Tuesday, June 25

The Hottest Golfer on the Planet

Inbee Park after winning Open in 2008.
THE 67TH U.S. WOMEN'S OPEN BEGINS on Thursday at Sebonack Golf Club in Southampton, New York, and Sports Illustrated's Michael Bamberger makes the case that a win by Inbee Park will mean she'll be three quarters of the way to the elusive Grand Slam. (Sorry Evian Championship.)

"It's a lovely event," Bamberger writes about the Evian tournament. "It's in France. It has a big purse. But it is not a major. A major is declared by decree, not by a marketing department."

With five LPGA Tour wins in 2013, two of them the year's first two majors, Park is the hottest golfer on the planet. Woods gets headlines for nursing a sore elbow (or for anything, really) while Park is mostly anonymous as world No. 1 and a player on the LPGA circuit. But Tiger's golf doesn't compare, at least not at the moment.

Bamberger's tale of the tape:
Woods has four wins this season, which is amazing, but you can't even talk about him and Park in the same breath. She has five wins, and is 2 for 2 in majors, while Woods is 0 for 2. She's the golfer of the half-year. 
Also, the 5'6" Park is loaded with a sort of modest and endearing charm. At the LPGA Championship she talked about steak dinners as a reward for hitting fairways with her driver. 
When was the last time you heard a PGA Tour player talking about a steak dinner as some special treat? Eisenhower's second term.
Na Yeon Choi is the defending champion of the U.S. Women's Open. Park won it in 2008. ESPN2 has the Thursday and Friday TV coverage. NBC will air the third and fourth rounds on the weekend.

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