Inbee Park, Also Known as 'Winbee'

Bio of the LPGA star and multiple major championship winner

Inbee Park of South Korea holds the trophy after winning the KPMG Women's PGA Championship held at Westchester Country Club on June 14, 2015
Inbee Park has a lot of experience lifting trophies. Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Inbee Park is a multiple major championship winner on the LPGA Tour, one of the tour's straightest drivers and, when she's playing her best, considered among the best putters in golf. She's also a (to this point) rare Korean golfer who didn't begin her pro golf career playing on the Korean LPGA.

Park — who was born on July 12, 1988 in Seoul, South Korea — has a great nickname: "Winbee," because she wins so much, natch.

Earlier in her career her first name was often spelled "In-Bee," but "Inbee" is her preferred spelling.

Inbee Park's Tour Victories

(All of Park's tournaments win are listed below.)

  • Major championships: 7

Park's first win in a major was the 2008 U.S. Women's Open, a tournament she won again in 2013. She won the Kraft Nabisco Championship in 2013; the Women's British Open in 2015; and has three wins in the LPGA Championship/Women's PGA Championship (2013, 2014, 2015).

Awards and Honors for Inbee Park

  • Member, LPGA Hall of Fame
  • LPGA money leader, 2012, 2013
  • LPGA scoring leader (Vare Trophy), 2012, 2015
  • LPGA Player of the Year, 2013

Biography of Inbee Park

Inbee Park only started playing golf when she was 10 years old. Yet she took to it so quickly it was only two years later than she moved to the United States from her native Korea to focus on golf training.

She became a regular on the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) circuit, and over the next six years won nine of the 25 AJGA events she entered. Park was named a Junior All-American five times.

She was the AJGA Player of the Year in 2002, the same year she won her first USGA championship, the U.S. Junior Girls Championship.

Park was runner-up in that event two other times, 2003 and 2005.

Park eventually settled in Las Vegas, Nevada, after spending one year playing college golf at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Park turned pro in 2006, playing the Futures Tour. She didn't win, but earned her LPGA Tour card by finishing third on the money list. So 2007 was her rookie year on the LPGA Tour.

And one year later Park got her first professional victory at the 2008 U.S. Women's Open. She was only 19 years old, a couple weeks shy of her 20th birthday. At the time that made her the third-youngest winner of an LPGA major.

She didn't win again on the LPGA until 2012. But Park did win multiple times in Japan during that stretch, and in 2010 had 11 Top 10s on the LPGA.

But 2012 was Park's breakout season: In her last 15 starts on the LPGA Tour, Park won twice, had 12 Top 10s and 10 Top 5s, and was runner-up at the Women's British Open. She finished the year with the tour's best scoring average.

And 2013 only got better. Park won six of the first 13 LPGA events she entered, including the first three majors: the Kraft Nabisco Championship, Wegmans LPGA Championship and U.S. Women's Open. Park thus became the first golfer in the modern LPGA era (with four or more majors) to do so.

(Babe Zaharias in 1950, Mickey Wright in 1961 and Pat Bradley in 1986 also won three majors in a single season on the LPGA Tour.)

Park first achieved the No. 1 world ranking in April 2013; she finished the year as LPGA money leader and Player of the Year.

She was well-established as one of the top handful of players in women's golf. And Park continued winning, adding three more titles — including another LPGA Championship — in 2014, and two victories in early 2015. Later in 2015 she won the LPGA Championship — renamed as the Women's PGA Championship — for a third consecutive year, and also added the Women's British Open title.

By the end of the 2015 season, Park had already accrued the points necessary to qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame (based on the LPGA's point system). She had to wait until mid-2016 to officially become a member, though, by meeting the 10-years-on-tour requirement.

(Park has not yet been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame.)

Park achieved another milestone In 2016, when she became the first woman since Margaret Ives Abbott in 1900 to win an Olympic gold medal in golf. The sport made its return to the Olympic Games in Brazil that year..

Career Grand Slam Winner ... or Not?

Inbee Park has won four different LPGA majors in her career. Does that make her a career grand slam winner? The LPGA Tour says yes, but many golf fans and media members say no. The rub is that the LPGA has five major championships, and Park has not (yet) won the fifth. The one she is missing is the Evian Championship.

Many golf purists say winning the career grand slam means winning each of the majors in which you've played during your career. On the PGA Tour, the number of majors — since the concept of major championships has been around — has always been four. Therefore, the LPGA Tour's argument is that winning four different majors makes Park a career grand slam winner. And in official LPGA records, she is recognized as having achieved the career grand slam.

Inbee Park Trivia

  • When Park won the 2015 Women's PGA Championship, she passed Se Ri Pak for the most wins in majors by a Korean golfer with her sixth.
  • In 2013 Park became the first Korean golfer to win the LPGA's Player of the Year Award.
  • When she won the U.S. Women's Open in 2008, Park was about two weeks shy of turning age 20. She is the youngest-ever winner of that tournament.
  • And when she won that U.S. Women's Open, Park became the fifth golfer to win both a U.S. Girls Junior Championship and a USWO. The first four were Mickey Wright, JoAnne Carner, Amy Alcott and Hollis Stacy.
  • Park qualified for the LPGA Hall of Fame in 2016 at age 27, the youngest golfer (to that point) to do so.

Quote, Unquote

  • "I feel the happiest when I'm at the golf course. And I feel calm when I'm on the golf course. I think I'm just a much better person when I'm on the golf course." — Park
  • "This is what I love to do. And if pressure is something that comes with playing good golf, that's something a professional golfer has to handle." — Park
  • Dave Stockton: "(W)hat I watch with (Inbee Park) and what I like is her approach to the game. I think the key to her success, whether you're talking about her short game or long game, is that you can tell she is really enjoying what she's doing and not getting ahead of herself and not letting the moment overwhelm her."

Inbee Park's Pro Tournament Wins

LPGA Tour

  • 2008 U.S. Women's Open
  • 2012 Evian Masters
  • 2012 Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia
  • 2013 Honda LPGA Thailand
  • 2013 Kraft Nabisco Championship
  • 2013 North Texas LPGA Shootout
  • 2013 Wegmans LPGA Championship
  • 2013 Walmart NW Arkansas Championship
  • 2013 U.S. Women's Open
  • 2014 Manulife Financial LPGA Classic
  • 2014 Wegmans LPGA Championship
  • 2014 Fubon LPGA Taiwan Championship
  • 2015 HSBC Women's Champions
  • 2015 Volunteers of America North Texas Shootout
  • 2015 KPMG Women's PGA Championship
  • 2015 Ricoh Women's British Open
  • 2015 Lorena Ochoa Invitational
  • 2017 HSBC Women's Champions

Japan LPGA Tour

  • 2010 Nishijin Ladies Classic
  • 2010 Japan LPGA Tour Championship Ricoh Cup
  • 2011 Daikin Orchid Ladies
  • 2012 Fundokin Ladies

Ladies European Tour

Park's wins in the 2012 Evian Masters and 2015 Women's British Open, listed under her LPGA wins, also count as victories on the Ladies European Tour.

In addition, Park has one other win on the LET:

  • 2014 Mission Hills World Ladies Championship