-year-old who has secured the first two majors of the season: the Kraft Nabisco Championship and LPGA Championship.

Park claimed the latter in a playoff against Catriona Matthew. The South Korean needed three extra holes to join Babe Zaharias, Patty Berg, Mickey Wright, Sandra Haynie, Pat Bradley and Annika Sorenstam as the only women who have won the first two legs of the Grand Slam.

Speaking of which, Inbee is the first lady who has a shot to win the Grand Slam since Sorenstam had a chance in 2005. Only two women have won all the majors in a single season. In 1950, Babe Zaharias claimed the three contested that year, and Sandra Haynie grabbed the two majors played in 1974.

Park needs to conquer five tournaments, making the feat almost impossible to accomplish, but if there is anyone who can make it happen, it is Inbee.

Park has already won the U.S. Open. In 2008, she came from behind to post a four-stroke advantage over Helen Alfredsson. That would also be her first major title.

After a four-year winless drought in the LPGA, she defeated Karrie Webb and Stacy Lewis at the 2012 Evian Masters—before it was considered a major championship.

The only tournament of the exclusive list that she hasn't claimed is the Women's British Open. But make no mistake, Inbee has had fantastic results before: tied for ninth (2010), tied for seventh (2011) and runner-up (2012).

Moreover, the only major title she is missing to complete the career Grand Slam is the Women's British Open.

If she wins, she would be the seventh golfer to have the career Grand Slam under her beltalong with Karrie Webb, Mickey Wright, Louise Suggs, Juli Inkster, Pat Bradley and Annika Sorenstamand the first Asian.

This has been her most successful season since she joined the LPGA in 2007. After 11 events, she has won four of them and has earned $1.2 million.

As reported by LPGA.com, Park said after winning the LPGA Championship, "A year ago everything I think really started to click...I wasn't really able to hit the shots that I needed to, and you know, starting last year, two years, I started to hit the ball [a lot] better and [gave] myself a lot of birdie chances."

Today, she leads several key stats: putts per GIR (1.7), sand saves (66%), rounds in the 60s (20 of 42). She is also second in scoring average (69.84) and rounds under par (29 of 42).

And suddenly the quest for the Grand Slam does not seem so wild...