August 23, 2016 01:23 PM
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Inbee Park is taking a gold medal back to South Korea to show anyone who doubted whether she should play in the Olympics.
And to anyone who questioned her place in women's golf.
Slowed all year by a thumb injury that led to speculation she might retire, Park was dominant as ever Saturday at Olympic Golf Course. She made three straight birdies early, never let anyone closer than three shots the rest of the way and closed with a 5-under 66 for a five-shot victory.
"Because I had an injury, a lot of people were saying maybe it was better to have another player in the field, which is understandable," Park said. "But I really wanted to do well this week to show a lot of people that I can still play."
She had a poker face and a putter that couldn't miss, a combination that was too much for Lydia Ko or anyone else.
Even more remarkable is that Park had not faced top competition for two months. She took time off to recover, and to pour everything into being ready for the Olympics. But when she played a Korean LPGA event earlier this month and missed the cut, there was talk at home that someone else should go in her place.
"This is definitely one of the special moments in my golfing career and in my whole life," Park said. "It feels great. It's just really all I've wanted."
Ko, who replaced Park at No. 1 in women's golf 10 months ago, didn't make a birdie until the seventh hole. The 19-year-old Kiwi at least made one that mattered. She holed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 69 to claim the silver by one shot over Shanshan Feng of China, who also shot 69.
Park finished at 16-under 268, the same score Justin Rose had when he won the men's gold medal.
Park is 28 and already has won seven majors, including the career Grand Slam, and two months ago became the youngest player to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame. This victory — the first gold medal in women's golf since 1900 — might have topped them all.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Si Woo Kim followed his tournament-record 10-under 60 with a third-round 64 to increase his lead to four strokes in the Wyndham Championship.
The 21-year-old South Korean player had an 18-under 192 total at Sedgefield, a stroke off the tournament 54-hole record set by Carl Pettersson in his 2008 victory.
Kim is in contention for his first PGA Tour victory for the second time in a month after losing a playoff to Aaron Baddeley in Alabama in the Barbasol Championship.
After making an eagle and eight birdies Friday, Kim played the front nine in 3-under 35 on Saturday with four birdies and a bogey. He added birdies on the par-4 13th, par-5 15th and par-4 18th.
Rafa Cabrera Bello was second after a 65 in the PGA Tour's regular-season finale. The Spaniard was fifth last week in the Rio Olympics.
Jim Furyk, Luke Donald and Kevin Na were 13 under.
Furyk is playing his first event since shooting the first 58 in PGA Tour history Aug. 7 in the Travelers Championship. After playing a three-hole stretch in 4 under with a 60-footer for eagle on 15 and two birdies, he bogeyed the final two holes for a 67.
Donald scrambled to save par on 18 for a 64. Na made a double bogey on 18 for a 67.
BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Australia's Curtis Luck birdied the third playoff hole to beat Michigan sophomore Nick Carlson in the U.S. Amateur semifinals.
Luck will face Oklahoma sophomore Brad Dalke in the 36-hole final at Oakland Hills. Dalke beat Southern California junior Jonah Texeira 3 and 2.
Carlson was 1 up when his drive on No. 18 ended up under a tree. Luck needed only a bogey to take that hole and square the match. The playoff began on No. 10. Both players parred that hole and birdied No. 11 before Luck was able to reach the green in two on the par-5 12th. Carlson missed a putt for birdie from about 20 feet, ending the match.
THE LEGENDS CHAMPIONSHIP
FRENCH LICK, Ind. (AP) — Defending champion Juli Inkster shot a 4-under 68 for a share of the first-round lead in The Legends Championship with Becky Iverson and Trish Johnson.
After losing a ball and making a bogey on the 14th, the 56-year-old Inkster made an 18-foot birdie putt on the 15th and a 4-footer on 18.
Teeing off on both Nos. 1 and 10, the players were able to finish before an afternoon storm hit the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.
Rosie Jones and Michele Redman were a stroke back.In the seven-player Honors Division for players 63 and older, defending champion Jan Stephenson shot a 74 to take a three-stroke lead over Shelley Hamlin.
VYSOKY UJEZD, Czech Republic (AP) — Defending champion Thomas Pieters of Belgium shot a 2-under 70 to take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the Czech Masters.
Coming off a fourth-place finish in the Rio Olympics, Pieters had a 12-under 204 total at Albatross Golf Resort. American Paul Peterson was second after a 64.
John Daly was tied for 24th at 4 under after a 71.
By The Associated Press
Updated: August 23, 2016 01:23 PM
(Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)