Park is 1st rookie to win season title

AFPBEIJING (AFP-Jiji) — South Korean sensation Park Sung Hyun became the first LPGA Tour rookie to be crowned world No. 1 on Tuesday after a season in which she also won her first major.

The 24-year-old, who knocked countrywoman Ryu So Yeon off the top spot, is the fourth South Korean world No. 1 since the rankings were introduced in 2006, joining Shin Ji Yai, Park In Bee and Ryu.

“I was very surprised and amazed by what I’ve achieved,” Park told in Hainan Island, where she will play in this week’s Blue Bay LPGA tournament.

“This is all too sudden for me, and it hasn’t hit me yet,” Park added. “I think this is an honor for my whole family.”

Park reaches No. 1 exactly a year after she held a press conference in Korea to announce she would take up membership on the LPGA Tour, after a season in which she won seven times on the Korean LPGA Tour, contended in three major championships and had risen to world No. 10.

Her incredible form carried through to the LPGA Tour this year with two wins to date including a first major at the U.S. Women’s Open, nine top-10 finishes and top-20 finishes at three other majors.

Not only that, the super-consistent Park has never missed a cut in her 29 career LPGA Tour starts.

She had romped away with the LPGA’s Rookie of the Year honors long before this season ended and with two tournaments to go, she is ranked second in the Player of the Year standings.


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