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Park rallies to claim El Dorado Shootout title

by Tony Burns | September 26, 2021 at 6:33 p.m.

Murphy USA El Dorado Shootout champion Kum-Kang Park said listening to her mother was the key to her rousing finish Sunday at Mystic Creek. Park, of Seoul, Republic of Korea, shot a blistering final round 65 to claim the championship by two shots.

Park finished with a 211, beating American Lilia Vu, Korea’s Yaeeun Hong and Spain’s Fatima Fernandez Cano, who tied for second at 213. American Sierra Brooks was fifth, finishing with 216.

The 20-year-old Park was one shot off the course record with her bogey-free round on Sunday. She had five birdies and finished with an eagle on 18. She began the day six shots off the pace and didn’t know she was in the lead until she saw the scoreboard walking up 18.

“I can’t believe it. I’m so happy because it’s really hard all the tournaments. I’m so happy,” said Park, who said the pressure didn’t hit her until the final hole.

“I said I need to make this putt. I’m thinking I need to make this putt. But, I made it.”

Park, whose previous best finish on the Symetra Tour was a tie for sixth, received some good advice from her mother, who served as her caddie in the tournament.

“In 15, hole 15, second shot, my tee shot, it go left. It looks behind a tree,” Park explained. “I needed to lay up but my mom doesn’t know golf. But she say, ‘I think this way is more better.’ So, I hit it like that and I did make par. That was my key shot.

“She doesn’t know golf, just helping carry the bag. I said, ‘thanks mom.’”

Cano carried a two shot lead into the final round but shot 3-over on Sunday with three bogeys and a double-bogey on No. 10.

Vu, the tour’s money leader, also had a strong finish, shooting 4-under on Sunday.

Park's winning purse was $26,250.

When asked if she enjoyed her week in El Dorado, she smiled and said, "Thank you so much."

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