LPGA's Annie Park Misses ANA Inspiration Cut After Golf Clubs Stolen

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 6, 2019

CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 26:  Annie Park poses for a portrait at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort on March 26, 2019 in Carlsbad, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Annie Park failed to make the cut at the ANA Inspiration, but it's understandable given the circumstances. 

Before the tournament ever began, the 23-year-old golfer found herself in an unfortunate predicament on Thursday. Someone had busted the back window of her rental car at her hotel in Palm Desert, California, and stolen her golf bag and clubs.

"I couldn't believe it at first, then I kind of had to believe it real quick," Park said on Friday, according to the Palm Springs Desert Sun's Shad Powers. "They stole my clubs, bag, balls, glove, hat and sweater. Pretty much everything."

Not only did she have to file a police report and contact the rental car company, but she also had to find new equipment...hours before the first major tournament of the year.

That situation had caddie Josh Williams uncertain if Park would be able to compete in the tournament.

"I got the text yesterday morning, and I didn't think we were going to tee it up," Williams said of a text Park sent him about the break-in, per Powers. "But she said, 'No, of course we're going to play.' So we put some clubs together, and she just stuck with it and grinded hard. It was impressive."

Park was ultimately able to round up enough clubs to take the course at Mission Hills Country Club, via Powers: 

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

"She used her caddie's irons. She had just ordered two new wedges which were waiting for her in her locker, so she could use those. She found a putter at the pro shop. She had a hybrid club and a shaft (to which she attached a head for her driver) that she had left with her caddie, so she used those, and then Paul Boehmer, a club-repair tech with the LPGA, made her a 3-wood."

Incredibly, Park actually managed to start strong. She used three birdies to go three-under through her first six holes of Round 1. But her luck would soon run out.

Park proceeded to bogey the final three holes of the front nine before adding another four on the back nine. She finished the day at four-over, and a six-over 78 on Day 2 put her well below the cut line at 10-over for the tournament.

While she noted her caddie's "shafts are extra stiff," Park refused to use the matter as an excuse. The ANA Inspiration may not have gone the way she had hoped, but she can now move past the fiasco and prepare for her next tournament.