Jun
18
2014
Inbee Park will rely on putter in U.S. Open title defense
By Bernie D'Amato under US Women's Open
Two-time Open champ. ©USGA/Michael Cohen.

Two-time Open champ. ©USGA/Michael Cohen.

A couple weeks ago, Inbee Park got into the winner’s circle for the first time in 2014 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. Park said her final round 61 at Manulife was a “big confidence boost, especially with the putting.” If Inbee continues putting lights out, then she will have a terrific opportunity to defend her 2013 U.S. Open title.

At the pre-tournament press conference, Park said Pinehurst is all about the greens, and it is important to get up-and-down because the turtle back surfaces are easy to miss.

As for the what club Park will use around the greens, she may take a page out of Martin Kaymer’s book. Park was at the final round of the men’s Open, and said, “I think I definitely learned to use the putter around the greens, because the winner, Martin Kaymer, he used the putter a lot of times around the greens and he put it the closest. So it looks like the putter is the most accurate club in the bag, so I’ll try to use the putter as many times as I can.”

Park is a two-time U.S. Open champion (2008 and 2013), and she said her success is due to her ability to limit mistakes. “I think you just take a lot more precautions, a lot more cautions when you play tough golf courses. And the major golf courses are tough golf courses, and when you play those, you take extra care.”

“I’m usually just an easy going person. I’m just — sometimes I make mistake because I don’t pay too much attention. But I think on major golf courses like this, I take extra time, I take extra caution. I think that’s making me play better.”

Pinehurst No. 2 will have Inbee’s attention all 72-holes, and that’s a good thing for the four-time major champion.

–Bernie D’Amato