LPGA Evian Masters: Inbee Park Holds Off Stacy Lewis and Karrie Webb for Win

Fred AltvaterContributor IIJuly 29, 2012

South Korea's Inbee Park won the 2012 Evian Masters.
South Korea's Inbee Park won the 2012 Evian Masters.Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Inbee Park, another of the seemingly endless crop of dominating golfers from South Korea, won the 2012 Evian Masters.  She should have waited until next year when this event becomes an LPGA major.

She did pick up $487,500 for the win, which is the second-largest purse offered on the LPGA Tour. 

Ms. Park has won four times in Japan, and the Evian Masters is her second win in the LPGA.

At the age of 19, she was the youngest winner ever of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open held at Interlachen Country Club in Edina, Minnesota.

Inbee asked for an exemption to enter LPGA qualifying school after she graduated from high school at the age of 17.  The LPGA denied her request, but they lowered the allowable age for the Duramed Futures Tour, now the Symetra Tour.  She immediately dropped out of UNLV and turned professional.

In her first year on the Futures Tour she posted 11 Top 10s, finished third on that tour and earned her playing privileges for the LPGA Tour in 2007.

In her rookie season, she was fourth at the U.S. Women's Open and runner-up at the Safeway Classic.  She finished the season ranked No. 37 on the LPGA money list and was fourth in the Rookie of the Year race.

Inbee has only missed one cut in 14 starts in 2012.  She posted Top 10 finishes in her last four events heading into the Evian Masters.

The win will give her over $900,000 in earnings for the year, and her Rolex World Golf Ranking will improve from her current No. 21 slot.

Stacy Lewis and Inbee Park were tied for the lead at 11-under par after three rounds with Karrie Webb, Natalie Gulbis and Hyo Joo Kim one shot back.

Karrie shot a final round of 67 to end up tied with Stacy Lewis for second place.  Natalie Gulbis had her best finish for some time and was one of the few golfers to post all four rounds in the 60s. She ended with a 68, good for a T-4.

Inbee Park has a solid all-around game, never gets too excited or frustrated on the golf course, and should be a factor in the LPGA for some time.

With Yani Tseng struggling as of late, there are opportunities for other lady pros to move to the front.

The LPGA Tour next moves to Toledo, Ohio August 9-12 for the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic presented by Kroger, Owens Corning and Owens Illinois.