by Jeff Skinner
We are on the verge of an extraordinary week in golf. As the ladies gather at the most historic of courses, Inbee Park prepares to go where no golfer has gone before. When she tees it up at the Old Course at St. Andrews for this week’s Women’s British Open she’ll be taking a step towards history.
No golfer has ever won four professional majors in a single year. Bobby Jones (2 Opens, 2 Amateurs), Tiger Woods (3 in one season 1 in another), Mickey Wright (four over two seasons), Ben Hogan (3) and Babe Zaharis (3) all had significant and historic accomplishments when it came to winning multiple majors but Park has the chance to top them all.
With the first three LPGA majors already on her mantle the links at St. Andrews could just be the most historic scene in women’s golf. Odd yes… improbable? Not by a long shot.
She was a four stroke winner at the Kraft Nabisco, she won the Wegman’s LPGA Championship in a playoff and putted her way to victory at the U.S. Women’s Open at Sebonack. And she displayed little emotion the entire time.
She plays a quiet game, out drives no one, but out scores everyone. She hits more than her share of fairways and putts like there is no tomorrow. Her demeanor on the course is one of quiet, calmness sprinkled with a dose of serenity. She’s never flustered by a poor lie or a lipped putt. You can’t tell if she is ten over (like we have had a chance to see that this year) or ten under.
There is too much debate of late concerning the validity of this “Grand Slam.” Since the LPGA has christened the Evian a major their season now consists of five major championships. But an accounting move by the tour shouldn’t cast any doubt on the importance of this four straight, same season, legit championships major accomplishment.
If Park should win the British Open her “Grand Slam” will be a legitimate one. Having an extra major whether she wins the Evian or not, will not diminish her achievement.
It is more than fitting that her win could come at St. Andrews. There is no course on the planet that oozes more history than the Old Course. And it will be an amazingly, wonderful moment in golf, not just women’s golf, if Park can complete her Grand Slam on such sacred soil.