Two weeks ago, Park made the decision to retire from the LPGA Tour in the midst of her 13th season. She chose Rochester to be her final event and sitting at 6-over-par through two rounds of the event, Park thought she might miss the cut and thus see her career come to a close.
But Park's determination, which helped her to six career wins on Tour including the 2004, showed on the back-nine of her round on Friday when she went 3-under to give herself at least a chance of making the cut. It made a big difference as Park finished inside the cut-line to give herself two more days of golf.
It's fitting that Park will get a little more time considering that injuries stunted a career that showed so much promise early on. The 1998 U.S. Women's Amateur champion and a six-time winner on the LPGA Tour, Park seemed poised to make a big splash on Tour early in her career. But back problems, as well as a hip injury, limited Park's time on the golf course in recent years and when she finally seemed to be back on track health-wise, she wasn't able to rediscover that magic in her game.
"I had been thinking about it for a while," Park said of her decision to retire. "After getting my health back and playing every event last year, I wanted to give it one last chance at becoming one of the top golfers again. I worked really hard to get here today. Especially this past winter in trying to improve my game, improve my strength again, and I thought I could do it again. But the truth was, the reality was, that my game just wasn't there."
Park is engaged to Skye Kim with a wedding planned for November. It's just one of many new things ahead for Park, who acknowledges that she's unsure of exactly what lies ahead for her.
"I just want to take some time off," Park said of her initial plans. "I picked up this game when I was 8 years old. I've been competing since I was 10. I really never had any time off. I don't even know what I like doing because I pretty much devoted my whole life into being the greatest golfer that I could be. So I want to take some time off to find out what I like doing."
As a rookie pro in the summer of 1999, she won five times on the Symetra Tour to earn LPGA membership for the following year.
Topics: Alumnae in the News