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Park Strolls in Kraft Nabisco
Starting the final round three shots ahead of the field in the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Inbee Park got off to a great start Sunday with birdies on the first two holes and rolled to her second major title.
The 24-year-old closed with a 3-under 69 at Mission Hills Country Club in Rancho Mirage, Calif., for a 72-hole total of 15-under 273, four shots ahead of fellow South Korean So Yeon Reo, who posted Sunday's low round of 7-under 65, and six ahead of Sweden's Caroline Hedwall (68) and Norway's Suzann Pettersen (69).
Park, who won the Honda LPGA Thailand in late February, joins No. 1-ranked Stacy Lewis as the only two-time winners on the LPGA Tour this year. It was also Park's second LPGA major; her first win ever was the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.
"I played so solid this week," an excited Park said at greenside. "This is always the one (tournament) I want to win."
As for a hot start that eased her nerves and left the field in serious catch-up mode, Park added, "It was huge. (The birdies) really made my day much easier."
After Park went to the scorer's tent, she returned and did the celebratory jump in Poppie's Pond alongside the 18th green at Mission Hills, accompanied by her caddie and six friends. When she emerged dripping wet, the traditional white robe with her name on the back as the 2013 champion was draped over her.
Sharing fifth at 282 were South Korean Haeji Kang (68) and Hall of Famer Karrie Webb (72).
Playing in the final group with Park, Lizette Salas, who began play just three shots behind Park, posted a disappointing 79 to drop into a tie for 25th at 2-under 286. Lewis, who never got untracked this week with rounds of 73, 71 and 71 in the first three rounds, closed with a 72 and finished tied for 32nd at 287.
Defending champion Sun Young Yoo, who won last year's Kraft Nabisco in a sudden-death playoff after I.K. Kim missed a 12-inch putt that forced extra holes and led to one of the most shocking tournament conclusions in recent memory, missed the cut this year.
For all the scores, visit http://www.lpgascoring.com/public/Leaderboard.