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Inbee On Way To Grand Slam...Or Something Amazingly Historic

Randall Mell with some great behind-the-scenes stuff from Inbee Park as the seemingly cool cat was just like all of the perpetual worriers who've won majors, fretting away her Saturday night away en route to a positively stunning third-straight major win in the U.S. Women's Open.

Unable to sleep, Park opened the door of her bedroom and waved for her mother to come inside for a talk. Park confessed she was feeling nervous trying to become the first player since Babe Zaharias in 1950 to win the first three majors in a season. She confessed that she was worried about letting down friends and fellow South Koreans. She confessed she was worried about disappointing her family.

LPGA has designated the Evian Championship in September a major.

Beth Ann Baldry on the possibility of Park winning the Women's British at St. Andrews (talk about stars aligning...), but not a true "Grand Slam" because the LPGA de$ignated the Evian Championship in September a fifth major.

This year, however, there are five major championships up for grabs, and according to golf historian Martin Davis, that means she needs to win all five to, by definition, win the Grand Slam.

The term "grand slam" originates from bridge, a card game in which players win tricks. When someone clears the table, they earn 13 tricks, or a "grand slam." Bridge was quite popular around the time Bobby Jones won the four biggest tournaments of his era in 1930, prompting The Atlanta Journal's O.B. Keeler to use the bridge term to famously describe Jones’ improbable feat.

“It doesn’t refer to four,” Davis said. “It refers to running the table.”

John Strege looks at the putting mastery that is key to Park's success.

Putting guru Dave Stockton believes that good putting begins with the mind, not the mechanics, and that Park "mentally is in a league of her own out there," he said. "What I love that I see is her total lack of being affected by where she stands. She's very calm, very composed and it serves her well. The rhythm with her stroke and throughout the whole swing, most of the time in a U.S. Open you see others losing that. But she's withstood it really, really well. I think it's because of that demeanor that no shot is more important than the last one or a future one. She doesn't change her routine depending on the pressure."

Inbee will be making the rounds Monday morning with her third major championship trophy of 2013. Courtesy of the LPGA media relations folks:

7:30 a.m. – Golf Channel’s Morning Drive
8:30 a.m. – NBC’s Today Show
9:30 a.m. – ESPN’s Sportscenter

The champion's post-round interview highlights from the USGA:

The USGA's recap helmed by Senior Southampton Correspondent Hunki Yun:

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Reader Comments (22)

Even when the LPGA catches a huge break they can't get a break. Almost like Ty Votaw is still around.
06.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike U
The USGA recap is hilarious. The beginning looks like a North Korean propaganda video in which two dozen people they strategically placed in front of the camera cheer how much they love their leader
06.30.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
Well spoken young lady. Good face for women's golf. Very humble and classy. Wishing her continued success. Media asks such lame questions - over and over and over. It is like they ask the same questions.
Didn't Mr. Jones win 5?
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
She plays beautifully and, reminiscent of Tiger in his prime, weekends can be quite boring as she surgically manages a 4 shot lead.
North Korean propaganda video? That humor falls flat on me. Reporter sounds firmly American and maybe Californian by his accent. I guess you see what you want to see.

If an American golfer won the British Open at St. Andrews with a group of American fans cheering together in the grandstand and an American ESPN reporter stood in front of them would it look like a political rally (we're number #1)?

Never forget watching a Kristi Yamaguchi TV profile at a Winter Olympics years ago with some casual acquaintances. After a profile showing her tooling around California and speaking about herself I commented what a delightful ALL AMERICAN girl. The others said she does not look ALL AMERICAN to me. I realized at that point no matter what she did this amazing U.S. citizen would never be American enough for them.

Difficult not to be an Inbee Park fan. Great hard working golfer, independent and happy and in a few years she has mastered English better than many of my fellow Americans.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStephenP
When the only coverage from mainstream of this event is the caddie being fired mid round...
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLeeWatson
Love the LPGA tour. It's a bit like Men's tennis at the moment. Not very deep, but the top players are a lot of fun to watch.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
Good thing the golf ball has no idea whether Inbee is thin enough, or glamorous enough, or American enough, or has an exciting enough swing, or if she looks like Natalie Gulbis or not. Inbee is a fantastic player and a wonderful representative for women's golf, and I am rooting for her to win all five majors this year. No Longer's comment on "surgical" is spot on. The LPGA is beginning to remind me of some of the junior golf tours in the US who call certain events "majors" in order to hopefully get more participation.

As I didn't get to watch much of the coverage this weekend was Michelle Wie's WD due to "illness" mentioned much at all, or discussed by the commentators such as Judy Rankin? It speaks to Wie's credibility that in most of the articles I saw online about this the word illness was usually put in quotes.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
@ StephenP "Difficult not to be an Inbee Park fan". She is doing everything correctly. I too, have become a fan. Great composure. English is spot on. She does a much better job speaking my language than I could ever hope to do speaking her's.
@StephenP: The Video clearly looks as if everyone was already gone, they cramped the last few dozen people into the background and ordered them to chant Inbee Park
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRyan
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterT. Mitchell
What a great champion.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Is she playing so well because she's unflappable or is she unflappable because she's playing so well?
07.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenter3foot1
Fantasic performance. Such poise too.
Love the slow tempo and calm demeanor. Even has a good sense of humor. Congrats to her for another beautifully played tourney. (let's just hope that Annika doesn't sell her some real estate now that won't let her ever get a good night's sleep again... ;=]
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRLL
I'd love to read a piece that gets to heart of WHY the LPGA designated the Evian a major...did the sponsor promise to keep the purse at the very top of all LPGA tournaments? What's in it for the LPGA otherwise?? I can see why Evian wanted it but not sure whats in it for LPGA...gotta be some guarantees. Is there some great global TV coverage (will be Golf Channel at odd hours in US) Put some digging reporter on it (not Sirak)...Whan has some 'splainin to do. Seems he has sold the LPGA's credibility down the river...mainstream media like I are just gonna proclaim it a Slam if Inbee wins British and Evian will be an afterthought.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
Media maven, I'm with you...screw Evian.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDTF the melted snow.....

several guaantees were made, including a major jazz up of the track.

seriously, I really like this event, though why it is now a major is a minor point to me.
07.1.2013 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I think Evian became a major because there might have been a danger of losing one of the others (maybe Kraft or Rochester?). It is better to have too many majors than not enough. 5 is better than 3.

As far as Inbee goes. Weren't we saying all these things about Yani a year ago?

Here is a comparison of the two:
07.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony Jesselli
@ RickABQ
I think Wie had one hole to left to complete her 2nd round when darkness/fog caused end of play for Friday.
She would have had to stay overnight, play one hole Saturday am, then leave (since she wasn't close enough to threaten making the cut). I saw no information on what illness she was afflicted with. But that doesn't mean she was not, in fact, ill.
Given the circumstances - not going to make cut; no documentation of illness: having to stay another night to play one hole with no effect on championship result - the media was skeptical of Michelle's illness claim.
I have not backchecked the above, but that is how I remember it.
I was not verklempt over her decision to WD and am not more of or less of a Michelle fan as a result.
07.2.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
At the time the projected cut was +6. Play was suspended due to fog on Friday night, and resumed Saturday at 7 a.m. Wie stood at +11 with 1 hole to play and withdrew on Saturday morning, citing illness. Please forgive my skepticism, and insert whatever joke you'd like about what Michelle could have been sick of at that point...

It should be noted that at the same time, Se Ri Pak, +13 with 3 holes to play, returned to resume her round (as did about 3 dozen other players with no chance at making the cut).

It's all about class and respect for your playing partners, the tournament organizers, and for the game itself. Unfortunately Michelle Wie and her parents seem to have lost whatever little of it they had to begin with.
07.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterShooter McGavin

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