Inbee Park’s bid to become the only player, male or female, to win four Majors in the same year began in steady rather than the spectacular fashion that it had promised.
The 25-year-old from Seoul has won six times this year including the Kraft Nabisco, a play-off victory over Catriona Matthew in the LPGA Championship before a four-shot win in the US Open.
After 10 holes she led once again after picking up six birdies before the pace of the greens and an awkward bunker on 16 saw four shots disappear in the space of five holes. If there were any signs of panic it didn’t show as Park birdied the last for a three-under 69, her equal best start in the championship.
Her best effort here came last year when she was runner-up behind Jiyai Shin.
“I know what I am playing for but I made a birdie on the 1st hole so maybe I can play under pressure” – Inbee Park
Park has been answering the same question ever since her second Major win of the year and admitted that the nerves were growing with each victory.
“I was a little bit more nervous this morning before I teed off but then, once the round started and especially playing so good in the first few holes, that gave me a lot of confidence.
“I know what I am playing for but I made a birdie on the 1st hole so maybe I can play under pressure.”
One concern for the Korean was a couple of loose drives to the right which then threw her confidence over the closing holes.
“I thought I had fixed my problems coming into the week but those couple of bad shots really shocked me, and I really wanted to fix them right away, and I couldn’t really concentrate on the greens when I hit those shots.
“But I’m glad that it has started and I finished the first round and 25 per cent of the tournament. If I can walk out of this tournament with no regrets that’s what I’m looking to do and that’s all I could ask for.”