GALLOWAY, N.J.—Annie Park won the ShopRite LPGA Classic for her first LPGA Tour victory, closing with an 8-under 63 on Sunday for a one-stroke victory over Sakura Yokomine.
The 23-year-old Park, from Levittown, N.Y., had an eagle and six birdies on a cloudy day over the Bay Course at Stockton Seaview to complete 54 holes at 16-under 197, a stroke off the tournament record.
“I can’t describe in words how I feel,” Park said. “It’s my first win out on tour. I mean, every win is very special, but just having my family out here, my friends supporting me, it’s just — all the fans, my friends back home, I would like to thank all of them. Without them and having that support, I probably wouldn’t have been here today.”
Park began the year with conditional status on the LPGA Tour, but her season came around in April at the LPGA Mediheal Championship in San Francisco. She qualified on Monday, tied for 18th and won more than $17,000 (U.S.) to improve her status on the priority list.
“It’s been a crazy first half of the year,” she said. “Came into the year with having partial status and juggling between the Symetra Tour and the LPGA Tour. I think that Mediheal tournament really got it going, Mondayed in, had a great first two rounds, got reshuffled into the mix. And having this first win, it’s been crazy.”
“I switched to it this January, and it’s actually helped me out a lot,” Park said. “I’ve always struggled with putting. I like it, but it’s also kind of hard because it’s longer and heavier. It took a while for me to get used to the putter, but I really like it.”
Yokomine, the winner of 23 events on the Japan LPGA Tour, flirted with a 59 but parred the par-5 18th for a 61 to tie the course record.