Inbee Park wins Kraft Nabisco in fine style

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South Korean Inbee Park clinched her second major title in style at the Kraft Nabisco Championship in California late on Sunday.

The 2008 US Women’s Open champion tamed the Mission Hills course with a 67 in her third round to surge to 12 under par, for a three-shot lead, and stretched that to a four-stroke winning margin.

She signed for a closing round of three-under 69 and a 15-under aggregate of 273, with her countrywoman So Yeon Ryu the only player to threaten Park at all, reaching 11 under for the week after a sparkling seven-under 65 which was the lowest score of the day.

Sweden’s Caroline Hedwall and Norway’s Suzann Pettersen were tied for third on nine-under 279 following their respective closing rounds of 68 and 69, while British fortunes improved in the closing round as Scotland’s Catriona Matthew and England’s Jodi Ewart Shadoff finished in a share of seventh place on five-under.

Veteran Matthew had her best round of the week, the 43-year-old world No 13 finishing with a 68, while Ewart Shadoff signed off with 69 to end a memorable four days on a high note. The 25-year-old, ranked 110th in the world, was tied for the lead after the first round before sliding out of title contention, but she recovered impressively to claim her best finish in a major.

Champion Park, who won $300,000 (£195,000), said: “It has been a while since I won a major, and this is my second major of my career, and it feels very special.

“This week I played very solid. Today and all week I played very good. I’m just happy that I have another major under my belt.”

She climbs from fourth to second place in the world rankings and said: “It’s taken pressure off me for the rest of the season. I’m just going to go out there and enjoy the season.”