The fifth major championship of the year on the LPGA Tour, the Evian Championship, has been shortened to 54 holes because of weather. Inbee Park is going to need two impressive rounds to close out the tournament if she hopes to become the first golfer to win four majors in a single season.
Park finished the first round, which was completed on Friday, with a three over par 74. She is currently nine shots behind leader Mika Miyazato. The 74 that Park shot in the first round included a one-stroke penalty – that she called on herself – because her ball moved after she addressed a putt on the second hole, her 11th of the day.
“I didn’t address the ball, I just grounded my club to finish, but the rule was changed so now when you ground the club you’ve addressed it,” Park said. “It wasn’t a horrible day, but it could have been even par without the penalty and a couple bad shots around the green.” That one shot wouldn’t have put Park into contention, but it could have altered the rest of her round. The penalty clearly rattled her a bit, as she finished her round with two more bogeys and one birdie.
Now, Park will only have 36 holes to chip away at the lead in an attempt to make history. Nine shots is tough to make up in a major championship over 54 holes, but it’s next to impossible to do in just two rounds. If anyone can do it, however, my money would be on Park.