She has the nickname Dak Gong, an off-the-cuff phrase that may be translated as “Shut up and assault.”
“Not like different Koreans, I’m extra aggressive in my recreation,” Park stated via an interpreter. “I give attention to my assault and being aggressive. And I like that identify.”
The triumph for Park, her first main title and her first victory on the L.P.G.A. Tour, represented a big breakthrough. Together with her eleven-beneath 277, she defeated Choi by two strokes to earn the most important prize within the historical past of girls’s golf, $900,000.
However there was appreciable irony embedded within the last leaderboard. Enjoying beneath the gaze of the membership’s proprietor, President Trump, who preaches “America first,” golfers from america failed to complete among the many prime 10 on this event for the primary time.
Trump didn’t attend the victory ceremony, however he applauded the highest two finishers as they handed beneath his field after their end.
“I flew all the best way right here from Korea, lengthy distance, after which on prime of that america president clapped for me and cheered for me,” Choi stated. “I used to be touched.”
Marina Alex, from Wayne, N.J., about forty miles away, was the highest American finisher, in a tie for eleventh. Paula Creamer’s seventh-place tie in 2012, behind six non-People, represented the earlier United States low level on the Open.
Off the 18th inexperienced, Alex was greeted with a hug from her first-grade instructor earlier than declining to reply a query about whether or not the People’ general efficiency was trigger for concern. “No, sir, I don’t assume so,” she stated. “Subsequent query.”
Lexi Thompson entered the event ranked third within the Rolex rankings, whereas Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis and Danielle Kang, who lately gained the Ladies’s P.G.A. Championship, have been all among the many prime 20. Ten of the highest 15 gamers have been from East Asia, together with eight from South Korea. Park was eleventh.
Politics continued to canine the event Sunday, the president’s third straight day on the membership, as protests directed at him moved contained in the gate. Six New Jersey-based mostly protesters purchased tickets and stood close to a concession stand with shirts that spelled out “R-e-s-i-s-t” on the entrance and “This isn’t … N-o-r-m-a-l,” on the again.
When Trump appeared in his custom-made tent close to the fifteenth inexperienced in early afternoon, he was greeted with cheers from a gathering of supporters. However one other group of 4 protesters stood dealing with him, sporting purple jerseys that learn, “Dump Sexist Trump.”
“I, like tens of millions of others, am a survivor of sexual harassment and assault,” stated Hope Singsen of New York. “I’m right here to precise my disgust at the united statesG.A. for utilizing sport to legitimize a sexual predator.”
The president was photographed pointing on the protesters, although he spent more often than not together with his again turned to the gang, watching the event on a tv in his suite. Late within the day, he was joined by his spouse, Melania. Safety guards didn’t take away any protesters from the course.
Park produced her largest putt on the fifteenth gap proper in entrance of Trump, pushing her into the lead on the time at 10-underneath. Choi adopted together with her personal 15-foot birdie putt on that very same inexperienced minutes later, additionally shifting to 10-underneath.
Choi lastly erred on the subsequent gap, a 139-yard par three. She tried to land her tee shot on a slender strip under the pin. She got here up brief, and the ball plopped into the water. Her double bogey dropped her two strokes behind Park with solely two holes to play.
“I attempted to squeeze the space, and the membership was not fairly proper,” stated Choi, who recovered properly with a birdie on No. 18. “I assumed all my good work would disappear.”
Choi would have earned $540,000 for her second-place end, however she is just too younger to show skilled in South Korea and should surrender the substantial prize cash. She was making an attempt to turn out to be solely the second newbie to seize the Open; Catherine Lacoste of France, in 1967, was the primary.
Choi’s rating of 279 was the bottom in Open historical past for an newbie.
“It will be good if I did get the cash, however the main aim was to compete,” Choi stated, smiling. “Getting the second place is extra of an honor. I’m not specializing in the cash proper now. Simply that I can come and play is an honor.”
Park, who’s in her first season on the L.P.G.A. Tour, is a chic golfer with a sleek, lengthy swing line and a seemingly limitless future.
“She’s an excellent rookie this yr,” Feng stated. “She was the cash queen in Korea. She’s younger and lengthy. She hits the ball very lengthy and really straight. I don’t see any weak half in her recreation. I’m not stunned she gained this week.”