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Attacking style pays off for Sung Hyun Park in U.S. Women’s Open win


Sung Hyun Park of South Korea poses with the trophy after winning the U.S. Women’s Open on Sunday in Bedminster, N.J. Elsa/Getty Images
Elsa / Getty Images

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — It doesn’t exactly roll of an English tongue, but 2017 U.S. Women’s Open champion Sung Hyun Park has one of the best nicknames in sports.

“Dak Gong.”

The translation?

“Literally, ‘Just shut your mouth and attack,’ ” said the 23-year-old, who shot a 5-under 67 on Sunday at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster to overtake 54-hole leader Shanshan Feng of China and 17-year-old amateur Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea for her first victory in North America.

Park had an 11-under par total of 277, two better than Choi.

The translator in the media centre said “Dak Gong” was actually a made up word, “like an acronym.”

“That nickname, I guess kind of came from my fans last year,” Park said. “Like some or a lot of Korean female golfers, I guess I am more aggressive in my play. So fans gave me that nickname that I just focus on attack and aggressive. That’s how it probably came and I’m happy for it.”

Choi, the 2016 Canadian Amateur champion, was tied for the lead on the 16th tee, but then dumped her 7-iron shot from about 140 yards into the water and made double-bogey five. She rallied with a birdie on the par-5 18th to finish solo second. That would have been worth $540,000 U.S. for a pro; instead that money was passed down the line.


Because she entered the U.S. Women’s Open as an amateur golfer, Hye-Jin Choi of South Korea must forgo the pros’ runner-up prize of $540,000 U.S., but she remains pretty pleased with her second-place finish. Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Matt Sullivan /

Getty Images

“Well, it would be nice if I could get the money, but I think my primary goal was to come here and compete,” Choi said, “so, to me, getting this second-place runner-up actually means more to me, and it’s a great honour for me, so I am not really focusing on the prize money for now.”

Choi also won the World Junior Girls Golf Championship at The Marshes Golf Course in Ottawa in 2015. This year marked the second in a row that she was leading amateur in the U.S. Women’s Open. Her total of 279 beat the previous amateur record, set by Grace Park in 1999, by four strokes.



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