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Park holds off Lewis for victory in Taiwan
November 02, 2014

Interviews:
Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park (-22)
Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis (-20)
Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko (-17)

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park was able to hold off a strong final round charge from Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis to capture the 2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by Taiwan Mobile.

“I think playing with Stacy, I really wanted to play well, and obviously being able to win the tournament was a great accomplishment,” Park said. “It was a tough day and I got nervous on every hole today even on the 18th hole.”

Park posted a 1-under round of 71 for a 22-under total to capture her third LPGA victory of the season by two strokes over Lewis.

“I hung in there all day and just made Inbee work for it,” Lewis said. “That was the goal, and you give Inbee four shots, it’s a tough task to overcome, and you know, she hit the shots when she needed to coming in.”

As Lewis mentioned, Park was able to hit the clutch shots when she needed to en route to her victory including a key chip-in bogey save after having to take a drop on the par-4 9th and a birdie on the par-3 17th which extended her lead to two strokes with two holes to play.

“Stacy was really tough,” Park admitted. “In the middle of the round I was only one ahead of her, and I was lucky to be one ahead of her, so it was a really good day but it wasn’t an easy day for me.”

While the win was Park’s third of the season and 12 of her impressive career it was her first victory as a married woman.

“I think this will be my wedding gift for myself,” Park joked. “It’s a good feeling and maybe people who said, ‘she’s not going to play as well as when she was not married’ I think we can prove them wrong. My husband is a big help for me and huge supporter and I’m really happy to have him here.”

Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko rounded out the top-3 at 17-under thanks to a final round 66, the low round of the day.

Lewis gives Park all she can handle with final round 69: Stacy Lewis gave Inbee Park all that she could handle on the final round of the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship presented by Taiwan mobile cutting a four-shot lead entering the day down to a mere stroke on two separate occasions.

“I played great,” Lewis said. “I really got off to a really good start, and just the middle of the round, didn’t quite make the putts that I needed to.”

Lewis got off to a red hot start making birdies on her first three holes but was only able to pick up a stroke on Park who matched Lewis with birdies of her own on 1 and 2.

“Well, it was huge,” Lewis said of her three birdie start. “You would think you would pick up a shot or two but I didn’t really pick up many shots there. But obviously Inbee making those putts, I knew I needed to do something, as well. I was fortunate I got off to a good start, but in the conditions all day, it was hard and you just had to hang in there.”

While Lewis is never satisfied with second place, she looks to take the momentum from this week into the final three tournaments of the year starting with next week’s Mizuno Classic.

“More than anything, I did a lot of really good things this week,” Lewis explained. “Four rounds in the 60s, and I played really well when the pressure was on and when it was hard. I did a lot of really good things and that’s what I’m happy about. I’m excited to go to Japan next week, a golf course I’ve won on and a place that I feel really comfortable.”

Ko earns third top-10 of Asia swing: Four weeks in Asia resulted in three top-10 finishes for Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko and give her some serious momentum entering the closing stretch of the 2014 season.

“I think I played really well here in Asia,” Ko said. “Obviously there were a lot of great memories made, and, yeah, I just enjoyed my time playing over here in Asia. I didn’t get many opportunities to play out here before, so it was great to come back, like to this week, where I’ve won before.“

Ko used a bogey-free round with six birdies to tally the low round of the day on Sunday to climb into third place for the tournament to help her remain in third place in the inaugural Race to the CME Globe. The top-3 in the Race heading into the CME Group Tour Championship control their own destiny for the millon dollar prize.

“That would be pretty awesome, being the first one to be able to do that,” Ko said. “But, you know, everyone is playing great and all I can do is just try my best. There’s still three more events on the Tour, so you just never know until the end.”

While Ko is excited to chase that goal in the final weeks of the season, she is also looking forward to taking some time off.

“I’ve actually got some outings the next couple days, so I’ll do that, go home and just chill out,” Ko said. “I’ll probably not come out of the house for a day or so.”

Numbers to know:
1,2,3 - The top-3 players in the latest Rolex Rankings - Inbee Park, Stacy Lewis and Lydia Ko - finished first, second and third respectively at the Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
84.7 - Inbee Park hit 84.7 percent of greens in regulation en route to her victory, the number was the second highest of any competitor in the field (Lydia Ko, 86.1 percent)
12 - The 12 career victories for Inbee Park ties Yani Tseng for 39th on the LPGA’s all-time list
3 - The 3 victories this season for Inbee Park ties Stacy Lewis for most on Tour
1/3 - Inbee Park converted her first 54 hole lead into a victory this year in three attempts. In 2013, Park won all four times she slept on the lead entering the final round (Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wegmans LPGA Championship, Walmart NW Arkansas Championship, U.S. Open)
1.607 - The course played 1.607 strokes more difficult in the final round than on the next toughest day (Saturday, 71.571)
13 - The par-4 13th has played as the hardest hole on the course at 4.262, Inbee Park played the hole at Even Par for the week
12 - The par-5 12th has played as the easiest hole on the course at 4.691, Inbee Park played the hole in 4-under for the week

Quotes of the day: “Today she was playing so well, and yeah, it was really a competitive day. She’s a very good player and very good competitor. I look forward to playing with her more.”–Inbee Park on playing with Stacy Lewis

“I don’t think this is the last time we’ll be battling at the end of a tournament. I think we’re both playing some really good golf right now, and it’s unfortunate I guess for the fans, it’s the end of the season, but we have a few tournaments left and hopefully we’ll do it again.” –Stacy Lewis on playing with Inbee Park

INTERVIEWS

Rolex Rankings No. 1 Inbee Park (-22)

THE MODERATOR: Inbee, what was the key to this victory?
INBEE PARK: This week, my putter was very good today. I was struggling, always thinking -- I felt like I was practicing on the green three and four hours a day, but coming into this week, I really wanted to, on Tuesday, I was putting on the greens for four hours, and tried to figure something out.

So I had to go back to the beginning and change my posture a little bit and yeah, since then, my putter really started working this week and that's been really the big key.

So today was the putting, and playing with Stacy was really tough, she almost -- I was lucky -- so it was a really good day but it wasn't an easy day for me.

THE MODERATOR: You mentioned Stacy. Does it mean more to you being able to beat her, because she could have taken over the No. 1 spot with the win. Does that add anything to the win?
INBEE PARK: She was 1 and I was No. 2 -- inaudible -- but I don't think we ever played on the final day. We played in the first two rounds but it's different in the final round. I think this was almost our first match together. If she had beat me it would have been really tough today. But I think being able to play good and under pressure, that gives me a lot of confidence.

I took over the spot last week and I didn't know how long I was going to be able to stay up there because it was just so close and I knew that I had to win this week or I have to win one or two out of the three tournaments left.

Yeah, she's beat me a lot this year but I still think that it is possible -- there's a couple tournaments left to play and I'm just going to give it my best try. It was a really fun day. We have a really good friendship there, as well.

THE MODERATOR: You're normally more of a reserved player. We saw more emotion from you after 9 and after sinking the putt on 18. What was that about and why do you have so much emotion with this victory.
INBEE PARK: I think playing with Stacy, I really wanted to play well, and obviously being able to win the tournament after 18 holes -- it was a tough day and I got nervous -- even on the 18th hole. Sometimes with a four-shot lead, you put that much pressure -- but on the back nine, the last three or four holes -- (Inaudible.) But today she was playing so well, and yeah, it was really a competitive day. She's a very good player and very good competitor. I look forward to playing with her more.

THE MODERATOR: First win as a married woman, how special is that?
INBEE PARK: I sometimes take it for granted because we are always together but sometimes we don't stay together like two, three days, and I feel his absence. Yeah, this week, having a win after two weeks of marriage, yeah, I was really tired after the ceremony and I played in a tournament right after the wedding, three tournaments in a row after that. And then having this win is a big surprise -- inaudible -- for myself. It's good and maybe people said, she's not going to play as well as when she was not married about so I think we can put that wrong. He's a big help for me and huge supporter.

Q. Coming back to Taiwan -- (Inaudible.)
INBEE PARK: Yeah -- came out and watched today because they were expecting wind today. Golf in Taiwan -- and cheering on for me, so I'm very thankful to all the fans. I think being able to win finally in front of all the fans here -- it's so special.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you Inbee, congratulations, again.

Rolex Rankings No. 2 Stacy Lewis (-20)

Q. I know it's not the result that you wanted but you have to be pretty proud of how you played out there today?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I am. I played great. I really got off to a really good start, and just the middle of the round, didn't quite make the putts that I needed to. Just I hung in there all day and just made Inbee work for it. That was the goal, and you give Inbee four shots, it's a tough task to overcome, and you know, she hit the shots when she needed to coming in.

Q. How important was that hot start with three birdies in the first three holes?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it was huge. You would think you would pick up a shot or two but I didn't really pick up many shots there. But obviously Inbee making those putts, I knew I needed to do something, as well. I was fortunate I got off to a good start, but in the conditions all day, it was hard and you just had to hang in there.

Q. We talked a couple days about how you and Inbee never really seemed to be playing at your best when you're 1,2. This week seemed like it was a sign of things to come?
STACY LEWIS: Yeah, I don't think this is the last time we're battling at the end of a tournament. I think we're both playing some really good golf right now, and it's unfortunate I guess for the fans, it's the end of the season, but we have a few tournaments left and hopefully we'll do it again.

Q. Finally, speaking of the last three tournaments you have left, how much momentum does a second-place finish give you going into those?
STACY LEWIS: Well, it's huge. More than anything, I did a lot of really good things this week. Four rounds in the 60s, and I played really well when the pressure was on and when it was hard. I did a lot of really good things and that's what I'm happy about. Excited to go to Japan next week, a golf course I've won on and a place that I feel really comfortable.

Rolex Rankings No. 3 Lydia Ko (-17)

Q. Another great week, great playing out there. Four weeks in Asia, three Top-10 finishes, what does that do for your momentum with the last two events of the year?
LYDIA KO: I think I played really well here in Asia. Obviously there were a lot of great memories made, and, yeah, I just enjoyed my time playing over here in Asia. I didn't get many opportunities to play out here before, so it was great to come back, like to this week, where I've won before.

I've enjoyed it and I'm excited for a week off next week and kind of get back into it for the last two.

Q. What are your plans for that week off?
LYDIA KO: I've actually got some outings the next couple days, so I'll do that, go home, just chill out. I'll probably not come out of the house for a day or so.

Q. And then finally, you're in a good position for the race to CME. What would that mean to you to win the first one of those and the million dollars?
LYDIA KO: That would be pretty awesome, being the first one to be able to do that. But, you know, everyone is playing great and all I can do is just try my best. There's still three more events on the Tour, so you just never know until the end.

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