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Park In-bee comes up short in bid to win fourth consecutive major
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland, Aug. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korean Park In-bee came up well short in her bid to win her fourth LPGA major in a row on Sunday, finishing tied for 42nd at the Ricoh Women's British Open.

   Park closed out the tournament with a 6-over 78 on Sunday at the par-72 Old Course at St. Andrews, 14 shots behind the champion, Stacy Lewis of the United States. Park ended her tournament at 6-over 294.

   Having captured the first three majors of 2013, Park was trying to become the first golfer, male or female, to win four straight professional majors in the same season.

   The world No. 1 opened her quest for the historic grand slam with a solid 3-under 69 on Thursday, but then stumbled to 73-74-78 over the next three rounds.

   Park began her final round with a double bogey, and recorded six more bogeys against just two birdies.

   Park played under a massive amount of scrutiny all week, and the pressure-packed pursuit of history ultimately got the better of the 25-year-old.

   Park said she hadn't thought much about the grand slam before the tournament, but once it got underway, she started to feel the pressure.

   She said, however, she still enjoyed the experience.

   "I learned so much from this tournament," Park told South Korean reporters afterward. "I've never experienced anything like this, and this tournament gave me the confidence that I can play under any circumstance."

   Park, who entered the tournament ranked first on the LPGA Tour with 28.52 putts per round, lamented that she couldn't adjust to the changing speed of the greens at St. Andrews. She took a whopping 143 putts in her four rounds here, including 40 on the final day.

   "The biggest reason that I didn't win this week was that I couldn't figure out the greens," she said. "They were fast yesterday and got slower today."

   Strong gusts of wind suspended the third round play on Saturday, and Park only completed four holes before resuming play early Sunday. She said she was "feeling great" on Saturday and was actually disappointed that play was halted.

   In addition to her three majors in 2013 -- the Kraft Nabisco Championship, the Wegmans LPGA Championship and the U.S. Women's Open -- Park has won three other LPGA events. Despite stumbling in Scotland, Park holds a sizeable lead in money and the Player of the Year points race over Lewis.

   Park can still win her fourth major in 2013. The Evian Championship, set for Sept. 12 to 15 in France, has been upgraded to a major tournament starting this year. Park won the event last year when it was called the Evian Masters. She said she hopes to build on her experience from the Women's British Open in her preparation for the Evian Championship and future events.

   "I have a long career ahead of me," she said. "I will keep trying harder and harder in the future."

   Park is scheduled to arrive in South Korea on Tuesday to rest. The LPGA Tour's next stop will be the CN Canadian Women's Open starting on Aug. 22.

   Two other South Korean golfers in the tournament, Choi Na-yeon and Park Hee-young, tied for second behind Lewis at 6-under 282.

   Choi blew a three-shot lead with six holes to play on Sunday, closing with a 1-over 73. She got to 9-under with a birdie on the 10th hole, but then committed bogeys on the 13th and 14th, and again on the 17th.

   Park also shot a 1-over 73 in the final round. She made three straight bogeys starting on the 12th hole, before salvaging her final round with a birdie on the 16th.

   Lewis trailed Choi by three shots at one point but picked up three birdies over her last five holes for her second career LPGA major.

   jeeho@yna.co.kr
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