Inbee Park of South Korea won the Kraft Nabisco Championship, a major on the LPGA Tour, by four strokes in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — Inbee Park doubled her lead to six strokes on the opening hole Sunday and cruised to victory in the Kraft Nabisco Championship for her second major LPGA Tour title.
The 24-year-old South Korean made a 20-foot birdie putt on the par-4 first, while playing partner Lizette Salas had a double bogey for a three-stroke swing.
“That made my day much easier, that’s for sure,” said Park, the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open winner. “I holed a long one on the first hole. A birdie start is always a good thing. That gave me a lot of confidence.”
Park closed with a 3-under-par 69 at Mission Hills to finish at 15 under, four strokes ahead of fellow South Korean player So Yeon Ryu.
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“It had been awhile since I won a major,” said Park, who earned $300,000. “It feels very special. This week, I played very solid.”
Park celebrated the victory with the traditional leap into Poppie’s Pond near the 18th green, and jumped from fourth to second in the world with her fifth LPGA Tour title and ninth worldwide victory.
South Korean women have won three consecutive major tournaments.
SAN ANTONIO — Martin Laird of Scotland tied the course record with a 9-under 63 to hold off Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland at the Texas Open. Laird got his first PGA Tour victory in more than two years.
Laird finished at 14-under 274, earning $1.116 million and a berth in the Masters, which starts Thursday at Augusta National in Georgia.
Laird, 30, missed four of eight cuts this year before the Texas Open.
“I came in here quietly confident, even though my record this year has been poor to say the least,” Laird said.
McIlroy (66), No. 2 in the world behind Tiger Woods, was runner-up at 12 under at TPC San Antonio.
Ex-Washington Huskies player Richard H. Lee (69) was 13th at 6 under. Jeff Gove (70) of Seattle tied for 46th place at 1 over.
• Three-time Masters champion Phil Mickelson played a practice round at Augusta National with one of the club’s newest members, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
• Benjamin Alvarado of Chile shot a 2-under 69 to win the Web.com Tour’s Brasil Classic by one stroke over Dawie van der Walt (66) of South Africa in Sao Paolo. Alvarado had a 19-under 265 total and earned $121,500.
Michael Putnam (64) of University Place tied for 10th place at 12 under.