Kristen Park played the back 9 of the Junior PGA Championship in a 4 over par 40 to finish in 5th place at the Sycamore Hills Country Club in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Kristen led the tournament by 2 shot’s going into the back 9. She shot -3 (33) on the front and felt like she had the tournament in control. After a bogie on the tenth hole, Kristen’s mind set changed a little and she began to try and protect her lead and just par in for the win. In a telephone conversation with her coach, George Pinnell, Kristen said ” you know how you have always told me to “stay in the present” and to not focus on “results”, well that is what started to happen.” Kristen said she did not have the killer instinct that she has always had when she is in contention and trying to finish strong. She reminded Pinnell about his mantra of “always finishing” and said that she lacked that feeling in the back side of the final round.
Compounding the course management and mental side was 2 mud ball’s she had on 16 and 18. Kristen made double on the 18. She had a huge piece of mud on the right side of her ball and she played it to fly left a little. Kristen did not expect the ball to fly 30 yards left her target into a very difficult lie that led to the double. Kristen shot 73-71-73 (217). The PGA Championship was scheduled for 72 holes and reduced to 54 holes after rain washed out the 2nd round. That was good new’s for Kristen because she was recovering from a week long illness (flu) that took it’s toll on her in the Canon Cup and the first 2 days of the PGA. The day off helped Kristen recover and continue her desire to make the Junior Ryder Cup.
In her telephone conversation with Pinnell, Kristen stated, “I am glad that I had that experience yesterday and that I will learn from the mistakes I made, and move on.” Pinnell said, “Kristen’s attitude about her play on the back 9 at the PGA shows how much she has matured over the last year.” A great sign for Kristen and bad news for her competitors.
Kristen arrived in Charlotte, NC., at 4 a.m. today, 4 hours late. She will play her practice round’s for the Women’s Am on Saturday and Sunday in preparation for the start of the event on Monday.
Kristen was selected as the first Captain’s Pick for the Junior Ryder Cup and was also selected to play in the Duke of York event in England. She will be in Europe for 2 1/2 weeks this fall. More on the detail’s of The Ryder Cup and The Duke of York event in the near future. 2010 has been a great year for this talented player from Southern California!